Dave Lombardo's biography - in his own words:
I was born on 2-16-1965 in Havana Cuba. Two years later my parents packed their bags and left Cuba for America. We ended up in California. I was the youngest of four children. Being exposed to the land of opportunity, a seed was planted in me to pursue a dream. My parents use to go to these family gatherings and there use to be bands playing Cuban music and some American pop music. Cuban music has lots of percussion and complex patterns. You wouldn't find me running around playing with kids of my own age or dancing. I would be found sitting behind the drummer striking conversations and asking if I could play the drums during intermissions. My interest in drums grew more as I got older. If my parents visited some friends I would ask if they knew anyone that had drums. I remember specifically a time when I heard drums at a distance, I bravely walked into their garage and introduced myself to the band and asked if I could play the drums, they kindly let me play for a while.
When I was in 3rd. grade my class had show and tell day, bashful as I was I brought a set of bongos and a Santana record and played along to a song. My parents put me in a Catholic private school where we lived in Southgate California. They had a school band, I was in that class only for a year, marching drum was not what I wanted but I enjoyed it very much. At age 10 my dad saw my persistent interest in drums and agreed to buy me a 5 piece Maxwin by Pearl drumset for $350. I was a KISS fan at the time and the first record I ever bought was KISS Alive, I taught myself to play "100,000 years". I remember being the talk of the town for knowing that solo. Some guy I knew during that time asked me if I knew the drum solo in the song "Moby Dick". I was very aware of Led Zeppelin but exposing myself to the record Led Zeppelin II showed me a side of music that I wasn't too familiar with, The Blues. An amazing amount of feeling was what this band had, and not only as a whole but the drummer John Bonham played with soo much emotion that I felt I learned that element and took it with me through my career. Later I learned this was crescendo's and decrescendo's.
I would listen to the radio often I would tune into a show called The King Biscuit Flower Hour, and hear pre-recorded broadcast's of live show's. I'd go to the local record store and buy 45's (records containing one song on each side.) of songs that I would hear on the radio and play along to them. I feel this was a learning period for me. I asked my parents to let me take drum lesson's. That lasted a week, I got extremely bored with LRLLRLRR. I went back to listening and playing along to records.
From 10 to 12 years old all I liked was Rock music, but Something strange was happening to me and it wasn't just puberty. I was again exposed to new music. A good majority of my friends if not all were listening to DISCO. And I got into it. It was fun I went to allot of dances and parties was even a DJ for a mobile Disc Jockey called "A Touch of Class" those were great times. I would come home at 4 AM and my parents would be pissed and threatened to put me in a military school. Underneath the no collar shirt, pleated pants and stacy adam shoes was a still devoted rock fan. The music I was exposed to at that time showed me the effects of rhythm on the body. The difference of Disco and Rock were so great that it intrigued me and I found that playing along to this music showed me groove. I felt this energy and it was amazing, it made people dance and not just listen, like what rock music was about.
Summer of 78 still a DJ and still drumming, I was meeting various musicians around town and they would come over and talk with me, and some would bring there guitars and we would jam in my bedroom. We would play songs by Jimi Hendriks like Purple Haze, Foxy Lady and one of my favorites, Fire.Graduating from the private school at 8th grade I went to a private high school called Pius 10th. High school. There were older students and more musicians. There I sign up to be in the talent show. I did a duet with a guitar player named Peter Fashing, we did our own rendition of Johnny B Goode complete with a drum solo.
I'll never forget the dress rehearsal the night before. There was sarcasm from another band yelling from a distance calling me Buddy Rich. We brought the house down the following night. I'll never forget the roar of the crowd during the drum solo. The next day at school the word was out, my name was "David the drummer" and everybody knew who I was. Soon after that I formed a band called "Escape" we only had 2 guitar players and played AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath songs In my garage.
I had to change school's because I wasn't meeting grade expectations. I went to South Gate High School and found a singer to join the band and still no bass player we played a couple parties under the name Sabotage, nothing came of it. My parents noticed my withdrawal from everything except music I would stay in my room after school and play my drums and listen to music. They nagged me to get a job and quit the band. So I did.
I was threatened by the musicians. I was hearing they were out to "kick my ass" for leaving the group. They never did. One of the guitar players girlfriend, the so-called manager went as far as to write a poem about me leaving the band in the school news paper saying," we'll see who makes it to the top, lets place a bet". I should have made that bet.
Getting a job at the local pizza joint as a delivery boy shut my parents up for a while I was able to talk my dad into buying me a real drumset. And since I had a job I was able to pay him back the loan. I went to Guitar Center in Hollywood and found a TAMA Swingstar drumset and Paiste Rude cymbal package for $1100 I'll never forget the ride home from the store in the back of my dads truck with my drums.
One day I was doing a local delivery and I remembered one of the guys that use to come over telling me about this guitar player that lived 5 blocks away he also told me that he had all these guitars that his dad bought him. I drove by the house and he was outside watering the lawn, I introduced myself to him by saying "Hey I heard you play guitar, I play drums. Do you want to jam?" He said: "Yeah, do you want to come by later and check out my guitars?" I agreed and showed up that night, and we shared music and bands that each of us liked. His name was Kerry King...