George Lawrence is the first drummer other than my father that I consciously remember watching. That being said, I must say that I have always been aware of the beat. Even when I could barely walk, the driving smack of 2 & 4 carrying and propelling the music was enough to let me know I've found something!
When I was 4 years old, George had brought his drumset to my father's studio and sat down and barked out the most amazing solo I'd ever seen. It was the one that sent me home DYING to pick up my sticks and once I did that evening, I realized that this was what I was put on the planet for! As I turn 40, I owe this entire crazy 36 year span to THIS MAN. (I'll send you my therapy bill, George!)
Further, this is the guy who taught Keith Carlock, the drummer for Sting/Steely Dan/Wayne Krantz/Oz Noy and others.
A couple of months ago Steely Dan were playing at Pala Casino, a place that I do a lot of work and I just happened to be working that night! It dawned upon me that no matter what our paths in life, the two of us were influenced by this man and even though the gigs were polar opposites, still, there we are both doing what we love and really that is what ultimately matters.
Enough about me, this is from George's bio on his site: