Art Tripp III (USA)
Art Tripp III
Dr. Tripp's first career was as a professional musician. Young Art started playing drums in the 4th grade with the school bands. In high school he started playing the drum set on "gigs" with bands at weddings, fraternity parties, dances, etc. He then became a student of Stanley Leonard, the timpanist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, from whom he learned to play all the other percussion instruments (xylophone, marimba, timpani, and dozens of others).
In 1961 he was accepted to the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and started the 4 year program in 1962. His private teacher at the Conservatory was Ed Weubold, a percussionist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra began hiring Art to play when a composition required a 4th percussionist. He soon became a regular member of the CSO, performing with such well known artists as Igor Stravinsky, Isaac Stern, Leonard Rose, Jose Iturbi, Loren Hollender, and Arthur Fiedler. In 1966 the U.S. State Department sent the orchestra on a 10-week world tour, which provided additional seasoning for the youthful percussionist.
During this time Art also played two seasons as timpanist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a season with both the Cincinnati Summer Opera, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. He was selected by avant garde composer John Cage to work with him in performances and workshops when Cage became composer in residence at the Conservatory of Music. The association lasted 6 months.
A re-exposure to pop and jazz had begun in 1965 with a job as percussionist in Judy Garland's band when she toured to Cincinnati. Art also loved to sit in and "jam" at various jazz clubs. He would oftentimes leave the opera orchestra pit after a performance, discard his tux for street clothes, and rush over to Babe Baker's Jazz Club in time for the 3rd set.
Having attained his Bachelor of Music degree in 1966, in 1967 Art accepted a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music in New York, primarily in order to finish his Master of Music degree, but also to continue his exposure to contemporary music. His teacher was the former timpanist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Fred Hinger. Mr. Hinger was then playing percussion with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and teaching a few students at the Met.
Through a friend of his wife's, Art was introduced to Frank Zappa's recording engineer, Richard Kunc. When Zappa was informed by Richard that he had met a percussionist with just the type of background and experience that Zappa was looking for, Art was invited to meet Frank and play for him at Apostolic Studio in New York's Greenwich Village. It turned out to be a perfect match, and Art went on to join the band and record 7 albums with Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (including one with the Jefferson Airplane). He performed with the band on many tours throughout the U.S. and Europe. Then during the Spring of 1968, the band relocated back to Hollywood.
Zappa disbanded the "Mothers" in 1970 to form a smaller unit. However the personnel was not a good fit. Art had been spending time with Don Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart), so when the opportunity arose, he joined up with Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band. Art had been doing a lot of work in the Hollywood recording studios with artists such as Al Stewart, Chad & Jeremy, and The Brotherhood of Man. He was hired to play percussion on the Smothers Brothers Summer Special, and was then offered the percussion position in the stage show "Oh Calcutta".
Even though Art had a promising career in the Hollywood recording studios, avant garde jazz/rock beckoned, and Art decided to move to northern California with the Beefheart band. The move started a 5-year period of many recordings and tours. Eventually conflicts caused the group to separate from Beefheart. They started composing and rehearsing new music, which ultimately was recorded on an album sponsored by the Jethro Tull band called "Mallard". However Art had become discouraged with the music business. He went back to Pittsburgh to work in the insurance business with his father.
After 3 years, realizing that the insurance industry was not his cup of tea, Art decided to return to his music career. He went back to Hollywood where he worked as a studio musician. However studio work did not have the same allure as concert work, so he started becoming disillusioned with the music business. During that time he sought chiropractic treatment with Dr. Joel Hanson. The Hollywood chiropractor saw a talent which he believed would make Art a superior chiropractor. Since Art had been treated by chiropractors since the age of 16, and he greatly admired that form of healing, he immediately started chiropractic studies in 1978.