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Capturing music's giants. (Pulling the Strings).

MIKE DRUMM SETTLES INTO HIS HIGHLANDS NEIGHBORHOOD bungalow, fresh from a trip to L.A. where he filmed trumpeter Chris Botti's new DVD and television special. Drumm's crew had captured the sights and sounds of a magical night at the El Rey Theatre. Sting joined Botti, his former band member, on stage. Shawn Colvin came up, too.

Earlier in the week, Drumm's Music Link Productions had celebrated its first MTV special. Operating from Drumm's unassuming basement in northwest Denver, it delivered an over-the-top Rob Zombie half-hour special that within days of airing in November saw the metal artist's "Sinister Urge" CD soar skyward on the charts.

"Rob Zombie is fun, crazy rock, and the project was a little more high profile than what we normally do," said Drumm, the self-taught video director and producer who founded Music Link in 1988. "In this business, just because you're good at what you do doesn't mean you will be respected. You have to be the right guy for the job.

"We can do it out of Denver for less than New York and L.A., and people in the industry put us right up there with the others," said Drumm. "We're in a good position to sell ourselves."

And sell Drumm does, winning such marquis projects as production of The Best of Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band, the former Beatle's DVD released in October. By chance, Drumm had visited Ringo's touring Web site, wrote an e-mail to concert producer David Fishoff about his business, and unexpectedly found himself backstage in Milwaukee to meet Ringo. Within hours, the DVD project and Drumm's kinship with Ringo were born.

"We established an immediate rapport," said Drumm, who has visited Ringo in three of his homes. During the rock star's Denver visit last summer, Drumm accompanied the art-loving Ringo on a tour of the Denver Art Museum. "He is an evolved soul -- a real inspiration."

It was the Beatles, after all, who inspired Drumm's passion for music and a music video career that spans 20 years, starting with the production of concert videos for KBDI-Channel 12 in 1981, and leading to prestigious Billboard Awards for best regional rock video.

Drumm not only produces but directs the videos, interspersing his own interviews with footage. He hires local crews at concert sites to operate as many as seven cameras and edits with his staff in his basement brimming with banks of computers. He can turn around a video in five days.

"Now with faxes and Internet, you can live anywhere and do your job," said Drumm. "The whole idea that America has shrunk is true. Our work can be done right here from Denver."
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Author:Bronikowski, Lynn
Publication:ColoradoBiz
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:445
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