'It was in that instant...and the feeling I got behind the kit that mapped out my life'

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.....

From his early days as an aspiring drummer right through to being a renowned master of his technique, Nando's long and distinguished career has been forged through his life experiences.

He has met the best, learnt from the best, played with the best and been recommended by the best. Now he is helping to write the next chapter in the careers of aspiring young drummers from his state of the art studios in Willoughby and Leichhardt

Scroll down to take a 'magical mystery tour' through his early life, career, artistic influences and the things that make him tick as a professional musician. 



The Nando Pettinato Story

Fond memories from early years...

 I got 'bitten' by the music bug while watching The Beatles' movie "A Hard Day's Night". I was only four or five years old, but was totally captivated by the songs and the whole persona of the group. It was soon after, that I discovered my brother (six years older) was a big fan and that the band were regarded as the greatest pop group of all time, even though they had split up by the time of my discovery. 

I couldn't get enough...

The next major development in my thirst for their music came when I watched the Beatles cartoons on television. The Beatles were to me, what Harry Potter is to kids today. I religiously watched the cartoons and hung on every lyric sung. A bomb could have dropped next door and I wouldn't have blinked.  

On a mission...

 My next aim was to listen to more of their music, through buying some records. Having no money of my own, I devised a plan of blackmail on my unsuspecting mother. The deal was that if I spent time shopping with her she would buy me a single (walking around shopping centres with females is still something I'm allergic to!) The plan worked! The first EP I owned was "Yesterday" and it cost $1.50 in 1976. I mastered how to place the needle onto the record and played it constantly until I scored my next record 

Yearning to play an instrument...

The more singles I owned, the more I dreamed of being able to play an instrument. At this early age the only close contact with any musician I had was with my mother's godson, Ross Lombardo. Unfortunately he passed away recently.He was a gifted keyboard player successful session musician in Sydney, having played for a variety of local and international artists. I was mesmerised, watching him give impromptu performances to our respective parents and it was something I looked forward to on our frequent visits - a major influence in my quest for becoming "good". 

Which instrument?...

"Good" at what? It became clear through my long listening sessions that it was natural for me to pick up the drumbeats on these records. My record collection had now grown and I was getting more infatuated with beats and tapping along, either on my lap with pencils or any surface. I got told to be quiet and stop tapping by many teachers at Willoughby Primary. Up until actually owning a drum set which came about at the age of 14, I spent many hours playing along to my favourite artists of the day by keeping time with my sticks on my mattress! When my mother told me she worked with a man who owned a drum set, I was determined to see a real kit up close. 

A dream come true...

My mother organised a visit to her friend's house and he played drums for me. He picked me up and sat me on a stool behind the kit, with my feet barely reaching the bass drum pedal. I still remember the kit seemed to be huge!


It was in that instant and the feeling I got behind the kit that mapped out my life - I wanted to become a drummer......