Michael Mignogna

United States

It is my chief aim not only to inspire and educate people through drumming but help them reach their goals regardless of shortcomings.

I was born on September 8th 1967, adopted by Fred and Elieen Mignogna at the tender age of 3 months old. Born with Cerebral Palsy and raised on Long Island, I never let anything get in my way. I started playing drums at the age of 11, after receiving a snare drum from my cousin Vincent. I played that drum incessantly for about a year when my parents finally agreed I should take lessons. Soon after I started taking lessons I was told that I needed a medial hamstring release. After the surgery I was laid up for 3 months with casts on both legs up to my hips. I continued with my lessons: casts and all. When I finally had the casts removed my legs were so atrophied that it was very painful and hard to walk. My dad used the drums as a motivational tool to get me on my feet. He went out and purchased my first kit: a white CB 700 a great starter kit. My father put the drum set in the back of the house and he agreed every time I would take a few steps he would move the drums closer to my room. Well, needless to say, I was back on my feet in no time.

Armed with my CB 700 it was time to find a band. My best friend at the time had just gotten a Fender Stratocaster. We were all of 13 and ready to take over the planet. We found a bass player and off to the garage we went. I think "TNT" from AC/DC was the first song we ever played. For all intensive purposes, we sounded great. Still feeling my way around the kit, using the floor tom as a bass drum not quite as proficient as I am today, my guitarist put a bass drum pedal on the front of the bass drum to help me out. I thought this was great! We even worked out a drum and guitar solo. No one had ever done this before. I stayed with that guitarist for a few years and then my family moved to another town on Long Island. Going to auditions after my band broke up was a great experience. Sometimes it would take guys 3 or 4 songs before they would realize I was using the floor tom as a kick drum. I also got the chance to perform at the Ed Sullivan Theater for the United Cerebral Palsy telethon, where they now film the David Letterman show. This was another memorable moment in my life.

While all this was going on I became involved with an organization called The Coalition for Disabled Musicians (CDM). CDM was a great time for all, we did many gigs on and a

  • Work
    • Musician
  • Education
    • High School