Drummer With Birth Defect Rocks On
Dean Zimmer has arthrogryposis, a rare disorder that restricts joint movement in his arms and legs. He’s 51 years old and is confined to a wheelchair.
He’s also an absolute rockstar on the drums.
Zimmer talks about his past and shows off his raw talent in the 6-minute documentary, “Drummer Wanted,” by filmmakers Ross Harris and Stanley Gonzales.
“I answered a drummer wanted ad,” Zimmer explains in the clip. “I said, ‘Hey down here, I’m the drummer. They looked at me like I had three heads, like, ‘You’re the guy?'”
Zimmer began playing drums about 30 years ago, by banging on his legs before moving to a drum set. He told the Los Angeles Times that he knew people would be skeptical of his new passion — even his family had their doubts.
“Nobody really told me I couldn’t do it, but I could just see it in people’s eyes,” he told the paper in an 1990 interview. “I was the opposite of [people who didn’t fight to overcome their adversities]. I wasn’t handicapped; I just couldn’t walk real good.”
He proved everyone wrong.