Bertha (Sioux Pony Drum)

Bertha is a Sioux pony drum that Gabrielle bought for me in 1978. She (Bertha) gave me a musical voice and the ability to translate my inner rhythms to the material plane of reality.

It’s been a wonderful journey with her, even though she is a bit high-strung. She is at the bottom of 16 music albums by Gabrielle Roth and The Mirrors and has been the basic rhythm of literally hundreds of classes, workshops, theater pieces, dance events and personal and tribal rituals.

I have traveled all over the world with her. And I never “packed” her, put her in a box or container. When baggage handlers came across her, they could see what she was and always treated her with care and respect. Except the last time when, on a return flight from Texas some 15 or 20 years ago, she came down the baggage ramp in 6 pieces.

I was heartbroken. But months later, I was talking about it to my friend Bruce Werner, a carpenter/builder who lived in Maine. He said he could make her whole again. I sent him the pieces and sometime later received the package back from him. Unfortunately, she was damaged during the shipping and now lay in 7 pieces. I sent them back to Bruce and sometime later, he actually drove the drum back to me in NYC from Maine. What a friend!

I had to give her a new name – Re-Bertha.

Gabrielle did not mind me having this girlfriend. She even played her once in a while.