The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney will fill in for longtime Cleveland Indians ballpark fixture John Adams, better known as “the drummer,” at the team’s home opener.
Adams has been drumming at Indians games since 1973 and has become a long-standing part of the ball club’s culture. The dedicated fan attends all the team’s home games, pounding on his bass drum from the outfield bleachers. Cleveland has honored Adams by paying for his season tickets (one for him, one for his drum), having him throw out the ceremonial first pitch and even created a bobblehead in his likeness for a 2006 promotional giveaway.
Unfortunately, Adams is recovering from heart surgery and will not be able to tend to his traditional drumming duties for the Indians April 5 home opener. Instead, Carney will happily lead the charge.
“When I found out that John Adams wouldn’t be able to make Opening Day in Cleveland for the first time in almost 50 years, I reached out to the team,” the Grammy Award winning Black Keys drummer told the Associated Press. “I share John’s love of baseball and the Cleveland Indians franchise, and drumming for him during the home opener when he can’t physically be there feels like a meaningful way to show John the love and respect he deserves.”
Carney grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio, the same city where he and guitarist Dan Auerbach would found the Black Keys. The rocker is a lifelong Indians fan and takes his pinch-drummer role seriously.
“I want to be there for John,” Carney matter-of-factly remarked.
This won’t be the first time that the platinum selling rocker has participated in an Indians opening day. Back in 2016, Carney threw out the ceremonial first pitch, remarking afterwards that he was “just happy that I kept the ball in the air.”