John P. Stebal III
The Stebals have been serving the Northeast Ohio area since the 1950’s. John Stebal Jr. hit the scene with his guitar at that time and built a reputation as one of the best musicians (studio and live), and as an educator/author who has schooled many of today’s professionals. John Jr. opened retail operations in Willowick, Ohio in a second floor office space in the Shoregate Mall Arcade in 1975, with a focus on guitars and instruction. He quickly outgrew the office and moved to a storefront on Vine Street (also in Willowick). At this time the business was able to offer lessons and accessories for all instruments.
John Jr.’s son, John P. Stebal III started teaching drums in 1980. When John III felt the need to better service his drum students he started a more legitimate drum department in 1990. There was not a lot of space to work with as the drum department grew (800 sq. ft. total with the back half being used for studios and half of the remaining floor space in the front being used for guitars and accessories for other instruments). So when John Jr. left the business in 1996, John III decided to convert the full line store into a drum specialty shop and use all the floor space for drums and percussion. He felt that he could use his knowledge, experience, and passion for drums better in this type of environment. Today, Stebal Drums occupies three combined storefronts and a total of over 3000 sq. ft. of floor space and lesson rooms
Rumor has it that Rod was raised by wolves in the Flatlands of Ohio. As of this writing, we can find no information to either corroborate or dispute this. Rod’s origin is not important. His presence at Groove Central is.
In addition to being an accomplished percussionist, a seasoned business professional, a working drummer AND a teacher, Rod is also the resident hardware and used equipment appraisal specialist at Stebal Drums. Rod has probably forgotten more about drums, drum hardware, and the music business in general than many of us will ever know.
Rod’s professional career includes work with Sextet Devo (yes, THAT Devo), 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band), Crystal Brandy (on a Far East USO tour), Buckeye Biscuit, Baby Sirloin, Alex Bevan (Low Tech and Proud), John Dailey, and First Light, Prayer Warriors, Outlaws I&I.
Rod’s current musical associations are with The Prayer Warriors, Cletus Black, and Outlaws I&I, and many Studio Sessions (various Artists)