RIP Todd Ankrom, Local Drummer

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Todd Ankrom’s 10-year stint on the local music scene epitomizes the musical everyman — a drummer who kept gigging while holding down a full-time job at Lubrizol. Ankrom kept the rhythm in a handful of forgettably named metal and progressive bands often listed in concert poster fine print but that you likely never caught live. Nonetheless, he did it out of love.

Sadly, when Ankrom, 33, and guitarist Joe Petrich launched a Primus-style genre-bucking trio called Something Involving a Monkey, he couldn’t have known it would be his last gig. Thanks to their connections, the band toured Ohio for 10 months, finally opening the Mushroomhead Christmas Show at Peabody’s.

“In all the years of playing locally on the scene, we’d never played with Mushroomhead,” says Petrich. “It was a unique opportunity for us to play with a Cleveland staple. We jumped right on it, and we had a good gig, and unfortunately, Todd didn’t leave that night.”

An hour after leaving the stage Ankrom collapsed next to his wife, Lynn. Word worked through the crowd and by the time Petrich rushed outside, the ambulance was already pulling out. Later, the bandmates learned they’d lost their pal.

“Apparently he had a massive heart attack even though there was no known history of heart conditions in his family,” Petrich says, who adds drugs or alcohol didn’t contribute to the death. “It was an absolute shock to everybody.”

The funeral was quick and small, happening before most friends had put their heads around the loss. Now, Petrich and others are gearing up for a proper farewell: On July 6 they’ll host a handful of local acts in a benefit concert at Peabody’s. Portions of the $10 door price will go toward the widow. “Lynn’s kind of left in a pretty awkward place emotionally and financially, so we wanted to do something for her.”.

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