For the last five years, street performer Anthony Sheriff has been putting smiles on people’s faces with his energetic beats.
Better known to Los Angeles, California, locals as “Sheriff Drumman,” the traveling one-man band has turned the back of his cherry-red Ford F-350 truck into a mobile stage that holds his massive 13-piece drum kit, speakers , and a sign with his name.
A former owner of an appliance business, the musician and skilled builder spent nearly six years decking out the vehicle to be the perfect platform for his explosive performances. It was his absolute pride and joy.
The drums were also Sheriff’s lifeline. Unable to sleep after his second divorce in 2016, he dreamed up the idea of a mobile sound machine.
“It means the world to me,” he explained to the Los Angeles Times. “Without drums, my life would have gone a completely different way. There’s no other way to say it. It’s my therapy, it’s my fun, it’s my life.”
Playing music is Sheriff’s primary source of income. Since he performs outdoors, his income increased during the pandemic.
The 34-year-old was booked straight for months. He would have six or seven consecutive gigs on some days, earning as much as $300 per hour.
“A lot of gigs were piled right on top of each other,” he said. “When I was leaving one gig, I’m flying to the next customer, telling them, ‘I’m 10 minutes away, I’m running a little late.'”
With its booming speaker system, color-changing LED lights, and smoke machine, Sheriff’s truck is a crowd puller. He once caught Steve Harvey’s eye while drumming at an LA gas station.
The host was so impressed that he invited him to guest on “Steve TV Show” in 2018, launching the musician’s career even further.
Things have been going great for Sheriff until December 3, 2021. He walked out of his home one morning only to that his truck had vanished into discover thin air. Someone had stolen it during the wee hours of the morning—including his precious drum kit.
“When I got outside, I had a total panic attack,” he said. “I fainted in front of my neighbors. I started screaming, I was calling for help like someone had shot me. It felt like the devastating news of a loved one being murdered.”
Sheriff took to social media and pleaded with his followers to help him find and recover his truck.
“Can you guys please, please, please, please, please, put on your page any videos, any pictures that you guys may have of me and let them know that my truck has been stolen,” he said in an Instagram video.
A few days later, the police found his truck on some railroad tracks, completely stripped. The battery was gone, its windshield was broken, the hood was damaged, and the paint job was scratched.
Sheriff just put in a battery so he could drive it, but he knows it’s going to take a while to fully replace the stolen equipment.
Sheriff was forced to cancel several scheduled gigs, causing severe financial setbacks.
“This is how I feed my kids,” he said. “This is how I feed my family. This is how I live. This is how I do me.”
Thankfully, the public heeded his cries for help. Donors helped him rebuild his drum kit and replace his truck’s custom features. Guitar Center and an anonymous donor helped cover the costs for the vehicle’s special gear.
However, replacing the drums would be expensive. Sheriff estimated the total cost of all his equipment and accessories was upwards of $80,000.
Enter Metallica—one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time.
Apparently, the band heard about what happened to Sheriff and decided to chip in by donating a new drum kit. A band representative visited the drummer in Hollywood to reveal the good news.
“Man, thank you guys so much,” a stunned Sheriff said. “Thank you for taking the time and the resources to support and help what I do. I love you for that.”
The following day, Metallica replied to him in a tweet: “We’re honored to be able to help out a fellow artist. Keep the music going, Sheriff Drumman!”
Watch the emotional moment Sheriff was surprised with his new drum kit in the video below.
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