Bert Drake is a 25-year member of the Golden Era Musicians and a recording engineer at Golden Era Productions. A professional drummer for more than 35 years, Bert worked alongside Ron Miscavige every day for over two decades.
I worked with Ron Miscavige in the music department at Golden Era Productions from 1991 until 2012. I know him and worked with him daily for 21 years. From the time Ron began working in the Music Department, he was given the privilege to work with some of the top entertainers in the music industry. This was something he would never have had an opportunity to do outside of the Gold Musicians, given his lack of skill as a musician, which was a result of his utter refusal to practice and learn and his complete lack of social graces.
Ron was not an honorable man particularly. He was not very productive, but was “tolerated” because of his relationship as the father of Mr. David Miscavige, for whom we all have tremendous respect. If not for that, Ron, as a person, would not have been allowed to remain as part of this group.
It’s a fact that he didn’t maintain his playing ability or seek to improve or increase his value as a musician. His playing may have been pro level at some point in the distant past (like in the 1960s maybe), but his “chops” were poor enough that his band parts were made super-simple. And even with that, he still would often just fake playing, or simply hold his horn while his part went by. Even the sound engineers at the shows would simply bury his mic in the mix—meaning they would run it so low you really couldn’t hear it—because his tone/tuning was so bad.
Ron is the type of man who is truly only concerned about himself and “what’s in it for ME!” … He is shiftless and a shirker.
In addition to being the band’s drummer, I’ve also been the recording engineer in the music studio for the last 25 years and I’m qualified to say that as a (very occasional) talent in the studio, Ron was the fussiest and most troublesome to record of any musician I’ve ever worked with! And that is saying something after having spent the last 25 years recording! He required constant coddling to get through his part. It would take at least 15 minutes before he would start recording, adjusting his headphones and making things acceptable for him, then it would require many, many takes to get something that could then be fixed by engineers after Ron was gone. Ron would also yell at me, blaming me for his own lack of professionalism and constant mistakes!
SEE THE VIDEO: BERT DRAKE AND CHRIS MAIO GIVE THEIR FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE REAL RON MISCAVIGE.
Ron is the type of man who is truly only concerned about himself and “what’s in it for ME!” He never tried to work harder so he could be an asset to the band and better help his fellow bandmates. He is shiftless and a shirker.
Moreover, Ron was not considered stable or trustworthy. Ron has many discreditable acts to his name—history of bullying and assaulting women and co-workers, falsifying reports and statistics, and being one of the least productive staff I’ve ever encountered.
The last few years before he left, many, many people tried to help him, musically, morally, medically, you name it. But he didn’t really want the help. I think he wanted to feel justified in complaining how bad it all was because he had to convince himself he was right for becoming some kind of “victim.” By that I mean that he was not producing or contributing anything much, but was consuming much in terms of money and attention, especially for his medical complaints.
Ron really milked his quasi-celeb status. It only worked that way because of the extremely high regard in which Mr. Miscavige was held by the general staff.
Ron really milked his quasi-celeb status. It only worked that way because of the extremely high regard in which Mr. Miscavige was held by the general staff, and that was what Ron traded upon, just because of who he was (i.e., Mr. Miscavige’s father), not because of any actual work or doingness or accomplishment.
Mr. Miscavige had no idea this was occurring and would never have approved of any form of nepotism. The staff treated Ron well because they wanted Ron “happy” so he wouldn’t go and bother his son, and they did this as a way to keep Ron’s b.s. off of Mr. Miscavige’s plate, because they had so much regard for Mr. Miscavige and knew how important his time was.
Now Ron goes out and utterly betrays us all—all those who tried to help him. He is nothing more than a traitor and should be called “Judas,” a very apt nickname for Ron: The Betrayer. He never even tried to contact us again.
He is nothing more than a traitor… a very apt nickname for Ron: The Betrayer.
He would tout himself as a Marine, but for him “Semper Fidelis” only applied to when he was running around while playing soldier-boy, to hell with everybody else he’s been working and living with for the last 25+ years.
But again, Ron thinks only of himself and I guess thinks we’re trash and he’s above everybody. Well, is he getting the same treatment we gave him, today? He had the easiest life imaginable and the most beautiful facility imaginable and still nothing was good enough for him.
There is no “higher motivation” for Ron. As far as he’s concerned, the end justifies the means, and he doesn’t give a damn who he stabs in the back or what lies and fabrications he invents, he just wants cash. Ron is a man who has no scruples.
Watch your back with this guy. There is no “higher motivation” for Ron. As far as he’s concerned, the end justifies the means, and he doesn’t give a damn who he stabs in the back or what lies and fabrications he invents, he just wants cash. Ron is a man who has no scruples.
Drummer and Recordist