Drasin's interests in bodybuilding , powerlifting , weightlifting , and guitar playing began in junior high school. When Drasin was in high school, he formed a band known as The Epics, who were featured at YMCA Day at the Hollywood Bowl in 1960.  About three months later, The Epics competed in a Battle of the Bands contest at the Hollywood Palladium , placing second out of about 200 bands. One of the prizes was a one-year recording contract with Capitol Records . Capitol Records changed the name of The Epics to The Hollywood Vines, who recorded two cruising songs, "Cruisin’" and "When Johnny Comes Slidin’ Home." The 45 rpm record (Capitol Records reference number 4511) was released in 1961. Although the record was a success, the band drifted apart as the members grew into adulthood.  Drasin enlisted in the Army Reserves for eight years and was inducted on his 18th birthday.  On active duty for approximately six months after enlistment and for two weeks each year thereafter, Drasin served as a clerk/typist and driver, achieving the rank of Sergeant . He was stationed at Fort Ord , California, and Fort Lewis , Washington.