Brendan Buckley drummer blogA quick comment on the effect of Mr. John Bonham on a certain high school kid:

Hi, MD readers. Most every musician I know understands, respects, and agrees with the importance of John Bonham’s drumming in the world popular music. I can recall a specific moment in which one of his beats changed my life.

I was roughly fifteen years of age, suffering from all the normal highs and lows of a typical high school boy. On the drums, I was basically a self-taught kid with a lot of spirit that made up for my lack of fundamentals. Through my quest, I befriended another high school drummer my age named Adam, and we used to share our similar interests in drumming. One day, after class, I went to his house to check out his brand-new Premier kit, which he had just assembled in the corner of his tiny bedroom. While there, I made sure to bust out all of my hot new beats and coordination exercises. My idea was to impress him with the cool stuff I had been cooking up at home in my garage. However, I was completely unprepared for the beat that he threw back at me. It was totally rocking, but it had a bass drum part that boggled my mind. I asked him from where it came, and he casually responded, “It’s a Led Zeppelin song. You know…from “Good Times, Bad Times”…John Bonham, man!” Then I asked him how he managed to learn such an incredible rhythm, and he even more casually responded, “My drum teacher taught it to me.”

“Wow…a drum teacher,” I thought to myself. Prior to that moment, I’d never even considered the idea. The very next day, I went straight up to my high school band director and told him that I was interested in finding a drum teacher. I realized that I had a lot to learn, and I needed help. That band director hooked me up with a serious drummer from New York City named Tommy Igoe. Over the course two years, that guy beat me into pulp, and then reshaped me into a true aspiring student of drums.

Now when I listen to and enjoy the music of Led Zeppelin, I can’t help but think that, if it weren’t for that specific song that Adam played for me, I might not have been encouraged to take lessons, which means I might never have met my good friend Tommy, which means I might not have been led to pursue drums professionally.

I’m assuming that most drummers out there have a similar story. It’s fun from time to time to reach back and reminisce about these moments.

Rock on!


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