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This dude was John Bonham’s drum tech during the major stage of Zeppelin’s career. He’s *maybe* a little bit of a dork, but the video is cool. I came across it earlier this week while geeking-out about my recently-expanded Bill Mike kit. The amber Vistalites sitting in the background on this vid is the kit that inspired the one I have now. I believe Bonham used those drums during Zep’s 1977 tour following the release of The Song Remains The Same.
Quick story about Ochletree’s dork factor and Bonham’s original amber Vistalites: Joel Hanson, a singer/songwriter that I play with, was in a Grammy-winning band in the 90’s called PFR. For one of their records, producer Jimmie Lee Sloas called Ochletree and had him fly out to Minneapolis with Bonham’s actual amber Vistas so the band could use the drums on the album. Ochletree set the kit up, which apparently included two hours of sitting on the ground cross-legged, methodically shredding a stack of newspapers into small strips, and filling the kick drum with them. This, according to Ochletree, was how Bonham got his famous kick sound.
A great band from the 90’s called PFR is playing a reunion show tonight at Westwood Church in Excelsior. I’m making a cameo appearance on a couple songs. I’m super excited.
I’ve got quite a few connections to PFR, not the least of which is Joel Hanson, PFR’s frontman/guitarist/vocalist/songwriter. I’ve been playing with Joel for a couple years now on his solo stuff, and I do quite a bit of studio work for his production company. PFR is where he made his initial mark in the music world, and Joel’s performances in PFR are legendary in the Nashville CCM crowd.
Also of note is drummer Mark Nash, who was my first teacher. Mark taught me the basic 4/4 groove and other entry level goodness back in 1992, and my life has obviously never been the same. Mark is currently producing and mixing records down in Nashville at his studio, The Bookhouse. He also plays in a slamming band called The Good Wolves. We’re doing a double drumset feature on the opening tune of the show tonight, and then I’ll be playing drums on a song that Joel does regularly in his solo set.
It’s going to be a ton of fun. I think the show’s been sold out for a few weeks, but maybe some stray tix will be available at the venue.