My VIP Bonzo Bash Experience

My name is Alex Shumaker and I just turned 8 years old. I have been playing drums for 2-1/2 years. When I started drumming I learned from DVD’s of LIVE concerts. The second DVD I chose was a Foreigner LIVE concert. I was blown away by the drummer Brian Tichy and his drum solo. I practiced it over and over and my mom says she’s shocked there has never been a drum stick stuck in the ceiling!

This weekend I went to New York City and New Jersey to go to Brian Tichy’s “Bonzo Bash”. If you don’t know what that is your missing out….. BIG TIME! Brian puts on this show in honor of the late drumming legend John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Brian brings in the best drummers and each of them play a few Zeppelin songs and at the end they all jam together on stage, I got to jam too!

Big thanks to Producer, Noelle Kim for everything she did for me! If it wasn’t for her I would of never gotten the chance to go to the rehearsals or get the backstage experience I did. She explained everything to my parents about the VIP package. She is the one person I didn’t get to meet but hope to some day.

On Friday we drove to NYC to attend the rehearsals for the show. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to get there! We were taken to the back and greeted by Brian’s production staff Joe, Lynn, & Jeannine, they were all so good to me throughout the entire weekend. Brian was the first drummer I got to meet, it was unbelievable meeting him, he was so nice to me.

All day long all the drummers were coming in and out. I got to meet every single one and they were all so nice and each took time to talk to me, take a picture with me and sign my drum head, some of them gave me drumsticks and signed those too. I got to watch each drummer rehearse.

At the end of the rehearsal they let me play a song while Brian played guitar, Chas West doing vocals, & Micheal Devin on bass. It was EPIC!!! I got to play with my hero!

On Saturday we got to go to sound check and I got to stand beside the stage and see Ingo do his job as a drumtech. He’s the fastest moving, hardest working man I’ve ever seen. He’s pretty funny too! He can even pull his own finger off.

When we went up front to pick up our tickets at the will call we had to go to the “Artist” will call. When we got our envelope it said “Alex Shumaker +2”!!!! My mom and dad are STILL laughing about that one!

We went and found our seats and it got dark the show was starting and a light came on and there was Brian in full costume holding a lantern in the air. He came down and played the intro in that costume! It was completely amazing.

After the intro we went back stage and ran into Corky Laing again from Mountain.

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Backstage was awesome, I was right on the side of the stage behind the speakers and had a perfect view of the drummers.

During the first half of the show Eddie Trunk showed up. He was really nice too and TALL.

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Half way through the show it got really packed backstage. Everyone was waiting on Peter Criss the original drummer from Kiss. I was outside and “bumped” right into him but I didn’t say anything. Security was taking him upstairs before he gave Corky Laing his award. After he gave Corky the award and Corky played Mississippi Queen and I got to meet Peter I told him “how good he smelled” he hugged me and rubbed my head and said “aww thanks Buddy”. He told me to always practice and keep playing. I will never forget it!

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This concert was totally amazing and awesome. All the drummers did an awesome job! I had so much fun on stage at the end of the show playing the cow bell and jammin with some of the greatest drummers and musicians on the planet. Karl Wilcox of Diamond head and I were even hitting each other’s cowbells!

Thank you all so much for making my dreams come true. Please check from time to time as we will have a lot more picture up.

Alex Shumaker
8 year old drummer

Ps. If you are thinking about seeing this show at NAMM or in New Jersey, DO IT!!!

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