By John Ring
Published February 3, 2022 in The Burg
Jackson Stevenson, a junior at the Galesburg High School, is a drummer for the GHS Band. He plays the drums with a lot of energy. It’s obvious he has a passion for music. He seemed like it would be a good subject matter for an article since the GHS band is one of the absolute best in the area and routinely plays at Silver Streak Western Big 6 games and with Quincy in town, why not?
We met and chatted as the band was setting up. “Call me Jax,” said Stevenson after we met.
For such a large age gap between us, Jax and I have a lot in common thanks to music. We admire the same drummers (John Bonham and Buddy Rich) in rock and roll although our taste in music is different, I prefer classic rock, Jax likes punk music. “Bonham and Buddy Rich are my favorites,” said Stevenson. “Back in the 1980s when I started to drum, Travis Barker was one of my favorites too.”
“It was a really nice sound when they played,” continued Stevenson. “I loved their style of music.
I started drumming in middle school and I liked old punk music bands like Rancid and Operation Ivy. I took lessons to drum but I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand it. So I just started teaching myself. The lessons didn’t work at all. What turned it around for me was to believe in myself and trust myself to play.”
It paid off for Jax, big-time. “My parents bought me my first drum kit. Mom got me into punk music. Drumming is my thing. The absolute best thing is having fun with your friends being able to play music. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Jax and I didn’t have a lot of time to talk. The Band was getting ready, the sophomore game was winding down and we couldn’t talk about Bonham’s speed and power drumming with Led
Zeppelin, Dave Mello’s East Bay Sound with Ivy Operation or Rich’s unique style in which he advocated the traditional grip of playing the drums. Jax couldn’t enlighten me on punk rock nor could I talk to him about the Doobie Brothers or Eric Clapton.
Jax plays in a band called Some Assembly Required. “We get together to jam and sometimes we play at Budde’s on Main Street on weekends,” said Stevenson.
Jax was looking forward to the Quincy-Galesburg game. “We’ll be on the court at halftime for a performance and we’re really looking forward to that.”
In the meantime, give credit where credit is deserved. The GHS Band has been awesome at both the football and basketball games this season. They bring a spark, an energy to the crowd as the Silver Streaks prepare for the game.
And I might have to go to Budde’s some weekend and check out Jax’s band as well.
(The title of this article ‘Drummin’ Up a Storm is from a 45 record cut by drummer Sandy Nelson
in the 1960s.)