Two hundred youngsters at Nova Hreod School were awestruck when legendary drummer Jeff Rich gave a percussion master class on 11 March.
Jeff talked about the evolution of his craft from its pre-history origins when humans used stretched animal skins to make sounds right up to present day and his 16 year experience with Status Quo, making fourteen albums and rocking all over the world.
He demonstrated his skills with a £10,000 drum kit and a played a priceless vintage Ludwig snare drum which he has been using since the mid-1970s.
Jeff said that he decided to stop touring when he remarried. “I have two adult sons, but never saw them as children because we were always on the road or in the studio. I now have two daughters under two years and I’m there for them for two or three weeks a month. The rest of the time I base myself in towns around the country and run classes to inspire youngsters to become musicians.”
Nova deputy-headteacher Amanda Clegg said, “Jeff called to say he was coming to Swindon and offered a master-class. Being a fan of Status Quo there was no choice, we had to have him here. The children absolutely loved the session.”
Year 10 pupil Dale Evans, who is learning to drum, was amazed by the opportunity to meet a superstar. “It was a phenomenal class, Jeff was brilliant. I’ll be happy if I can ever be near as good as him.”
Left, Jeff with Nova drumming novices
Top, Jeff with Nova drumming novices. Middle, signing drum sticks for Dale Evans and David Tilling. Bottom, signing an LP cover for Amanda Clegg