Just another drumstick on the guitar neck 

Talking A Whole Lotta Led with drummer Tom Rimmer

Who: A Whole Lotta Led

When: Thursday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m.

Where: Buffalo Bill’s

Amongst Grateful Greg’s vocal acrobatics, Creekside Phil’s charging guitar solos and rhythm rumblings of Mike Wilson’s bass, the guy with the sticks is often hidden from view at A Whole Lotta Led concert.

Drummer Tom Rimmer’s heart beat of Led Zeppelin is always there, but often without the spotlight of a violin-bow guitar solo.

The Pique Newsmagazine decided to climb to the back of the stage, over the frontman and behind the bass drum and cymbals to talk with Rimmer about A Whole Lotta Led’s upcoming show on Thursday, Jan. 31at Buffalo Bill’s.

And what we found was a Dead Head?

“To be honest, I’m a Dead Head junkie,” Rimmer professes of his Grateful Dead addiction. “My wife got me satellite radio for my truck and I haven’t changed it from the Dead station yet.”

But there is a connection between his unfaithful music allegiance and his Zeppelin sitting.

“Why I love them is for the exact same reason, I love Led Zeppelin,” he said. “There is nothing special about any one of the musicians, but when you put them together on a good night, nothing sounds better… On my own, I’m just the drummer, but together we are each a finger on a hand. With one finger on a guitar neck, you’ve got nothing. But when you’ve got four fingers playing, all of a sudden you have a melody.”

This fourth finger of the Zeppelin tribute band hails from Kitchener, Ontario where he worked the local punk scene. Ski coaching led him to Whistler in 1989. A few years later, he signed on as the drummer for the Boot Pub house band, The Dank Nuggs. The local troupe traveled the ski-town circuit then after a few jam nights with Creekside Phil and Grateful Greg A Whole Lotta Led was born in 2000.

However, Zeppelin drummer John Bonham kept Rimmer company long before that. Rimmer’s tape player in his Volkswagen Jetta was always set on play with Led Zeppelin Three; especially his favourite track Presence.

“(John’s simplicity always attracted me,” Rimmer said. “But he is very hard to play. The old saying in music goes, ‘less is more’. And for a guy who never took drum lessons and played how he felt drums should be played, he was a master.”

A master who made his mark even in a guitar laden band. Jimmy Page sometimes layered as many as four guitar tracks onto one song, including Ramble On.

“It’s a hard song to play because of the four guitar tracks, so when we play it sounds thin,” Rimmer said. “(Creekside) Phil has to pick just one of those tracks to play, but behind it was this rhythm section: bass and drums.”

Led Zeppelin knew how to level an audience back in the ‘70s and with all four fingers on course with A Whole Lotta Led, their repeatedly sold-out shows in Whistler continue to carry on that legacy.

“We try to sound like Led; we don’t sugar coat it; we don’t dress up,” Rimmer said. “It’s played with tenacity. What comes out of the front of house system is what we are playing.”

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