Jon Bermuda Schwartz – Best Among the Best

If there is any list of the best drummers in the world, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz will be among them. He has been a drummer for “Weird AL” Yankovic for many years. He joined the group in 1980 and has seen and heard all their works. There is no album, video, concert, and TV performance that the drummer does not know about.

Jon Schwartz is the longest-serving member of the band and seems to be the pillar that holds it up. He was born in Chicago in 1957. He was always fascinated with how drummers worked around the instrument.  He got exposed to drums at an early age when Wm. Ludwig Jr. gifted his older brother for the work his father had done for the company.  

His family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, from where Jon inherited the kit and started taking lessons from 1965.  At the same time, he had his ear glued on the radio as he played along some of the greatest hits. He most enjoyed the works of Gene Krupa and Elvis, but he could work with anything else he came across. His favorite band was the Beatles then.

In 1968, the family moved again, settling in Los Angeles. It was from here that he decided to focus his energy on becoming a professional drummer. He now had a chance to take more serious lessons and even joined the advanced band class in his school. Jon also became a member of a local junior marching band in his community.

He later played the instruments for a precision marching band, where he learned to improve his rudiments. Jon was a major member in the high school theater arts band that played for the school productions like Music Man, Hello Dolly, and My Fair Lady.  His talents caught the attention of another school, for which he joined a stage band for one semester.

Jon made his first recording when he was only 13 years old. He worked with guitarist Al Casey. At the same time, he performed with youth orchestras, played at the California state and national junior band competition finals, and won the 1974 LA County Battle of the Bands with his group at the Hollywood Bowl. These early achievements prepared him for a great career ahead.

By the end of his teen years, Jon was already a highly sought-after drummer. He was already working with a wide range of successful musicians. He left home between 1975 and 76 to attend a local college, which was quiet years for him. He started living his dream and playing drums seriously in 1977. He worked with a wide range of bands, one of them being Nipper. 

He exited 1980 after facing too many distractions and was invited for an interview by Dr. Demento. He then met “Weird AL” Yankovic, with whom he has worked on many projects. They started together with a debut of his parody, Another One Rides The Bus live. The drummer has produced many award-winning projects. He left Westwood One in 1996 to pursue his interest in website design, which he has been doing alongside the busy drumming schedule.

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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