Jon Shimmin is a hard-working local drummer with a day job; at night, he's at area clubs behind the skins. He has played in several bands such as the Reaganomics, Junk, and Negative Filter. Sometimes he's in a number of bands, sometimes one, but he's always playing.
Shimmin recalls, "A drum instructor, Pat Patrillo, from when I marched drum corps, found out I was going to school at Berklee College of Music in Boston and said, 'Play out as much as possible. Get in front of as many people and play as many gigs as you can.' I think that has been the best thing...I used to get sort of a stage fright where my legs would go numb, and I couldn't tell if I was going to hit my kick drum on the right beat or not."
He emigrated from Chicago to San Diego five years ago after a divorce. He feels Southern California was his destiny -- "There are no waves to surf in Chicago." When he was packing up to move, he found his high school yearbook in which someone had written, "You're a great drummer, and good luck in California!"
"I remember...I was probably a sophomore in high school, up in my room rocking out to Van Halen, headphones on, mirrored shades, sleeveless T-shirt, shorts, wristbands, headband -- I look over, and there in my room are two girls from my school that my mom, for some reason, let in. I was so embarrassed."
Shimmin lives in Ocean Beach, a haven for San Diego musicians. I tell him there isn't a block in OB where you can't find at least one musician jamming and practicing, and he agrees. He used to live in a tiny apartment in the OB "war zone" but is now in a condo close to the beach.
ALL-TIME FAVORITE BAND?
"Depends on what era we're talking about. Growing up and learning drums, it was always Rush and Van Halen. I think every drummer loved Neil Peart."
FAVORITE DEAD CELEBRITY?
"John Bonham, the drummer from Zeppelin, was a god. I would have loved to see how his career and Zep's would have developed. He was making sounds that no drummer was making in rock at that time."
FAVORITE LIVE CELEBRITY?
"Jessica Alba. She is...perfection. Especially as the [invisible] chick from Fantastic Four and the cowgirl/stripper from Sin City."
SEXIEST LOCAL PERFORMER?
"Andrea, from the band Sick Eddy, is hot. She's also a host on Flashrock.com and goes by QMD. An amazing performer -- great, powerful voice and excellent show-woman-ship. Short skirts and rock attitude. She was in my band Junk a few years ago."
LAST BOOK READ?
"I read a lot of self-help books about positive thinking, building self-esteem, being grateful for the things I have, being able to accomplish anything. I love that shit -- it makes me feel good."
"I love, on a Sunday afternoon -- I swore I'd never tell anyone this -- an exotic-berry wine cooler. Yes, the favorite drink of cheerleaders worldwide. They're sweet, delicious, and refreshing."
"I've had a bunch of bad jobs. Did you see the movie Rock Star where Mark Wahlberg had the ponytail and was fixing copiers? That was me for a while. And the guy was, like, 'Are you wearing eyeliner?' And he said, 'I'm in a band!' Actually, I was approached by my boss with the ultimatum that I either cut my hair or get a new job. See ya!
"I grew up in the country, so I've bailed a lot of hay. Now that is a tough job. All the dust and hay in your eyes, nose, mouth and throwing those heavy bails as far as you can. Great workout! You'll sleep 20 hours after a day of doing that.
"Everyone's had a fast-food job, right? Mine was Au Bon Pain. They're more east...it's French-bakery fast food. I was a starving musician and remember many times grabbing the old ham 'n' cheese croissants that they were going to toss and having a decent meal."