“Eyes on the drummer; you never know what he'll do next.” That’s advice from The Seattle Times about local musical legend, Jon Bolton.
AS THE LEAD SINGER AND/OR DRUMMER IN A NUMBER OF BANDS, JON IS FAMOUS FOR HIS WILD STAGE PRESENCE, ZANY ANTICS, CELEBRITY IMPERSONATIONS, HUMOR, AND THE UNIQUE ABILITY TO DO ALL OF THIS WHILE MAINTAINING A STEADY BEAT AND DELIVERING AN ECLECTIC STYLE OF ENTERTAINMENT. A MINUTE IN THE AUDIENCE IS ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE SEATTLE TIMES DESCRIBED HIM AS “KEITH MOON MEETS JIM CARREY.”
JON’S COVER BAND CAREER JUMP-STARTED IN 1998 WITH THE BEATNIKS, AND WAS QUICKLY TOUTED AS “THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE BAND'S PERFORMANCE” (THE STRANGER). HE WAS FEATURED WITH THE BEATNIKS ON VH1'S COVER WARS. THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, BOLTON HAS SHARED THE STAGE WITH ROGER DALTREY (THE WHO), ALAN WHITE (YES), PAUL RODGERS (FREE, BAD COMPANY, QUEEN), PAUL ALLEN, AND BRUCE WILLIS. HIS GROUPS, THE BEATNIKS AND THE HERDING CATS, HAVE BEEN BOOKED FOR PRIVATE SHOWS ALONGSIDE POISON, KID ROCK, ONEREPUBLIC, PITBULL, DON FELDER (THE EAGLES), FLO RIDA, HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS, TONE LŌC, AND BRYAN ADAMS. AS A SOLO PERFORMER, BOLTON WAS FEATURED FOR SEVERAL YEARS AT THE ANNUAL DRUMMING EXHIBITION, WOODSTICK, ALONGSIDE DRUMMERS FROM THE BANDS OF ALICE COOPER, PEARL JAM, SOUNDGARDEN, ACDC, TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS, JASON ALDEAN, AND CHICAGO. BOLTON IS ALSO FEATURED ALONGSIDE OTHER WORLD-CLASS DRUMMERS IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK, STICKS 'N' SKINS.
AS OF SUMMER 2023, JON IS TOURING WITH THE BEACH BOYS, WHO HAVE NICKNAMED HIM ‘BOLT,’ “BECAUSE HE’S FULL OF ENERGY” (ENDLESS SUMMER QUARTERLY). RECRUITED FOR THE GIG BY JOHN STAMOS, BOLT IS EXCITED TO ‘RIDE THE WAVE’ OF THIS NEXT SEASON IN HIS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CAREER.
“IT’S AS THOUGH RINGO STARR, KEITH MOON, DENNIS WILSON, AND ANIMAL [FROM THE MUPPETS] HAD A CHILD. I’M NOT KIDDING. JON PLAYS ‘OFF THE BEAT’ FILLS LIKE RINGO, CLUBS THE DRUMS LIKE DENNIS AND KEITH, AND HIS ‘KID IN A CANDY STORE’ SMILE IS INFECTIOUS. IF YOU WEREN’T HAVING FUN DURING THE SHOW, ALL YOU NEED DO IS LOOK AT JON. PROBLEM SOLVED.”
“SKOK CALLED BOLTON ‘THE CLOSEST THING TO KEITH MOON’ HE’S EVER SEEN. ‘HE’S ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING SEATTLE-AREA DRUMMERS, AND HE’S THE RARE DRUMMER WHO CAN REALLY SING AND DO IT WELL,’ SKOK CONTINUED. ‘HE’S A JOY TO WATCH.’”
“Focus on the drummer — like you can focus on anything else. Even when he is just sitting there playing, he's never just sitting there playing — forever twirling his sticks, hitting the cymbals behind his back, keeping time by hitting himself in the head.”
“Jon Bolton, the passionate drummer from the Beatniks, was incredible as usual, and took center stage with most lead vocals as well. This was a definite change from the Lennon Jam, where other band members took turns with lead vocals. Jon's tabasco sauce must have been working a double shift that night.”
“There is no way that still photographs can begin to impart the frenetic person that is Jon Bolton. The speed of his drum riffs, the dead-on Kermit voice, the non-stop interaction with his fans. ...Soft spoken and personable offstage, Bolton brings to a conversation an encyclopedic knowledge of 60’s British rock and roll.”
— Eastside Sun
“If you think there's nothing very invigorating about watching a band play other people's songs, you haven't seen the Herding Cats. The crowd definitely responds to all the energy this drumming madman throws out from the stage. ”