“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. In addition to drums, Jon also plays the guitar, bass guitar, and piano. In his spare time, he likes to write and arrange original music and perform with his local church. You can catch Jon performing with different groups such as The Beatniks, Epic Queen, Stella, Beasts of Burden, Apple Jam and others but you are most likely to see him on a Sunday night in downtown Kirkland, WA with the Herding Cats. Jon is pretty much a pop music encyclopedia, therefore he can improvise almost any request. Not only does he have thousands of songs in his repertoire but he can tell you the innermost details about those songs, the artists, and the trends supporting their eras.
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, and was quickly touted as “the highlight of the band's performance”. 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 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 featured alongside other world-class drummers in the photography book, Sticks 'n' Skins, and in the upcoming TV series, Be Great!. His musical performances have been received consistently well from diverse cultures internationally.
“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.”
“That totally insane drummer!”
“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. ”
“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
“When friends or family visit me in Seattle, one of my top priorities is to make sure that they catch a Jon Bolton performance before they leave!”
— Bryan Walters, Seattle Seahawks