As many of you know if you’ve been reading my columns here for a while, my son Jesse Bergen has been a student at School of Rock here in Los Angeles, CA, for almost 5 years now. He’s primarily a guitar player, but is also proficient at bass, vocals, and drums. We’re very fortunate to live in L.A. where celebrities often stop by to support the school and mentor the kids.
Mine is a family of metalheads, so you can imagine our excitement when we heard that on Friday, August 21, 2015, David Ellefson, bass player and founding member of Megadeth, would be dropping by for a Q&A and jamming with the kids. So my son and his fellow house band members set about learning two Megadeth classics.
Check out my videos of the performances here below, along with my firsthand account of the event.
When the day arrived, a hundred or so people showed up at The Greenway Court theater just around the corner from School of Rock Fairfax for the event. Ellefson lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and became familiar with School of Rock when his son convinced him to be a celebrity judge at an event that was being held by the local franchise. It was there that he discovered and started mentoring an all-female band known as Doll Skin.
Mr. Ellefson brought the ladies of Doll Skin along to open the day’s event. These gals are age 15-18 and I have to tell you, they really impressed this jaded old rocker. Their originals were great, the couple of covers that they played were well chosen and expertly executed and their image, musicianship, and stage presence were extremely memorable. I wish that I had gotten video of them to share with you. Nonetheless, you should go look them up and support them. I really believe that they have a shot at breaking through to widespread acclaim.
After Doll Skin finished, Ellefson took to the stage and told the story of his introduction to music, up through the early days of starting Megadeth and even touched on the present and future of the band. He offered a lot of good insights to the kids and opened up the floor to questions.
After a few questions, the moment of truth arrived and he invited the School of Rock house band up to play the songs that they had learned with him. The first tune was “Symphony of Destruction.” My son got to play lead guitar on this one. Unfortunately, his amp was not loud enough to be very audible in the video, but he did a fantastic job and Ellefson even complimented him on his performance afterward.
The next tune was the song that started it all for Megadeth, “Peace Sells (But Who’s Buying?).” Jesse played rhythm guitar on this one. This time the technical issues were with the P.A. system, which cut out on the singer sporadically.
At the conclusion of the performance, the bassist hung around taking pictures with the kids, talking to them, signing autographs, and congratulating them on their performance. We picked up some Doll Skin t-shirts and headed out.
I just want to give a huge “thank you” to Mr. David Ellefson for being such a cool, down to earth guy and taking the time out to jam with and mentor the kids. I know it meant the world to our family. I’m not sure if Jesse has come down off of the high yet.
Video: School of Rock – “Symphony of Destruction”
School of Rock Fairfax (Los Angeles) house band perform the Megadeth classic with Megadeth bass player David Ellefson 8/21/15. My son Jesse Bergen on Lead guitar (green guitar far left).
Video: School of Rock – “Peace Sells”
School of Rock Fairfax (Los Angeles) house band perform the Megadeth classic with Megadeth bass player David Ellefson 8/21/15. My son Jesse Bergen on rhythm guitar (green guitar far left).