Four Inane Questions with Billy Brimblecom, Jr. of Thundergong!

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Billy Brimblecom, Jr. // Photo by Samantha Levi

If Billy Brimblecom, Jr. looks vaguely familiar, it’s because he’s kind of a big deal. Besides being the drummer and band leader for the ultra-popular cover band Summer Breeze: A Tribute to Yacht Rock, he’s also the executive director of Steps of Faith Foundation. This KC-based nonprofit has helped uninsured amputees throughout the U.S. since 2013. (It’s a cause that’s close to Brimblecom, Jr.’s heart, as the musician lost his left leg to cancer back in 2005.)

As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also the creator of KC’s raucous Thundergong!an annual variety show filled with a random assortment of celebs who perform, uh, general randomness. The charity extravaganza, which is happening this Saturday, Nov. 12, helps benefit Steps of Faith. 

Oh, and did we mention he’s wrangled his bestie Jason Sudeikis to help? Yes, Ted Lasso himself will host the event at the Uptown Theater for the sixth year in a row. 

We caught up with Brimblecom, Jr. during rehearsals this week to ask him our line-up of the dumbest questions we could think of. We can’t tell if he was impressed or appalled. Probably both.

The Pitch: A famous drummer can’t make it on stage for a concert. Drummer down! Which band could you step in for at the last minute without hesitation?

Billy Brimblecom, Jr.: Easily, Led Zeppelin. I could probably play any of their songs right now. They’re written on my heart—and on my arm (I have a Zeppelin tattoo, and I’m still proud of it). The same would apply to Foo Fighters, The Beatles, The Stones, The Police, and probably Elvis Costello.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Madonna. This was the first-wave, first-album Madonna. 

I even had a little mini collage of pictures of her on my wall that I cut out of magazines. Embarrassing but true. My plan was that, eventually, I would become her lucky star and when I got old enough, she’d be my wife. Safe to say I dodged a bullet on that one.

What’s an in-depth analysis of your sleep patterns?

We put the kids to bed, and then I’ll try to turn my brain off by watching something mindless with my wife—and then crash. I’ll wake up to pee at some point (it’s called aging, folks). And then try not to look at the clock while I’m up and fall back to sleep before my brain turns back on. Wake up and usually try to analyze some dream.

Out of all the gongs in the world, which one do you consider the most thunderous?

This is a three-way tie. That can be a thing, right? 

John Bonham’s (Led Zeppelin’s drummer) gong that he’d beat the crap out of at the end of his drum solo—while it was on fire. 

Alex Van Halen had maybe the biggest gong ever seen in Van Halen’s “Poundcake” video. And that song used a power drill, too. Rock’n’roll is both dumb and wonderful. 

And, of course, it’s the metaphorical Thundergong! we create onstage every November! (Hint—get your tickets now!)

Bonus 5th Question: Personality-wise, which cartoon character best represents you in real life? 

Probably George Jetson if, for nothing else, I want my own airplane. Remember, his car was a jet that folded up into his briefcase. I seriously want that. Badly. 


Categories: Culture