No Drama Drums

Story collected by Will McGuirk, website:

Octavio Alonso, a resident of Newcastle of Cuban heritage, went viral even as the Covid-19 virus spread around the globe. Alonso, a Nuclear Mechanical Engineer with 30 years experience, had decided to upload some videos of him drumming away in his basement, during his breaks from working at home.

“I love music, you can say it is my passion. I like playing drums, percussion in general. Last year, 2020, on Mother's Day my older granddaughter took a video of me playing some drums and I posted it on Facebook. On Father's Day we also recorded some videos of me playing the drums again, my younger granddaughter dancing and I posted the videos on Facebook, all very casual,” he says.

“Because the weather was nice, in the summer I relocated my drums outside the house (we used to live on a farm), and I would play in my spare time. On my birthday, which is in July, we were celebrating with my daughters and granddaughters, listening to music and we started to jam. More videos to Facebook. Because many of the FB connections say Happy Birthday, they saw the videos and started to write comments on them, apparently they liked them!

“There was a time of lockdowns due to the pandemic. I have friends connected to my Facebook page all over the world, many of my high school classmates, and I started to cover some of our favourite teenage year songs, mostly classic rock, and post them on my page. This became my main entertainment after work.

“I felt motivated to entertain my friends and connections, who were sitting at home sometimes bored and couldn't go practically anywhere because of the restrictions due to the pandemic.

“To not overload my own FB wall, I created a FB page called ‘No Drama Drums’, based on a suggestion from one of my daughters,and I started to post music videos there. I also created a YouTube channel, where I have over 100,000 views!”

“It has been amazing to be able to connect with a worldwide audience from my home, in my spare time,” he says, “I got all kinds of feedback from my videos, mostly encouraging and supportive and to my surprise, even many people like my music. If I have a message today, it is that it is never too late for your ideas or dreams, even in the worst of conditions.”

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