John Bonham’s drum part in Led Zeppelin‘s “Good Times Bad Times” is one of classic rock’s most legendary grooves. And, thanks to the skipping kick-drum part in the verse, one of the trickiest to pull off. That’s just one reason we’re so impressed with the above video of eight-year-old drummer Yoyoka Soma.
The young Japanese prodigy has been at it since age two, and now plays in a family band. She effortlessly nails the entire Zeppelin song (watch her foot at the 25-second mark), complete with stylish cowbell flair.
The Internet is teeming with cover videos, many of them by kids like Soma. But there’s something special about this one, which was originally a submission to the Hit Like a Girl drumming contest. It’s not just the accuracy of the performance; it’s her loping, laid-back approach, which is not only Bonham’s greatest contribution to rock percussion – it’s the hardest part of his style to imitate.
And then there’s the glee. Watching Soma whip around the kit during the chorus, you can feel the joy and abandon pouring out of her. This goes beyond “cute kid playing drums” and touches on something surprisingly transcendent.
Robert Plant apparently agrees. As seen above, when shown the video by a host on CBC’s q, he beamed, put on his glasses and leaned in for a closer look. “It’s like falling off a log for her,” the singer said, referring to how comfortable Soma appears behind the kit. Then he cracked, “I know where she can get a good job,” suggesting that he might be interested in working with the young drummer. When asked by the host what Bonham would have thought of the video, Plant responded, “I think he’d be amazed; I think he’d be so chuffed.” For anyone covering Led Zeppelin, the praise doesn’t get much more effusive than that.