Velvet Revolver lends drummer to students

For rock and roll fans, certain opportunities rank as life time experiences. Among these are meeting a rock star, and Saddleback students were able to do just that May 3.

Matt Sorum, drummer for such bands as The Cult, Guns and Roses, and currently Velvet Revolver, came to speak in FA 101 to a full house. The event was hosted by music instructor Terry Newman as a special treat for students taking his history of rock classes.

Sorum grew up in Mission Viejo and attended Mission Viejo High School before graduating from Silverado High School. He recalled his musical career starting at a very young age when in 1966 he saw The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. After seeing Ringo Starr play drums, he immediately asked his mother for a set of his own.

While attending Mission Viejo High School, Sorum took a number of classes with Newman including, jazz band, marching band and wind ensemble. After graduating, Sorum moved to Hollywood to start his careers.

He explained his journey to becoming a rock start through auditions and perseverance.

After joining The Cult in 1988, Sorum received his first real taste of being a rock star. He had four days of rehearsal with the band before going on a world tour to open for Metallica. When the tour was over, Sorum would go on to join the well-known Guns and Roses after the bands original drummer, Steven Atler, had been removed. Sorum left Guns and Roses in 1996 and began producing such artists as Poe and others.

Sorum eventually went on to become one of the founding members of Velvet Revolver, a band that includes former Guns and Roses members Slash and Duff McKagan, Dave Kushner, and former Stone Temple Pilot’s front-man, Scott Weiland.

Attendees were able to ask Sorum questions after the rock star had finished talking about his eventful life.

“I never really knew that much about him before,” said Derek Scannell, 19, undecided. “It was awesome that he found time to come and talk to us.”

Students will surely not soon forget their once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with a true rock star who helped to show that through perseverance, anyone can achieve their dream.

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