Saturday, March 26, 2011

Interview with the Bus Drummer

Thanks to Erin for pointing this out, a chance interview with the Bus Drummer. Reposted via @ The Uniter:

Random interview with a Winnipeg icon
By Lauren Parsons

I was walking through Winnipeg Square, avoiding the wind and snow on Portage Avenue, and decided to stop off at McDonald’s to grab a water and investigate if it’s true that they are giving away coffee free of charge, no purchase necessary. As it turns out, They are.

Considering the location of this particular McDonald’s, it was interesting to see the mix of businesspeople and downtown dwellers who have communally joined together in storming the front lines of the golden arches for their tasty java cup.

I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell – so after acquiring aforementioned water I lingered in the lobby breathing in that crisp fresh roasted scent when I saw him.

He was sitting solo at a table for four, workbooks sprawled across the table, a stack of Christmas cards, a Big Mac with fries and a cola and of course his signature items: Drumsticks and a Walkman.

Yes. Lucky me, to have encountered the drummer guy from the bus.

I took a deep breath, took a chug of water, introduced myself and asked if I could interview him.

He agreed; I promptly pulled out my voice-recording, photo-taking Blackberry (the only thing you really need these days) and began.

Here is a brief exerpt from my interview with Leslie Styles, The Drummer Guy:

Me: You’re famous, did you know that?
Les: Haha. Me? No.
Me: So many people know who you are, so it’s really interesting.
Les: Oh yeah! Oh yeah, a lot of people say hi.
Me: I know I see you on the bus a lot.
Les: I’m on the bus every single day, every single day. I’m either going for coffee or going to work for the day.
Me: Most people know you as the ‘drummer guy’ on the bus.
Les: Uh-huh! I’ve been doing it for, what, 12 years now.
Me: Really? And always on the same bus? I usually see you on the 18 Corydon.
Les: Usually on the 18 or the 16, sometimes the 15.
Me: Where are you usually going?
Les: Well, I go to work around the Sargent area (the 15).
Me: And for work, I see you run your own business.
Les: Yep. For lawn care and snow removal.
Me: Cool – how long have you been doing that?
Les: On my own – probably about five or six years.
Me: So why the drumming?
Les: Well, because I’ve always wanted to play for a band, but I’ve never found one to get into.
Me: Do you have your own drum-set?
Les: I wish! (laughs) Even if I were to go out and buy one, I don’t think I’d have the room to put one.
Me: Have you even taken lessons?
Les: Nope.
Me: What else do you do?
Les: Not a whole heck of a lot (laughs). I’m a season ticket holder for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (he holds up his lanyard). I’ve been a season ticket holder for four years now.

He explained that a majority of the time he’s listening to Brooks and Dunn, but he loves AC/DC and went to their stadium show last August.

When I left him he continued writing Christmas cards to his 16 loyal lawn care/snow removal clients, and told me to say hi to him next time I see him on the bus.

And next time you see Les on the bus, you should say hi too. He’d love to talk to you.


  1. This is heartwarming and adorable.
    Great blog J. Keep giving everyone a venue for their bus stories!

  2. I was on the 16 on April 2 and there was the Bus Drummer sitting right behind the bus driver - I sat a couple of rows back and was listening to my own music - During the trip The Hip were playing Fully Completely and his drumming matched the song perfectly! What a treat

  3. Thanks, I really enjoyed this story. It's nice to see that not ALL people on the bus are insane. HAH.