Band success for banned drummer

ONLY four years ago Ashley Howard was banned from playing the drums – today he stands on the edge of pop stardom.When young teenager Ashley Howard , or Ash as he prefers to be known, began playing the drums the obvious step for him was to join a band and start playing gigs around town.

By Victoria Knowles

ONLY four years ago Ashley Howard was banned from playing the drums – today he stands on the edge of pop stardom.

When young teenager Ashley Howard , or Ash as he prefers to be known, began playing the drums the obvious step for him was to join a band and start playing gigs around town.

But his dreams were shattered when back in 1998, The Earl Roberts pub banned him from playing because he was under age.


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The Evening Star reported how it even led to Ash, along with Toni Vines handing a petition to Suffolk MP Michael Lord back in May 1998.

At the time it caused quite a stir among entertainment names in the area who warned that one day this boy may be famous.

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No doubt these words of warning will be ringing loudly in the ears of those who shattered his dreams as while the Earl Roberts in Cox Lane, Ipswich called time on trading back in 1998 Ash is still going strong.

In fact he is about to make his way to America to join a new band hand-picked by Chester Bennington, frontman of platinum selling rap-metal band Linkin Park.

Former Thurleston High pupil Ash flies to Pheonix on November 11 to start this exciting new band which does not have a name yet.

He landed the drumming job after Chester's father visited Ash and his parents at their Dales View Road home in Ipswich.

"Three weeks ago I had a call from Mace Beyers, who used to play base in a band called Grey Daze, which Chester was in before Linkin Park.

"He said he was setting up a new band and they had a new singer they were very excited about, but could not find a suitable drummer.

"They asked me if I was interested in joining," he said.

This could not have come at a better time for the 20-year-old whose last band, Freefall Angels split up earlier this year. Since then Ash has been playing with Steve Linton, giving drumming lessons and working in a supermarket.

"It's a fantastic opportunity. I think Chester is putting money in to the group although he is not going to be in it himself. It is excellent he had recommended me. He has heard my bands' demos and seen me play the drums," he added.

The two families became friends after Ash's dad's brother went in to business with Mr Bennington's partner back in the late 1980s.

Ash will be saying goodbye to Suffolk with a farewell gig by the Steve Linton band at the Milestone pub in Ipswich on November 9.

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