SONOMA, CA—When Pastor Kenneth Weiland returned to his church sanctuary on Sunday, upon turning on the house lights, he heard an anguished moan coming from the stage. That's when he noticed a trembling figure pressed against the inside of the plexiglass drum cage, pleading for release.
It was every pastor's worst nightmare: he had forgotten to let the drummer, 34-year-old Jackson Everest out of his drum cage the previous Sunday after church. The drummer had gone seven days without food and only a small amount of water from the Evian bottle he had taken on stage to perform last Sunday morning.
When discovered, Everest had sunken eyes, loose skin on his extremities, and his ribs and other bones were showing. His drum sticks had been gnawed at and the skin of his snare drum had been entirely devoured. "I thought drum heads were made of animal skin," Everest later told authorities, "but I'm pretty sure it was pure plastic." An overturned floor tom had been used as a makeshift toilet.
Paramedics on the scene said that at first Everest was unable to move, but when they fed him some bagels from the foyer and gave him a sip of freshly-brewed extra-light roast coffee, he perked right up. It was about that time the rest of the worship team arrived to get warmed up.
"He just sat right back down on the stool and started playing," said pastor Weiland. "Guy's a machine."
"I just love drumming," Everest said.
Weiland says he set a reminder on his phone this Sunday to let the drummer out at the end of the second service but has placed an emergency kit with trail bars and bottled water inside the cage, just in case.