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Whitey Glan 11/2017

November 7, 2017 – Pentti “Whitey” Glan was born on July 8, 1946 in Finland , just after World War II had come to an end and tensions with Russia were high. The family moved to Toronto Canada soon after.

Whitey Glan’s first serious band was the Canadian soul band The Rogues (later called Mandala) which he formed with keyboardist Josef Chirowski and bassist Don Elliot; they had worked together in other teenage bands like Whitey & The Roulettes. Mandala had their first hit single with “Opportunity” with original singer George Oliver, recorded at Chess Records.

In 1966 Glan played several shows with Mandala in Ontario and recorded the first two demo songs of his career (“I Can’t Hold Out No Longer” and “I’ll Make It Up To You”). Roy Kenner had replaced George Oliver. When they played their first shows in the USA they performed at the Whiskey A Go Go. They recorded their only album Soul Crusade in 1968 which produced a hit single (“Loveitis”) but they disbanded in 1969 after several line-up changes and poor album sales. Continue reading Whitey Glan 11/2017

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Grady Tate 10/2017

October 8, 2017 – Grady Tate was born on January 14, 1932 in Hayti, Durham, North Carolina. In 1963 he moved to New York City, where he became the drummer in Quincy Jones’s band.

Grady Tate’s drumming helped to define a particular hard bop, soul jazz and organ trio sound during the mid-1960s and beyond. His slick, layered and intense sound is instantly recognizable for its understated style in which he integrates his trademark subtle nuances with sharp, crisp “on top of the beat” timing (in comparison to playing slightly before, or slightly after the beat). The Grady Tate sound can be heard prominently on many of the classic Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery albums recorded on the Verve label in the 1960s. Continue reading Grady Tate 10/2017

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Laudir de Oliveira 9/2017

September 17, 2017 – Laudir de Oliveira was born January 6, 1940 in Rio de Janeiro.  de Oliveira started out as a percussionist in Brazil, working with Sergio Mendes and Marcos Valle. He moved to the United States in 1968 and caught the eye of rock musicians and producers. Credited simply as “Laudir”, he also appeared on Joe Cocker’s 1969 debut album, playing on his hit single “Feelin’ Alright”.

In 1973, Chicago invited de Oliveira to play on their album “Chicago VI.” After playing on the albums Chicago VI and Chicago VII as a sideman, de Oliveira officially joined the band in 1975. Continue reading Laudir de Oliveira 9/2017

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Grant Hart 9/2017

Grant Hart of Husker DuSeptember 13, 2017 – Grant Hart (Hüsker Dü) was born in St. Paul, MN on March 18, 1961 and at the age of 10, he inherited his older brother’s drum set and records, after he was killed by a drunk driver. Hart described his family as a “typical American dysfunctional family. Not very abusive, though. Nothing really to complain about.” He soon began playing in a number of makeshift bands throughout high school. Continue reading Grant Hart 9/2017

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Frank Capp 9/2017

August 20, 1931 – Frank Capp was born Francis W. Cappuccio on August 20, 1931 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His uncles worked at Walberg and Auge, a percussion accessory manufacturer. One of them brought a pair of drumsticks home when he was four or five years old. He started banging on the furniture with the sticks, and I ultimately became a drummer. At age 14 he worked in the same music manufacturer shop which got him to the next phase of drumming. And when his dad later bought him his first Slingerland kit, he started a high school dance band and drumming became his life.

At age 19 he was recommended by a mutual friend and began playing with Stan Kenton in California starting in 1951 and remained with Kenton for a couple of years.This auspicious beginning was followed by a career as one of the hardest-working studio players in Los Angeles and as a drummer sought after by some of the world’s biggest singing stars and bandleaders—accomplishments that have almost been eclipsed by his success as a musical contractor. Continue reading Frank Capp 9/2017

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Virgil Howe 9/2017

September 11, 2017 – Virgil Howe was born on September 23, 1975 in London, England, the second son to Yes founding member/ guitarist Steve Howe. He played on several of his father’s projects: he performed on keys, alongside his brother Dylan Howe on drums, for the Steve Howe solo albums The Grand Scheme of Things (1993) and Spectrum (2005). He was in Steve Howe’s Remedy band, who released an album Elements (2003), toured the UK and then released a live DVD. He wrote and performed on a piece on his father’s 2011 release Time. He also plays drums on 11 tracks of Steve Howe’s Anthology 2: Groups and Collaborations that were largely recorded in the 1980s. Under the name The Verge, Virgil Howe produced the Yes Remixes album, released 2003.

Nexus, due November 2017, is a joint album by Virgil & Steve Howe, due on InsideOut. Father Steve described the album: “Most of the credit goes to Virgil on this; it’s Virgil’s bed and melodies but I’ve come in to add a little bit more.” Continue reading Virgil Howe 9/2017

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Nic Ritter 6/2017

nic ritter, drummer for WarbringerJune 3o, 2017 – Nic Ritter (Warbringer) was born Nicholas Dieter Ritter on April 13, 1981 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

There is very little published about Nic Ritter beyond the little over 2 years that he played drums for Southern California metal trash band “Warbringer” and another short stint in 2008 with the band Prototype.

Best known as drummer with Warbringer, Nic joined this latter band in 2008, replacing previous drummer Ryan Bates.
Continue reading Nic Ritter 6/2017

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John Blackwell 7/2017

john blackwell drummer for PrinceJuly 4, 2017 – John Blackwell was born on September 9, 1973 and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and started playing drums at age 3. He learned from his father, John Blackwell Sr., a drummer himself, who played with Mary Wells, King Curtis, Joe Simon, J.J. Jackson, The Drifters, The Spinners, and others. Blackwell stated that he experienced synesthesia since he was a child, seeing colors for musical notes, and was identified as having perfect pitch while in high school.

As a teenager, Blackwell played in both his high-school jazz and marching bands. He began playing in jazz clubs at age 13. At 17, he landed his first professional gig backing jazz singer and bandleader Billy Eckstine. After high school, he attended Berklee College of Music and worked steadily in local Boston jazz clubs. He left Berklee in 1995 to play with the funk band Cameo, a gig which lasted for three years. Continue reading John Blackwell 7/2017

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Jimmy Copley 5/2017

session drummerMay 13, 2017 – Jimmy Copley was born in London on December 29, 1953.

Jimmy started playing drums at the age of 5 years old, accompanying his Mother’s (Nina) Jazz piano at parties. Jimmy turned professional joining the band ‘Spreadeagle’ who had just signed to Charisma Records and performed live, opening for various headlining acts such as ‘Genesis’, ‘Lindisfarne’ and ‘Audience’. Jim recorded the Spreadeagle album ‘The Piece of Paper, produced by Kinks and Who producer: Shel Talmy. Continue reading Jimmy Copley 5/2017

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Clive Brooks 5/2017

Clive Brooks,center, with EggMay 5, 2017 – Clive Brooks was born on December 28, 1949 in Bow, East London where he  was also raised.

Answering a Melody Maker ad in early 1968, Brooks joined Uriel, a blues-rock group in the style of Hendrix / Cream / blues / psychedelic group original formed by three City of London School pupils Dave Stewart (keyboards), Mont Campbell (bass and lead vocals) and Steve Hillage (guitar and vocals). The band re-grouped later under the name Arzachel and released one album in 1969, after they had already changed musical direction. Continue reading Clive Brooks 5/2017

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Casey Jones 5/2017

casey jones, chicago blues first call drummerMay 3, 2017 – Casey Jones (Albert Collins/Johnny Winter) was born July 26, 1939  in Nitta Yuma, Mississippi and raised in Greenville. As a kid he played with the Coleman High School band, but claimed he learned more about drumming from Little Milton’s drummer Lonnie Haynes, than from the band director

In 1956 at age 17, his sister Atlean and her husband Otis Luke enticed him with the promise of a drum kit and entry into the musician’s union, if he would move to Chicago to live with them. True to his word, they went to Frank’s Drum Shop on Wabash Ave and from there on Casey Jones played drums  in Otis’s band. His first gig with Otis Luke & the Rhythm Bombers in 1956 made him $5. Continue reading Casey Jones 5/2017

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Calep Emphrey 4/2017

calep emphrey, drummer for all three blues kingsApril 25, 2017 – Calep Emphrey (played blues with all 3 Kings) was born on May 1, 1949 in Greenville, Mississippi. He started out playing a whole range of wind instruments such as French horn, saxophone, baritone horn and a lot of other brass instruments in the Coleman High School band while growing up. The high school band director Wynchester Davis had a band called the Green Tops, which went all around the state. He went on to play in a concert band in college at Mississippi Valley State, where he was a music major in 1967-1968.

Professionally, he started off with Little Milton about ’69 in Greenville. (Milton was from the Greenville area and Emphrey used to hang around him a lot.) Milton needed somebody to fill the drummer position and he called Calep, who admitted, “I couldn’t make no money with the French horn.” Continue reading Calep Emphrey 4/2017

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Barry “Frosty” Smith 4/2017

Barry Smith, a musician's drummer

April 12, 2017 – Barry “Frosty” Smith (Soulhat/Sweathog) was born Barry Eugene Smith on March 20, 1946 in Bellingham, Washington.

Smith was raised in the California Bay Area, where he proved a tap dancing prodigy. He was a professional tap dancer from age 3 to 12. Obviously rhythm was part of him. He received schooling in classical piano before taking to the drum kit, due to their natural feel. After playing in dive clubs and strip bars in the San Francisco – San José area, he moved to Los Angeles in the early 70s where he got his first big break, as drummer for organist Lee Michaels with whom he toured nationally and internationally. Continue reading Barry “Frosty” Smith 4/2017

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Keni Richards 4/2017

autograph drummer keni richardsApril 8, 2017 – Keni Richards was born in 1956 in Des Moines, Iowa but spent his high school years Village Park California. As a youth he learned to play the piano and picked up the drums.

Keni Richards on how it all started:

I was working with A&M for a band called The TUBES at the time and had played with Steve Plunkett (Autograph singer) in a band around 1980 called John Doe. We had not been a part of that whole Gazarris, Whisky club thing going on with all the metal bands. We did however, have a gig working on a demo at Record Plant with Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin) and we were really invested in that. I had gotten an invitation from my good friend then and jogging buddy David Lee Roth to go out on the road with him in 1984…..to just go out and party basically and I explained to him that I couldn’t and I had this gig doing a demo and that was it. The next day I go down to The Troubadour club with Dave and he goes hey I got a surprise for you, Edward’s on the phone for you. So I get on the phone with Eddie Van Halen and he’s like “Hey, we need a T-shirt band” and of course I’m like “Well, what’s a T-shirt band” and Eddie Van Halen’s like “It’s a band that goes out on the road with us and people boo you cuz they don’t like you and they go buy one of our t-shirts” (laughs). Continue reading Keni Richards 4/2017

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Sib Hashian 3/2017

boston drummerMarch 22, 2017 – Sib Hashian – John Thomas “Sib” Hashian, (drummer for Boston) was born August 17, 1949, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Hashian was of Armenian/Italian ancestry and grew up in Boston’s North Shores area, where he collaborated with most of his Boston band members in a variety of bands during his teenage years.

“I started playing with Sib back in Lynn English High School, and he’s one of a few drummers I’ve ever worked with,” Boston lead guitarist Barry Goudreau told the Globe in 1980, explaining why he turned to his Boston bandmates while preparing a solo outing. Continue reading Sib Hashian 3/2017

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Clyde Stubblefield 2/2017

clyde stubblefield, drummer for james brownFebruary 18, 2017 – Clyde Stubblefield (drummer for James Brown) was born on April 18, 1943 and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Rhythm was in his soul. He was a natural who took his sense of rhythms from the streets, the neighborhoods, the factories and the railroad tracks. He later said that if he could hear a rhythm in his head, he could play it.

Stubblefield was already playing drums professionally in his teenage years when he moved to Macon, Georgia to play with Otis Redding, who hailed from there. In Macon, he performed with soul acts and was introduced to James Brown by a local club owner. Soon, in 1965, he was invited to become a permanent member of Brown’s band.

Over the next six years the band had two drummers, Stubblefield and John “Jabo” Starks who had joined the band two weeks earlier. Starks’ style was influenced by the church music he grew up with in Mobile, Alabama. The two drummers had no formal training. According to Stubblefield, “We just played what we wanted to play (…) We just put down what we felt it should be.Continue reading Clyde Stubblefield 2/2017

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Butch Trucks 1/2017

Butch Trucks, drummer for the Allman Brothers BandJanuary 24, 2017 – Claude Hudson “Butch” Trucks was born on May 11, 1947 in Jacksonville, Florida.

A drummer, one of Trucks’ first bands was local Jacksonville band The Vikings, who made one 7-inch record in 1964. Another early band was The 31st of February which formed and broke up in 1968. This group’s lineup eventually included both Duane Allman and Gregg Allman. They recorded a cover of “Morning Dew”, by 1960s folk singer Bonnie Dobson.

Trucks then helped form The Allman Brothers Band in 1969, along with Duane Allman (guitar), Gregg Allman (vocals and organ), Dickey Betts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), and fellow drummer Jai Johanny Johanson.
Together, the two drummers developed a rhythmic drive that would prove crucial to the band’s success. Trucks laid down a powerful conventional beat while the jazz-influenced Johanson added a second laminate of percussion and ad libitum cymbal flourishes, seamlessly melded into one syncopated sound. Continue reading Butch Trucks 1/2017

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Mike Kellie 1/2017

drummer for Spooky ToothJanuary 18, 2017 – Mike Kellie – (Spooky Tooth, the Only Ones) was born on March 24, 1947 in Birmingham, England into a family with no musical background or inclination.. As a child, he showed an early interest in rhythm, practicing on a coal shuttle with hearth brushes to simulate a snare drum. In his teen years, he joined St. Michaels Youth Club band as a drummer. He later played at “The Track” at Tudor Grange Sports Centre in Solihull. On the basis of this work, he was invited by Brian “Monk” Ffinch to play with Wayne and the Beachcombers in Birmingham, which started his career as a professional musician.

In 1966, Kellie played in Birmingham in a band called the Locomotive with Chris Wood of Traffic, and later with the V.I.P.’s (later Art) in Carlisle.

Steve Winwood was ready to leave The Spencer Davis Group and I was in a band in Birmingham called The Locomotive with Chris Wood on tenor sax & flute. Chris, Steve & Jim Capaldi were forming Traffic at that time, around the latter part of 1966. The other band that Chris Blackwell, who managed the Spencer Davis Group, had was the VIP’s from Carlisle. They were a great rhythm and blues band and had come down to make it in London having conquered the North. Their drummer, Walter Johnson, missed his family and went back to Carlisle. Hence, in the office one day Steve suggested someone call me. I had a day job in a wood yard in Olton. I got a phone call from friend Paul Medcalf who said …“Steve wants to know if you’re interested in joining this band…” So I was off, next day, straight from New Street Station, with my drums, to Paddington. Met by VIP’s road manager, the legendary Albert Heaton I was driven to 155, Oxford Street where I met Mike Harrison and Greg Ridley. I met the rest of the band later that evening. The next day I was in Paris playing at Olympia with the VIP’s without any rehearsal!!  We were bottom of the bill, Chris Blackwell had done this deal for the band to open a star studded variety fundraiser in aid of UNICEF. It was held at Paris Olympia & was televised worldwide, similar to the way ‘All You Need Is Love’ was done. The VIP’s had a single out in France on Fontana and we were over to promote it, a Joe Tex song called ‘I Wanna Be Free’. So I had no real rehearsal, just the journey over in the van. We did the TV show after I had phoned my mother from a Post Office in Paris earlier that day and said ‘Mum, look in the Radio Times, I think we’re on a TV thing tonight.’ The record became a big hit in France following that show.

Manager Chris Blackwell found a singer and organist from the New York Tymes band named Gary Wright, added him to the line-up of Art and launched the band Spooky Tooth with Kellie, Greg Ridley, Jimmy Henshaw, Keith Emerson, Luther Grosvenor and vocalist extraordinaire Mike Harrison.*

With Blackwell being more focused on his fledgling Island Records, and in spite of the band’s wide acceptance in America and the European mainland, Spooky Toothe declined quickly in the early 70s and Kellie joined French Elvis Johnny Hallyday‘s band for a summer tour of France in 1974, before forming The Only Ones in 1976 with Peter Perrett, Alan Mair and John Perry.

The Only Ones, possibly best known for the single “Another Girl, Another Planet”, recorded three albums for CBS, although over time, their catalogue has contained many compilations and other releases, which now outnumber their studio albums.

In February 1978, Johnny Thunders moved to London with his family, and began playing with a loose revue dubbed the Living Dead. Kellie became part of this floating line-up (that also included Perrett along with various Sex Pistols including Steve Jones and Paul Cook) and recorded Thunders’ So Alone album together with his signature song “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”.

Following the Only Ones’ farewell in 1981 at London’s Lyceum, Kellie moved to the countryside north of Toronto, Canada, where he spent four years away from performing. He used this time to learn the piano and write songs.

Returning to Britain in 1985, Kellie spent several years hill farming in North Wales and Scotland where he became a shepherd. In 1999 Kellie reunited with Mike Harrison, Luther Grosvenor and Greg Ridley under the Spooky Tooth moniker. Together they released the Cross Purpose album.

In 2004, Kellie reunited with Mike Harrison and Gary Wright to play dates in Germany as another new incarnation of Spooky Tooth. The band later released the DVD Nomad Poets with live performances from Worpswede and Hamburg, Germany.

In 2007, the Only Ones reformed, touring the UK, Europe and Japan as well as performing on BBC TV’s Later… with Jools Holland.

In 2010, with the Only Ones undergoing another sabbatical, Kellie began recording his own collection of music which become his first solo album. Entitled Music from The Hidden, the album was produced by Kellie who also played drums, organ, bass and acoustic guitars, percussion and sang lead vocals. There are also contributions from Gordon Jackson (acoustic guitar), Finley Barker and Tony Kelsey (guitars), Steve Winwood (organ, mandolin and bass), Bill Hunt, Levi French and Tony Ariss (pianos), Rob Harrison (bass), Steve Gibbons (backing vocals) and Greg Platt Lake (guitar and vocals). The album was released in 2014.

Kellie was prominent among the musicians featured on the six-CD Jess Roden Anthology, presented by Hidden Masters. He contributed to the 2011 sessions for the Distractions re-union album, The End of the Pier, which was released on Occultation Records in 2012.

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Kellie was besides a member of the rock bands the V.I.P.s, Spooky Tooth and the Only Ones, also a prolific session musician and worked with the Who on the film soundtrack of Tommy, Joe Cocker, Traffic, George Harrison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees’s Maurice Gibb, Gary Wright, Johnny Thunders, Luther Grosvenor, Neil Innes, Steve Gibbons, Chris Jagger, Nanette Workman, Sean Tyla, Jim Capaldi, Pat Travers and Andy Fraser.

Mike Kellie died on 18 January 2017 following a short illness at the age of 69.

*For a magnificent account of those early London rock days go to http://www.mikekellie.com/PT_1.htm

Another interesting interview about the early days of British rock is this Interview with Mike Kellie – Spooky Tooth

 

 

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Johnny Dick 1/2017

drummer for Billy ThorpeJanuary 6, 2017 – Johnny Dick. (played with numerous Australian rock bands). Johnny Dick was actually born in June 1943 in Wales in the town of Llanfairfechan, but as stated repeatedly, before he grew old enough to be able to pronounce the town’s name, his parents moved to New Zealand.  

Drumming since the age of 12 Johnny Dick has played with the cream of Aussie music. In New Zealand Johnny met Max Merritt. He first came to Australia as a member of Max Merritt’s band. Billy Thorpe saw Johnny performing with Merritt and offered him a gig in The Aztecs, which he took and played drums with Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs for almost 2 years. Continue reading Johnny Dick 1/2017

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Nick Menza 5/2016

nick-menzaMay 21, 2016 – Nicholas “Nick” Menza was born on July 23, 1964 in Münich, Germany. As the son of jazz musician Don Menza, Nick began playing drums at the age of two, at which age he performed at his first public concert when during the intermission someone sat him down on Jack DeJohnette’s drums and he proceeded to play. His influences stem from being nurtured around the tutelage of such notables as Buddy Rich, Steve Gadd, Nick Ceroli, Jeff Porcaro and Louie Bellson.

Beginning his professional musical career at the age of 18 drumming in the band Rhoads featuring singer Kelle Rhoads, brother of the late Randy Rhoads, Nick released his first record with Rhoads called Into the Future in Europe.

Continue reading Nick Menza 5/2016

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Bruce Rowland 6/2015

bruce-rowlandJune 29, 2015 – Bruce Rowland (Joe Cocker/Fairport Convention) was born at Park Royal, Middlesex on May 22 1941 and spent some of his early professional life as a drum teacher. According to Dave Pegg, the bass guitarist and singer in Fairport Convention, Rowland taught the young Phil Collins how to play the drums.

In 1968, Rowland played on the Wynder K Frog album Out of the Frying Pan and the following year he joined the Grease Band, Joe Cocker’s backing group. It was with Cocker that he was able to reveal his talent for rock drumming.

Continue reading Bruce Rowland 6/2015

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Bob Burns 4/2015

Bob BurnsApril 3, 2015 – Robert Lewis “Bob” Burns Jr. was born November 24, 1950 in Jacksonville, Fla. He took up drumming after watching the Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 and soon after in that same year was invited to join Ronnie van Zant, Albert Collins and Gary Rossington to become a founding member and original drummer of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Burns plays on the band’s earliest demos, recorded in 1970, but on the album Skynyrd’s First and… Last, a collection of early demos, the drum parts of the songs recorded in 1971, are played by guitarist Rickey Medlocke of Blackfoot. That album also contains songs recorded in 1972 which feature Burns on drums, suggesting that Burns may have left the band in 1971 and had returned by 1972. During a brief period in the early 1970s, Medlocke occasionally played alongside Burns on drums for live shows, a two-drummer line-up similar to The Allman Brothers Band. Medlocke later took up guitar and joined Skynyrd in the late 1990s as one of the three lead guitarists.

Continue reading Bob Burns 4/2015

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A.J. Pero 3/2015

AJ PeroMarch 20, 2015 – A. J. Pero was born Anthony Jude Pero (Twisted Sister) on October 14th 1959.  He was initially a jazz drummer, later gravitating to heavier music akin to Rush and Led Zeppelin. He worked as a taxi driver for a time, and joined Cities, a local New York City band.

He joined Twisted Sister in 1981, after seeing them play at a club and being told they were in need of a drummer. After Twisted Sister in 1986, he re-joined Cities. He participated in the Twisted Sisters’ band’s 1997 reunion and continued to perform with them until his death. He was also a member of Ozzy Osbourne cover band No More Tears, well known around Staten Island, New York.

Continue reading A.J. Pero 3/2015

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Bruce Crump 3/2015

Bruce CrumpMarch 16, 2015 – Bruce Crump, Jr. (Molly Hatchett) was born on July 17th 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1976 he became a member of southern rock band Molly Hatchet, appearing on their most successful albums: 1978’s ‘Molly Hatchet’, 1979’s double-platinum ‘Flirtin’ With Disaster’, 1980’s ‘Beatin’ The Odds’ and 1981’s ‘Take No Prisoners’, and playing on hit singles such as “Flirtin’ With Disaster”, “The Rambler”, “Power Play” and “Satisfied Man”.

Crump was a member of Molly Hatchet from 1976, through the turn of the ’90s – save for a brief absence around 1983. He got into the band, Crump once said, almost by accident as a kid in the Jacksonville, Fla., area.

Continue reading Bruce Crump 3/2015

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Dallas Taylor 1/2015

Dallas Taylor January 18, 2015 – Dallas Taylor Jr. was born April 7th 1948 in Denver, Colorado, and grew up mostly in San Antonio and Phoenix. His father, a pilot who had flown in World War II, was later killed performing stunts in an air show. His parents had been divorced years earlier. It was his mother, the former Violet Cantu, who set him on his career path: When he was 10, she took him to see the movie “The Gene Krupa Story,” about the legendary drummer. She died of a heart attack when he was 13.

He dropped out of high school to become a musician and moved to Los Angeles, where he immersed himself in the rock subculture. In the pre-Woodstock 1960s, he played with John Sebastian, and he recorded an album with the short-lived  psychedelic band Clear Light one of the better-remembered psychedelic one-shots of the ’60s. Clear Light recorded one album on Elektra before splitting up. Their California psychedelia was very much in the mold of fellow Elektra artists Love, Tim Buckley, and especially the Doors.

Continue reading Dallas Taylor 1/2015

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Popsy Dixon 1/2015

Willy Popsy DixonJanuary 9, 2015 – Willie Popsy Dixon was born Willie Leonard Dixon in Virginia Beach, Virginia on July 26, 1942.

He was reared by an aunt and uncle. When he was 3, they moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. He grew up in a Pentecostal church, which did much to influence his music, and he attended a Pentecostal boarding school in Tennessee.

“He started playing the drums in church when he was 4 years old,” said his daughter, Desiree Berry of Brooklyn. “My grandfather and a deacon in the church showed him how, and he picked up fast.”

Continue reading Popsy Dixon 1/2015

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Rod de’Ath 8/2014

Rod de'Ath, drummer for Rory GallagherAugust 1, 2014 – Rod de’Ath was born Roderick Morris Buckenham “Rod” de’Ath on June 18, 1950 in Saundersfoot, Wales. He played drums and piano from very early on in his life and won some drum awards in his teenage years. His last name, although awkwardly spelling “death”, was in reality a hint to his Belgian ancestry where the forefathers had lived in a town called Ath.

He was playing with the band Killing Floor when, at short notice, he was offered the job as a temporary substitute for Rory Gallagher’s drummer Wilgar Campbell for a leg of a European tour (Germany/Austria) in 1972. When Campbell left permanently, de’Ath was asked to join full-time. He stayed with Gallagher, performing on several albums, until 1978 when he and keyboard player Lou Martin left the band. Gallagher’s bass guitarist Gerry McAvoy stated that de’Ath “was the most undrummer-like drummer I ever played with. His technique was so strange that it added a whole new dimension to Rory’s sound.”

 I was sharing a house together with Gerry McAvoy at the time and when Wilgar couldn’t play at a few concerts in Bavaria, Germany, I think it was, or Austria, Gerry recommended me to Rory and I replaced Wilgar for a leg of Rory’s European tour Autumn 1972 and I think Rory was quite content with my playing.  It was some months later. when early in the morning, I got a phone call from Rory’s agency whether I would join Rory’s band and come over to Cork that day and play there. I was still with Killing Floor at the time and we had just finished our third album and it was a difficult decision,  but my wife said that an occasion like this would only come up once in my life, so I agreed. I took a plane to Cork and was picked up there at the airport (by Mrs. Gallagher, who drove him to Rory and the rest of the band). From then on I was with Rory and I have not regretted one moment. I was treated and paid well and toured all over the world, and Rory played a lot of concerts and topped many bills at festivals, and I even was voted in the polls drums section.-

After leaving Gallagher’s band, he joined Ramrod and then he played with the Downliners Sect before moving to New York in the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s, he returned to the UK to produce an album for a band called Road Erect. Around this time, he suffered a serious accident while running to catch a train, which led to the loss of one eye and some brain damage. He was in coma for a while and many thought he had passed away. When he showed up at Rory Gallagher’s Memorial service in 1996, many thought they were seeing a ghost.

What had happened to de’Ath in the mysterious years in between is plainly put together in the following interview with Jakob Mulder on www.roryon.com

Jakob: It’s good to see you. How are you?

Rod: Fine, thanks. I hope you’re okay too

Jakob: I’m glad you could make it and are willing I to do this interview for the fan club magazine. I would have talked with you last November had I been sure it was you, but then again I don’t believe in ghosts and mistook you for someone who looked like you rather than it was you, but I’m sure we now can make up for that moment. I was really surprised to find out you are still among us.

Rod: So were many others present. Some of them were really shaking on their feet when they recognized me or when I walked over to them. It was a very special, emotional day for most of us, I’d say.

Jakob: It sure was! How did you find out about this memorial service being held?

Rod: Well. I read about it in the papers and decided to go.

Jakob: You also heard about Rory’s death?

Rod: I did, but I thought it would be macabre going to Rory’s funeral when everyone believed I was dead. It would be out of place showing up then when Rory was actually being buried. That’s why I decided to wait for a more suitable moment and November 8 was the right moment.

Jakob: You must have amazed many people at the time? Did you speak to Lou, Donal, Mrs. Gallagher and Tom?

Rod: Yes, I met them all and it sure was a strange sensation for them, as well as it was for me.

Jakob: Most fans always refer to the line-up with you and Lou as the best Rory ever had.

Rod: To be honest, so do I.

Jakob: Could you tell me how you teamed up with Rory? Did Rory see you play with Killing Floor (the band Rod & Lou were in before they joined Rory in 1972)?

Rod: I don’t think he had seen us play, he might have heard our music though. I was sharing a house together with Gerry McAvoy at the time and when Wilgar couldn’t play at a few concerts in Bavaria, Germany, I think it was, or Austria, Gerry recommended me to Rory and I replaced Wilgar for a leg of Rory’s European tour Autumn 1972 and I think Rory was quite content with my playing. It was some months later. when early in the morning, I got a phone call from Rory’s agency whether I would join Rory’s band and come over to Cork that day and play there. I was still with Killing Floor at the time and we had just finished our third album and it was a difficult decision, but my wife said that an occasion like this would only come up once in my life, so I agreed. I took a plane to Cork and was picked up there at the airport (by Mrs. Gallagher, who drove him to Rory and the rest of the band). From then on I was with Rory and I have not regretted one moment. I was treated and paid well and toured all over the world, and Rory played a lot of concerts and topped many bills at festivals, and I even was voted in the polls drums section.

Jakob: You played the USA a couple of times with Rory. When do you think the time Rory had the best chance of really breaking through on a large scale?

Rod: In 1973, 1974 I’d say. I think we supported Deep Purple or Fleetwood Mac at the time and it turned out that many people showed up for us, rather than the headline act. People were shouting for songs like Tattoo’d Lady, A Million Miles Away, In Your Town. Although Rory had never released singles at the time, which I always regretted as some of them were really fit for it. I really sensed we would make it big over there. It was all still on a small scale, the 4 of us, Donal driving and setting up the stage and doing the sound with a few local roadies. It was only later during the tour when Tom showed up, because Donal had to do so much at the time, and Rory was not too keen about that idea first, but later on they became best friends.

Jakob: Playing such long tours, I think Rory did the longest tour ever at the time, must have been exhausting considering how long the concerts were?

Rod: Yes, but all the time I just did it, although it surprises me how I was able do it considering the hard life, booze and drugs I used and tried out the time. I nearly was sent back at the customs, because of the drugs I carried with me. I lived a wild life off stage at the time and I remember we were doing a festival in Europe once, it was a whole week-end when Keith Moon of the Who, me and another drummer of a very big band were having a wild party that ran a bit out of hand. I don’t recall where it was, probably in Belgium or France (maybe VARA’s Popgala March 1973. Holland? J.M.). I even once ruined a hotel room after too much booze and drugs, was nearly evicted of the hotel we were staying in, but Donal saved the whole situation by explaining how important it was for me to stay there because we had to finish the tour.

Jakob: Who would have expected that of a seemingly quiet man of a band with a good reputation of character?

Rod: Well, it did not happen all the time, but some of the time, and after having seen a doctor in the States once, who told me how seriously I was damaging my health & organs, I radically changed my life-style.

Jakob: Working with Rory must have been an excellent training, I gather, for he used to give long exhausting and demanding concerts.

Rod: Yes, that’s true, but still I think I had had my training long before that. I’ve been playing instruments from my childhood years on. Piano and drums. I was drumming on any object I could find. I won some awards when I was just a teenager in contests and knew I would become a professional drummer. Rory didn’t train me, but in a way, I trained Brendan O’Neill, who was also in the same house as Gerry & me. I even knew Mark Feltham in those days.

Jakob: Your name is Belgian isn’t it? There’s a small village called Ath in Belgium.

Rod: That’s right. My great –grandparents lived there and the great grandfather even was in the army who fought against Napoleon. It was odd that when we played Belgium, fans would often ask me of my descent.

Jakob: Do you recall any special things that occurred in your years with Rory on the road?

Rod: I remember a tour in the States once that went down very well, good receptions everywhere and, as you might remember, I usually threw my split drumsticks into the crowd. And on this particular night, this happened, say 5 or 6 times. After 3 or 4 encores, we got into the dressing room and Rory was the only one who didn’t seem to be content and was brooding. We tried to cheer him up and told him to listen to the crowd and how very good the concert had been. Then after 5 or 10 minutes he came towards me and asked me whether I was angry or if he had done something wrong. I denied that. He then asked me why I was throwing those sticks at him. They had apparently just missed him by one inch or so. I explained that they had broken and that I was trying to please some fan with it. Then he was relieved and we all laughed loud and long . Rory was a sensitive man.

Jakob: I also remember you went to play in Poland. The first Western band to do so.

Rod: That I remember all too well. We did 3 or 4 concerts in Warsaw and Gdansk, if I am not mistaken. The audience was brilliant. They had not seen and heard anything like us before, were quiet during the shows and applauded immensely after the songs & concerts. After the shows, many of the people came backstage to thank us for our concert. From 18 til ‘what have-you’-olds. That was very moving. The last concert was attended mainly by people from former East Germany, who came to Poland in coaches, hundreds and hundreds of them, because we were not allowed to play over there. Probably the Polish government had made a deal with East German government. That concert was a very emotional event and everyone came backstage, lined up and shook hands with us and had tears in their eyes. Our visit in Poland got into many rock magazines, even in Rolling Stone.

Jakob: For the original Photo-Finish album recorded in 1977 in the US, with producer, Elliot Mazer, money and time was not saved. You played some of these songs during your UK Spring ’78 tour and that sounded promising, but that album was never released. Could you tell me a bit about what that album sounded like?

Rod: I thought it was a very good album, the best we had done together. It was more laid back and with several rhythm patterns, sort of Little Feat-ish. I did not have the impression at the time that Rory disliked it, but he withdrew it and later, Lou and I were out of the band, no hard feelings. but until this very day I have not understood why. It was an absolutely great album.

Jakob: After that you kept on playing with Ramrod and sessions at the Bridgehouse with Gerry & Lou-etc. What did you do afterwards?

Rod: I did some studio work and played in some local pubs & clubs and then moved to the States, where I lived for a number of years. Towards the mid eighties, I went back to the UK for a production with a band called Road Erect. They wanted me to produce it and I knew London, so off we went. It was then when I had a severe accident at which I lost one eye, had severe brain damages and got into a coma. As I had no permanent address in London for my house, and because were in the States, it was very difficult for the doctors & nurses to find out who I was and where I stayed.

It was much later when I regained consciousness and was able to move a bit, that I realized that I was awakening, but in the beginning I did not recognize anyone or anything. Very gradually this changed and when the first relatives were at my bedside, I sensed something familiar, but I could not place them. That only happened later on. As I had stayed a long time unconscious in London, my house in States had remained unoccupied for a very long time with the consequence it was looted & I had to start all over again in London with my wife and daughter. I am still seeing doctors regularly for checks and still have bouts of pain regularly, but have outlived their expectancy of my life span, which I celebrated.

Jakob: You cannot play the drums anymore, I guess?

Rod: No, that’s over, unfortunately. I can look back, however, to a long career as a professional drummer with Rory, Killing Floor.

Jakob: It’ s amazing how much you can recollect now!

Rod: It finally got back and I`d say for 95 %.

Jakob: . So you have lost all your possessions and have nothing which reminds you of your career as a professional drummer?

Rod: No, my mother kept an album with all the articles that had appeared in news and rock papers from say my childhood years until 1980 . She even went with me to see Irish Tour ’74 when this was shown at ABC Cinema in London. Unfortunately, she died and my father burnt everything she had kept for and on me.

Jakob: I’m sorry to hear this

After 1996 it once again went quiet around Rod de’Ath until a brief mention in a 2012 Rory Gallagher interview and then  he passed away after a long illness on August 1, 2014 at age 64.

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Tommy Ramone 7/2014

July 11, 2014 – Tommy Ramone (The Ramones) was born Erdélyi Tamás on January 29, 1949 in Budapest, Hungary. The drummer was the last of the original band member of the Ramones. He was born to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust by being hidden by neighbours, although many of his relatives were victims of the Nazis.

The family left Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In 1957, he emigrated with his family to the United States. Initially settling in the South Bronx, the family moved up to the middle-class suburb of Forest Hills in Queens, New York, where Tamás grew up. He changed his name to Thomas Erdelyi. While in high school, he and guitarist Johnny Cummings, who later became Johnny Ramone, performed together in a garage band called the Tangerine Puppets.

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Scott Asheton 3/2014

Scott-AshetonMarch 15, 2014 – Scott Asheton (Iggy Pop & the Stooges) was born Scott Randolph Asheton on Aug. 16, 1949, in Washington DC.  After the death of his father, Ronald, a Marine Corps pilot, his mother, Ann, moved the family to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He co-formed the Stooges in 1967, originally the Psychedelic Stooges, along with his older brother Ron Asheton, Dave Alexander and Iggy Pop. The Stooges  began as kind of amateur avant-gardists — “like jazz gone wild,” Iggy Pop once said.  Scott Asheton’s homemade drum set, as his brother recalled it, included a 55-gallon oil drum, timbales and a snare, though no cymbals.

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Joe Lala 3/2014

Joe-LalaMarch 18, 2014Joe Lala  (Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young) was born on November 3rd 1947 in Ybor City and raised in Florida’s Tampa area.

He started out playing the drums in several Florida bands, before forming the band Blues Image. He also occasionally sang lead vocals, most notably on the song “Leaving My Troubles Behind”.

As a drummer and percussionist, he worked with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Manassas, The Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, Joe Walsh, Andy Gibb and many others. He played the trademark congas that drove the Bee Gees’ 1976 US chart-topper You Should Be Dancing, subsequently included on the multi-million selling Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Lala provided the wide selection of percussive effects on Barbra Streisand’s 1980 worldwide No. 1 album Guilty, and contributed to Whitney Houston’s eponymous 1985 debut album. Throughout his career, Lala accumulated 32 gold records and 28 platinum records.

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Nossi Noske 2/2014

Bernd_NoskeFeb 18, 2014 – Nossi Noske (Birth Control) was born on August 17, 1946 in West Berlin. At age eight he was already singing in the School choir even though music was in those days competing with soccer. He was a very talented soccer player. He played his first gig with the Black Phantoms in the city of Spandau in 1961, but before he enrolled fully into a career as musician he packed food and drove trucks.

His first Band „The Odd Persons“ played gigs in West Germany which included the famous Starclub in Hamburg. In 1969 he succeeded Hugo Egon Balder, in the Band Birth Control, where he played drums and sang until his death in 2014.

In 1983 the band split for ten years after the death of their guitarist Bruno Frenzel; Nossi reunited the band in 1993. In those years he played with Bands such as HardbeatsMr. Goodtrip and Lilly & the Rockets.

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Clive Burr 3/2013

Clive BurrMarch 12, 2013 – Clive Burr (Iron Maiden drummer) was born in London on March 8th 1957.

Previously a member of Samson, he joined Iron Maiden in ’79. An acquaintance of then-Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton, he played on their first 3 records: Iron Maiden, Killers and their breakthrough release The Number of the Beast, but left the band in 1982 due to Iron Maiden’s tour schedule and his personal health problems. Clive co-wrote one song on The Number of the Beast, “Gangland”, and another song, “Total Eclipse”, that was cut from the album and showed up as the b-side of the “Run to the Hills” single, and later on the Number Of The Beast remastered CD re-release. He also appeared on “The Number of the Beast” and “Run To The Hills” videos.

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The Rev Sullivan 12/2009

James the rev sullivanDecember 28, 2009 – 
The Rev Sullivan (The Reverend Tholomew Plague) or more affectionately called “The Rev”, by his many fans, was born James Owen Sullivan on 
February 10, 1981. He attended a Catholic school at Huntington Beach, California, until 2nd grade along with future A7X lead singer M. Shadows.

Jimmy was influenced by musicians such as Vinnie Paul, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, Paul Bostaph and bands like Metallica, Rancid and Transplants. At the age of 17, he did a brief stint with the third-wave ska band Suburban Legends recording their debut album “Origin Edition”.

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Pim Koopman 11/2009

pimkoopman1November 23, 2009 – Pim Koopman was born in Hilversum, the Netherlands on March 11th 1953. In 1972 he co-founded the progressive rock band Kayak along with Ton Scherpenzeel, Johan Slager and Max Werner.

He left the band in 1976 because of health reasons and some issues with the band manager and went on to become a record producer, and was successful with acts such as Maywood, Petra Berger, Valensia and Robby Valentine.

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Uriel Jones 3/2009

Uriel JonesMarch 24, 2009 – Uriel Jones (the Funk Brothers) was born on June 13th 1934 in Detroit. He began playing music in high school. But his first instrument was the trombone and wanted to box also. But when he went to band classes his lip was swollen and he couldn’t play the trombone, so he had to switch to the drums.

Drawn from the ranks of Detroit jazz players by Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown, the Funk Brothers were the label’s regular studio backup band from 1959 to 1972, when Motown moved to Los Angeles and left most of them behind. Jones joined the Funk Brothers around 1963 after touring with Marvin Gaye and he moved up the line as recordings increased and principal drummer Benny Benjamin’s drug addicted health deteriorated fast. Around 1963 Jones and another player, Richard Allen, known as Pistol, started gradually taken over drumming his duties and Benjamin died of a stroke in 1969.

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Reg Isidore 3/2009

March 22, 2009 – Reg Isidore was born on 4 April 1949 in Aruba, Netherlands Antilles. As is quite common in the Caribbean Islands, kids are sent abroad for their formal education, which is how Reg Isidore ended up in London.

Reg’s musical career started with the 1960’s soul scene and included  stints with The High Tensions, The Rick ‘ n’ Beckers, Peter Green and the late great Richard Wright (Pink Floyd). In the early days he also played with Peter Bardens (Camel) for many years, then managed by Legendary manager John Schatt, who was building up his worldwide company the Filmpow Group.

As a musician however he was a rock drummer who became best known for his work with the Robin Trower Band. The band, consisting of Robin Trower (guitar), Jimmy Dewar (bass and vocals) and drummer Reg Isidore, formed in December of 1972 and played their first show in Vienna, Austria in February of 1973.

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Dewey Martin 1/2009

Dewey Martin of Buffalo SpringfieldJanuary 31, 2009 – Dewey Martin
, (Buffalo Springfield) born Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff in Chesterville, Ontario, Canada on September 30, 1940 was best known for his work with the notoriously volatile country rock band, Buffalo Springfield.

Dewey started playing drums when he was 13 years old and joined a high school band The Jive Rockets, but was soon playing with more professional rockabilly bands, including Bernie Early & The Early Birds. After his army discharge, he moved to Nashville in 1961 where he became an in-demand session drummer, playing and recording with the likes of Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Patsy Cline, Everly Brothers, Faron Young and Roy Orbison among others.

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John “Mitch” Mitchell 11/2008

MitchMitchell-630-85November 12, 2008 – Mitch Mitchell was born on 9 July 1947 in Ealing, west of London. He started life in show business as a child actor on the TV series “Jennings At School”.

His love for jazz and pop music drove him to become a musician. Mitch’s main influences in music were Max Roach and Elvin Jones, teaching himself on the drums, he mixed jazz and rock styles, which later became known as “fusion”, of which he was a pioneer. In the early days he found work as a session player and worked with groups such as Johnny Harris and the Shades, the Pretty Things and the Riot Squad and in 1965 he began playing with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames.

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John Rutsey 5/2008

john-rutseyMay 11, 2008 – John Rutsey was born in Toronto, Canada on July 23, 1952.

In 1963, Rutsey met Lifeson, while attending St. Paschals School. Rutsey would play hockey with him on the street. Both interested in music, they decided to form a band. The two would be part of the band ‘The Projection’ with Bill Fitzgerald and “Doc” Cooper.

He became a founding member of the Canadian rock band Rush formed in 1968 with guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist Jeff Jones, who would soon be replaced by Geddy Lee.

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Micky Waller 5/2008

micky-wallerMay 6, 2008 – Micky Waller was born in Hammersmith, London on September 6th 1941.

The son of a council clerk of works, Waller was evacuated as a war baby to his Aunt Nora’s home in Belper, Derbyshire. After he returned to his parents’ home in Greenford, Middlesex, his father encouraged his interest in drumming by taking him to see the 1955 film The Benny Goodman Story; Gene Krupa’s big-band drumming virtually hypnotised the teenager. Waller took lessons with Jim Marshall, maker of the world-famous Marshall amplifiers, and later partly credited his unusual style to the fact that as a lefthander he had learned on a righthanded set of drums, which may have been the reason why he was notoriously known for not having a complete kit with him when showing up for gigs or sessions.

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Blinky Davison 4/2008

blinkie davisonApril 15, 2008 – Brian “Blinky”Davison (The Nice) was born on May 25, 1942 in Leicester, England, where his mother had been evacuated from London during the Blitz.

His early interest in drumming was encouraged by his Uncle George, a jazz drummer who gave him his first kit. Brian also received help from his older brother Terry, who played him records by Max Roach. Brian played in a youth club skiffle group before leaving school to work as a delivery-van driver for the London Evening Standard. He carried on drumming in his spare time and joined his friend Terry Goldberg in his group The Rocker Shakes. In the late fifties and early sixties he played drums in various Skiffle groups in and around the youth clubs and pubs in North-west London, especially around Baker Street.

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Clifford Davies 4/2008

cliffdaviesApril 15, 2008 – Cliff Davies was born in 1949 south of London, England.

After receiving tuition from pipe band drummer Jock Cree, and playing local gigs in the Aldershot area (Home of the British Army to the south of London), in the early 70s, he went on to join the Roy Young Band, then the second incarnation of British jazz-rock band If from 1972 to 1975. He played on four albums by the band and contributed songwriting to many of their songs.

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Klaus Dinger 3/2008

Klaus DingerMarch 21, 2008 –  Klaus Dinger (Kraftwerk)  was born on March 24th 1946 in Scherfede and brought up in Düsseldorf. Influenced by UK rock acts such as The Kinks and The Rolling Stones, he formed a band in 1966 called The No. Other members were friends Norbert Körfer, Lutz Bellman and Jo Maassen.

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Buddy Miles 2/2008

buddy-milesFebruary, 26, 2008 – George Allen ”Buddy” Miles, Jr. (Band of Gypsies) was born on September 5, 1947 in Omaha, Nebraska. Buddy’s father played upright bass for the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and Dexter Gordon and by age 12, Miles Jr. had joined Miles Sr. in his touring band, The Bebops. In 1964, at the age of 16, Miles met Jimi Hendrix at a show in Montreal, Canada, where both were performing as sidemen for other artists.

“He was playing in the Isley Brothers band and I was with Ruby & The Romantics,” Miles remembered, adding: “He had his hair in a pony-tail with long sideburns. Even though he was shy, I could tell this guy was different. He looked rather strange, because everybody was wearing uniforms and he was eating his guitar, doing flip-flops and wearing chains.” Continue reading Buddy Miles 2/2008

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Freddie Marsden 12/2006

GerryandThePacemakers2December 9, 2006 – Frederick John Freddie Marsden was born on October 21, 1940 in Liverpool England’s Dingle area. His brother, Gerry, followed two years later. Their father, Fred, was a railway clerk who entertained the neighbours by playing the ukulele. With the vogue for skiffle music in the mid-Fifties, he took the skin off one of his instruments, put it over a tin of Quality Street and said to Freddie, “There’s your first snare drum, son.”

In 1957 the brothers appeared in the show Dublin to Dingle at the Pavilion Theatre in Lodge Lane. Studies meant little to either of them – Freddie left school with one O-level and worked for a candlemaker earning £4 a week, and Gerry’s job was as a delivery boy for the railways. Their parents did not mind and encouraged their musical ambitions. On leaving Francis Xavier grammar school, Freddie bought a full kit from his earnings as a candle maker.

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Johnny Jackson 3/2006

Johnny JacksonMarch 1, 2006 – Johnny Jackson was born March 3, 1951 in Gary, Indiana was noted for being the drummer for The Jackson 5 from their early Gary, Indiana days in 1967 when he replaced original drummer Milford Hite, until the end of their famed career at Motown in 1975.

The label presented Johnny as the cousin of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, but contrary to popular belief, Johnny Jackson was not related to the Jackson family of entertainers.

Jackson grew up a few blocks from the Jackson family and had made a name for himself as a drumming prodigy before he started high school, said Gordon Keith, who has sued Jackson family members over the rights to their early recordings made for his Steeltown Records.

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Mike Gibbins 10/2005

˚¸¸˚October 4, 2005 – Mike Gibbins (Badfinger) was born on March 12th 1949. He was the left-handed Welsh drummer who became a member of the Iveys, later renamed Badfinger, after “Badfinger Boogie”, an unused title for a Lennon-McCartney composition.

He helped form The Iveys in 1965 and his powerful playing helped push the Iveys to a new level of proficiency and by the end of the year the group was being booked as an opening act for local appearances by the likes of the Who, the Yardbirds, the Moody Blues, and the Spencer Davis Group and was a popular attraction on the London club scene.

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Carlo Little 8/2005

Carlo Little of the All StarsAugust 6, 2005 – Carlo Little aka Carl O’Neil Little was born on December 17, 1938 in Shepherd’s Bush, London and raised in Wembley, Middlesex where some of his townpeeps were Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and Charlie Watts. Apparently the town was a breeding ground for famous drummers.

In 1960 after coming out of the service, he met David Sutch and they formed The Savages with amongst others Nicky Hopkins who lived locally. Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages toured the UK and became known for their unique British rock and roll shows. The bulk of the band members, including Little, left in 1962 to join the Cyril Davies All Stars, and recorded a single “Country Line Special”, an instrumental track which influenced Keith Richards and Ray Davies in their guitar playing. He also played a few gigs with the young Rolling Stones and was asked by Brian Jones to join permanently before they hired Charlie Watts as their official drummer in January 1963. In 1998, during the Stones’ European tour, he was invited as an official guest backstage at one of their Paris concerts.

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Chris Curtis 2/2005

Chris CurtisFebruary 28, 2005 – Chris Curtis (the Searchers) was born August 26, 1941 as Christopher Crummey in Oldham, Lancashire. Curtis moved to Liverpool when he was four and went to primary school where he met Mike Pendergast (Mike Pender).

He taught himself how to play the piano on the family instrument. He passed the 11-plus and went to St Mary’s College, Crosby, where he was taught violin although he wanted to play the double-bass. His father bought him a drum set during his late teens when he left school and he learned these in his spare time, when he was not selling prams at Swift’s Furniture store at Stanley Road, Liverpool. He developed a fascination for American music and particularly liked Fats Domino. He also grew the unusually long hair that would be his trademark in the early years.

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Jim Capaldi 1/2005

up-dear_mr_fantasyJanuary 28, 2005 – Jim Capaldi (Traffic) was born on August 2, 1944 died of stomach cancer in London at age 60. He co-founded the psychedelic rock band Traffic in 1967 with Steve Winwood with whom he co-wrote the majority of the band’s output. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of Traffic’s original line-up.

Capaldi was a magnificent drummer, who later also mastered guitar. His songwriter credits include the Eagles’ “Love will keep us alive” and the catchy “This is Reggae Music”. His “Dear Mr. Fantasy” for the Traffic album with the same title established him as one of the greats.

A rock drummer, songwriter and founder member of Traffic, Jim Capaldi’s talents were used by Bob Marley, Eric Clapton and the Eagles and so many more.

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Randy Castillo 3/2002

Randy CastilloMarch 26, 2002 – Randy Castillo (Ozzie Osbourne) was born on December 18th 1950 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Randolpho Francisco Castillo was born to a Spanish/French/Native American mother, Margaret, and Native American/Hispanic father Frank (Kiko). He was one of five children, and his sisters, Frances, Marilyn, Phyllis and Christine, all play music. His first band experience was at West Mesa High School, playing in the jazz band, orchestra and marching band. He wrote the high school cadence that is still being used to this day.

He played trumpet for a short time then realized his passion was the drums. He decided he wanted a drum kit instead, especially after seeing The Beatles play on The Ed Sullivan Show in early February 1964. However, his father refused to buy him one, thinking he would only lose interest, as he had already done with the trumpet.

After playing in bands such as The Tabbs, The Mudd, The Wumblies and The Offenders, he relocated to LA and joined The Motels and embarked on his first major arena tour with them in support of The Cars.

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John Bonham 9/1980

John BonhamSeptember 25, 1980 – John Henry “Bonzo, The Beast” Bonham was a natural phenomenon on the drums. All the accolades surrounding this man’s drumming point at one thing: He was and probably forever will be the best rock drummer of all time. Hard to accept that Vodka killed him; well 40 shots of the stuff made him vomit and then choke and did not only end his life, but also the best Rock Band that ever existed: Led Zeppelin.

Born in Redditch, UK on May 31, 1948, he started to learn drumming at the age of 5 and in 1964, he joined his first semi-professional band, Terry Webb and the Spiders. He also played in other Birmingham bands, The Nicky James Movement and The Senators, who released a fairly successful single “She’s a Mod,” in 1964. John then took up drumming full-time. Two years later, he joined A Way of Life, before he joined a blues group called Crawling King Snakes, whose lead singer was a young Robert Plant. Continue reading John Bonham 9/1980