My earliest drummer influences were Gene Kruppa and Buddy Rich in swing jazz, Stevie Wonder and Clyde Stubblefield in funk and soul, Sandy Nelson and Dick Dale in surf music, and Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, and John Bonham in the British Invasion of Rock. Later John French, Billy Cobham, Lenny White and Jack Dejohnette were inspirational in fusion and more avant-garde styles of drumming.
My early trap sets began with a Rogers snare (1961), a four piece Slingerland (1963), a five piece Ludwig (1965), a five piece Rogers (1966) a six piece Flatjack (1967), a six piece Zicko (1971). In 1976 Mr. Hagiwara introduced me to his new Yamaha drums, which I've endorsed and played with pride ever since.
1970 -- 2000
During the course of the last 30 years, while continuing to record, perform and tour the world with The Tubes (15 albums and world tours), I've also performed and recorded with many of my heroes and fellow artists alike, and have fulfilled my desire to execute many various drum techniques in a wide variety of musical styles. In the early 70's I worked with the legendary pianist, the late Nicky Hopkins, recording two albums with musicians such as George Harrison, Mick Taylor, Ron Wood, Ray Cooper and Klas Voorman, among others. I started the band Journey with Neal Schon and Greg Rolly shortly after, and recorded the demos that got them their first contract, but opted for my dedication in The Tubes. After session work with Tommy Bolin, Brewer and Shipley and others in the 70's, the 80s' brought work with Chris Isaak and I played drums on his first four albums.
I was honored to record with Brian Eno and David Byrne, and with Todd Rundgren I recorded 7 albums and toured the world several times. I played drums on XTC's "Skylarking" LP in the mid 80s, then again on their latest 2 CDs "Apple-Venus Vol I" & "WaspStar Vol 2" in the last part of this century. Also in the 80's I recorded with Glen Frey, David Pack, three albums for Richard Marx and did a Showtime Special with John Fogerty. The 90's brought performances with Tom Waits, 3 CDs and classic resurface performances with the legendary "King of the Surf Guitar," Dick Dale, and the re-formed "Jefferson Starship," with original members, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Jack Casady and Papa John Creach. After 4 CDs and several world tours, I continue as their drummer. In the last several years, studio work with renowned producer Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame, brought records by Bizou Phillips and Noella Hutton, both young innovative female artists, and performances and a double/live CD with Grateful Dead bassist, Phil Lesh, and a CD with longtime friend and former Tubes and Grateful Dead member, Vince Welnick (Missing Man Formation), brought acclaim from a unique base of music fans. Of late, I've performed with guitarist extraordinare, Steve Kimock, in "SKB," as a part-time member with Bobby Vega and Pete Sears, and continue to explore and expand on the improvisational themes this musical form takes on. I also plan on expanding my business of custom finishes on drums and guitars, and hopefully with the support and guidance from my friends at Yamaha, I will bring innovative new looks to the instruments' surface for a custom market.
Present -- 2000
In the future I intend to execute my solo projects and continue my collaborations in art with my partners in all forms of expression and will continue to delve in research and explore the many avenues of rhythm that pulse through my ever-beating system of soul.
Yamaha drums current setups:
#1 maple custom series/ 22" bass drum/ 10" rack tom/ 12" rack tom/ 14" floor tom/ 16" floor tom/ 14"x 5 1/2" vintage custom snare (natural finish)
#2 Jordan cocktail set (champagne sparkle finish)
#3 Hipgig drum set (yellow finish)
I have endorsed Paiste cymbals and Calato Regal Tip sticks for 25 years.