They may be gone, but their musical legacy endures.
He auditioned for the Jimmy Hendrix Experience in 1966 and rock and roll drumming instantly gained an icon. His playing on the song “Manic Depression” is anything but manic. His feel and jazz-infused style was influenced by the likes of Elvin Jones, Max Roach and Joe Morello. Unquestionably, he left an indelible mark on the music of the late 60’s.
Mostly known as a passionate and enthusiastic educator, he was a New York born and raised jazz drummer who authored two of the most recognized texts the drumming world has ever known; "Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Vol. I," and "Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Vol. II." Inspired by Gene Krupa, he played with Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and went on to educate and inspire countless drummers including Dom Famularo and Thomas Lang during his 60+ year teaching career.
Best known for his tenure with The Dave Brubeck Quartet, he studied with legendary Radio City Music Hall percussionist, Billy Gladstone and went on to teach such notable drummers as Danny Gottlieb and Max Weinberg. His work on the classic recording, “Take Five” and his multi-award winning career produced over 120 records, nearly half of them with Brubeck. He was inducted in to the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1988.
A Cuban-born and California raised, he was part a group of ace session players that included Mike Landau, Jeff Porcaro, and Steve Lukather and David Garfield. His most well known work was with artists such as Larry Carlton, Vince Gill and of course, James Taylor. He was an effortless player with a pocket that influenced “cats” such as his friend and colleague, Jeff Porcaro and fellow L.A. studio great Joey Heredia. His work throughout the mid seventies and early eighties remains influential to this day.
Anthony Tillmon “Tony” Williams was born in Chicago and studied with famed educator, Alan Dawson. At the tender age of 17 he found fame with Miles Davis and later embodied the fusion jazz movement with the release of the classic record, Emergency! which included fellow musicians John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ. In 1976, Williams was a part of a reunion with his old Miles Davis band compatriots, pianist/keyboardist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter. In 1979 his “Trio of Doom” included McLaughlin and Weather Report bassist extraordinaire, Jaco Pastorius. His contributions to the art of drumming are seldom equaled.
One of DW’s earliest endorsers, he was a mainstream Jazz player with Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass from 1965-69. Previous to that, he played with Stan Kenton and later became a highly regarded studio musician in Hollywood. He was a Warren, Ohio born boy that made Los Angeles his home for the better part of his musical career.
Like many 70’s and 80’s rock drummers, seeing the Beatles play on Ed Sullivan was turning point is his life. He joined his first Rock band in the late 70’s and moved to Los Angeles in 1981, scoring his first major arena tour with The Motels in support of The Cars. His hard rock drumming career began with Lita Ford, later graduating to icon Ozzy Ozbourne and finally, Motley Crue in early 2000.
Born Ralph Gallant and better known by his stage name, Larrie Londin, he toured with Elvis Presley during his last years. He also played on huge selling records by Journey and Steve Perry in the 80’s. The rest of his impressive resume included such artists as Lionel Richie, Dianna Ross, BB King and country superstars Charlie Pride, Randy Travis, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. He made Nashville his home and his passion for drumming lead him to open the area’s first dedicated pro drum shop. He was also part of Nashville’s so called “A Team”.
He was a fixture with the California-based band Little Feat, but also worked with a very impressive list of artists that included, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, The Doobie Brothers, Bob Dylan, Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Robert Palmer, Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, Bob Seger, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills and Tom Waits. In addition to his drumming duties, he was also a prolific songwriter and penned works in his familiar rock, funk and blues genres.
Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan played with acclaimed cult metal band Avenged Sevenfold and was influenced by prog rockers such as Frank Zappa and King Crimson in his younger days. Later, he was heavily influenced by drummers such as Vinnie Paul, Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo, Lars Ulrich, and Terry Bozzio. He also co-wrote many of the band’s hits and played piano on their records as well. He was a multi-talented musician, winning the “DW Best Drummer” award at the second annual Revolver Golden God Awards show.
Drummer for 70’s hit makers Bread, he went on to work with Linda Ronstadt; recording and touring. A singer, songwriter and producer, he worked with other soft rock mainstays such as Richard Carpenter and Dan Fogelberg. His final effort was a solo record in 2000.
Born in the Midwest, he attended art school to learn his musical craft. His varied career saw him working with well known artist such as Jean-Luc Ponty, Tommy Bolin, Gino Vannelli and most notably, Jethro Tull. Though he battled his health for much of his life, his strong will and determination enabled him to rehabilitate himself on several occasions and he went on to play with Jeff Beck, Eric Burden and Tower of Power.
Considered a legendary educator, his students included Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta and Drum Workshop founder, Don Lombardi. His jazz years included a stint with Charlie Parker, but it was his mentoring of some of the world’s top drummers that made him truly famous within the drumming community. He was a New York native who relocated to Los Angeles during his more than four decade teaching career.