hip hop music

November 14, 2003

R.I.P. Tony Thompson

Not only the drummer for Chic and The Power Station, but also on David Bowie's "Let's Dance", Madonna's "Like A Virgin".. he filled a whole lot of dancefloors (and digital samplers) in his lifetime.

Chic's Tony Thompson Dies

Tony Thompson, one of the premier session drummers of the past twenty-five years, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles of renal cell cancer at age forty-eight. The former member of Seventies disco funk band Chic, Thompson had worked with everyone from David Bowie to Madonna to Diana Ross.
Born in New York on November 15, 1954, Thompson came to prominence on the late-Seventies disco scene, thanks to his funky, rock influenced big-beat style. After sitting in with LaBelle, Thompson met Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, with whom he formed Chic in 1976. The band's 1977 debut featured the hit "Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)," but they became disco legends with 1978's C'est Chic, which contained the number one classic "Le Freak," as well as the rollerboogie anthem "Good Times."

"The thing that was most apparent about Tony as a drummer was his sense of inventiveness and cleverness," says Rodgers. "All three of us had roots in jazz, fusion and rock, which is why he would never think of the typical R&B drum fill . . . He just cherished those brilliant moments to sparkle."

Chic disbanded in 1983, and Thompson became an in-demand session musician, working with Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, David Bowie and Madonna.

In 1985, he joined Duran Duran members Andy and John Taylor and the late Robert Palmer in the supergroup Power Station, whose hit singles "Some Like It Hot" and the T. Rex cover "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" were driven by Thompson's propulsive drumming.

A longtime rock fan, Thompson got the gig of a lifetime in 1985 when he was asked to sit in with the remaining members of Led Zeppelin when they played at the Live Aid benefit concert at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium. Thompson then joined the Zeppelin trio for some secret recording sessions in 1986. Rumors of a reunion were quashed, however, when Thompson was involved in a serious car accident later that year.

He remained a prolific session drummer throughout the late Eighties, working with Robert Palmer, Duran Duran, Rod Stewart and Jody Watley, though he was less active in the Nineties...

Posted by jsmooth995 at November 14, 2003 1:51 PM

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