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    Newmark, Andy (14 July 1950 - Present)

    Andy Newmark passed a rather unusual audition to launch his career.  Pat Rizzo encouraged him to audition for Sly & The Family Stone.  The audition took place in Sly's bedroom, where he was surrounded by his bandmembers, and was obviously crapped out from two much partying.  He gave young Andrew a whopping twenty seconds to show off his chops.  Twenty seconds was all he needed.  Stone promptly fired; or rather, told his brother to fire;Gerry Gibson.  Andy was in.  He only stayed with Sly & The Family Stone for a couple of years and recorded two albums with them, Fresh and Small Talk.  It was enough to make his mark, however.  So enamoured was Miles Davis of one of the tracks on Fresh, he played it over and over for his band during a rehearsal.  Doors soon opened for Andy, and his career as a session drummer snowballed, comprising collaborations with a wide variety of artists and groups, including ABC, Badfinger, George Benson, Stephen Bishop, Michael Bolton, David Bowie, Liona Boyd, Roy Buchanan, Irene Cara, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Paul Carrack, Harry Chapin, Eric Clapton, Bryan Ferry, Firefall, Dan Fogelberg, Steve Gadd, Gloria Gaynor, Grand Funk, George Harrison, Murray Head, Jools Holland, Michael Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Jim Keltner, B.B. King, Carole King, Kris Kristofferson, John Lennon, Delbert McClinton, Hugh McCracken, Mike & The Mechanics, Randy Newman, Stevie Nicks, Laura Nyro, Yoko Ono, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Carol Bayer Sager, David Sanborn, Evie Sands, Lalo Schifrin, Seal, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Sting, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Walsh, Steve Winwood, and Gary Wright.  Newmark has the bittersweet honour of having been the last drummer John Lennon ever used.  Lennon's death was so devastating to him, it must have taken some of the sting out of his divorce, which was finalized on the day Lennon was murdered.  So grief-stricken was Andy, he quit playing drums for a year.  When he did return to the studio, it was for Yoko's Season of Glass.  He has been busy ever since, and he has taken his considerable experience and passed it along to a new generation of drummers, as well as some of his contemporaries, whom he counsels on a regular basis.  A firm believer in playing time, Andy's biggest challenge was as one of four drummers in the London Run of The Lion King, a gig that found him at the mercy of a conductor, playing a wide variety of riffs at ever-changing tempos.  It took him about a year to get used to it.  Andy continues to tour with Bryan Ferry.  You can see him in action on Roxy Music's 2004 DVD release, High Road.



    1. http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Andy_Newmark.html
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Newmark
    3. http://home.cogeco.ca/~mansion1/andynewmark.html
    4. http://www.mikedolbear.co.uk/story.asp?StoryID=1339


    Here he is drumming for Joe Walsh on his "Walk Away"...











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