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Mundi, Billy (25th September 1942-29th March 2014)

He was a drummer and timpanist born Antonio Salas in San Francisco, California, who began playing professionally in the 1950s and took further studies in music at UCLA.  He was also a member of the Hells Angels when he was young.

Once he had graduated he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra as a timpanist and after having performed with them for three months he went on to work with Tim Buckley on his debut album and play for groups such as The Light of Childhood and Mastin & Brewer.

When the 1960s came around he began working as the drummer for Skip & The Flips and then in 1966 he became a member of The Mothers of Invention and performed on several of their albums.  He was then head-hunted by Elektra Records’ Jac Holzman and asked to join the newly formed supergroup called Rhinoceros.

In 1970 he settled in Woodstock, New York and began working with Geoff and Maria Muldaur and the group Jook.  He also started working regularly in the studio as a session musician, occasionally using the pseudonym Tony Schnasse, and in 1972 performed on the hit song “Hello It’s Me” by Todd Rundgren.

Some of the many albums he appeared on include Some People by Johnny Average, Rural Space by Brewer & Shipley, New Morning by Bob Dylan, Earth Opera by Earth Opera, Rhinestones by The Fabulous Rhinestones, Three by Jackie Lomax, Stormbringer! by John Martyn, McGuire and The Doctor by Barry McGuire, Absolutely Free and We’re Only In It For the Money by The Mothers of Invention, Pottery Pie by Geoff Muldaur, Solo Recordings: 1971-1972 by Peter Paul & Mary, Stoney Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt by Stone Poneys, Satin Chickens by Rhinoceros, Something/Anything by Todd Rundgren and Journey by John Simon.

Following complications of diabetes he died in California in March 2014 when he was 71 years old.