Just heard the confirmed news that the world has lost Ricky Lawson, a fantastic drummer and beautiful human being. He's know for performing with Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Steely Dan, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, The Yellowjackets, and many many more.
I had the great pleasure of knowing him through my relationship with Pearl Drums. I'll never forget the story he told me about his "drum solo" on Whitney Houston's mega-hit,"I Will Always Love You". He said whenever his mother heard the song (& she was with friends) and the famous floor tom hit happened, she would proudly say... "That's my baby!" That story always makes me smile because he told it with such pride.
Ricky was on the gig right before he was taken into the hospital so you can say he did what he loved as long as possible. Glad I had the chance to get to know him... a real gentleman and amazing musician.
In writing the article for Pearl Drums, I started compiling a partial list of artists that Ricky worked with... check this out:
I've had the pleasure of knowing this guy for almost 20 years and it was awesome to interview him for the latest Pearl On Location video...
Chuck was actually working at Pearl Drums Headquarters when I joined them in 1995. Like most of the staff, he was playing gigs on the side and making his way up the social ladder of Nashville drummers. He soon left Pearl to commit to drumming full time and although he wasn't here in body, he has always been considered one of The Family. It's been great to see him reach milestones in his career and personal life... a tough thing to successfully do for a road musician.
Chuck breaks many drummer stereotypes so don't be discouraged when he doesn't kick his drums over at the end of the video!
Pearl videographer Garrett DeLozier and I went down to The Ryman on a brisk Sunday afternoon to meet Rafael Pereira, percussionist for Janelle Monáe.
We timed it just right as Rafa and his beautiful wife had just arrived to the venue. After a quick set-up, we discovered that there could be no noise from the stage for another 45 minutes due to venue restrictions. So we found a great spot outside to shoot the interview portion but there was construction going on nearby. Not to mention that some of the workers walked up to see what was going on... "Hey, whuch you guyz iz doin', huh? Is dis a video... will i be on cameras?"
We quickly bounce back inside and find an ambient stairwell that had some vibe to it. As soon as we start rolling, doors from upstairs and downstairs were opening and closing but Rafa (a total pro) nailed everything in one take. We finished that just in time to catch some footage of him onstage and that's it... hugs and kisses and we're out!
Getting curve balls thrown our way is always expected but its so nice when the subject is just as chill and goes with the flow... Rafa is water! You'll also be seeing more of him in some 2014 videos so stay tuned to Pearl Drums' social outlets.