RIP – TOM ARDOLINO


EXPIRED: 01/06/12  – Tom Ardolino, 57, was an amateur drummer and fan of the band NRBQ, who after trading tapes with co-founder Terry Adams and establishing a rapport with the singer, found himself called up onstage at a sow when drummer Tom Staley skipped out on an encore. When Staley quit NRBQ in 1974, Ardolino took over.

He stayed in the band until it disbanded in 2004 so Adams could get treatment for throat cancer.

The freedom left Ardolino room to do some solo work and he released “Unknown Brain.” The album consisted mostly of 30 year old basement recordings made before he was in NRBQ. The cover states “WARNING: If out-of-tuneness bothers you, do not listen.”

Earlier this year Adams decided to put NRBQ back together with a new album and tour. Although Ardolino wasnt part of the line-up, he was very supportive of the reunion. He was always a fan after all, even before he was a member.

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RIP – CHUCK RUFF


EXPIRED: 10/05/11 – Chuck Ruff, 60, played drums in the rock group Sawbuck with Ronnie Montrose from 1968–1970. Ruff and Montrose were later recruited by Dan Hartman to form The Edgar Winter Group in 1972. Success was immediate, with their first album.  Released in 1973, They Only Come Out at Night peaked at the number 3 position on the Billboard Hot 200 and stayed on the charts for an impressive 80 weeks. The single, an instrumental called “Frankenstein,” reached No. 1 with the follow-up single “Free Ride”, peaking at No. 14.  Both songs are still heard today on variousTV ads and movie soundtracks.

Their next album, Shock Treatment, replaced Montrose with guitar hero Rick Derringer and featured the moderate hit “Easy Street”. Ruff survived various lineup changes through three more albums: Jasmine Nightdreams in ’75, and The Edgar Winter Group With Rick Derringer and  Johnny and Edgar Winter Live, both released in ’76.

In 1977, Ruff drummed with Sammy Hagar on the singer’s albums Street Machine and Danger Zone, and helped 20 year old Seattle guitarist Adam Bomb start his career by providing the backbeat for his debut.

In the 90s, he retired to Reno, Nevada to start the Chuck Ruff Group and his last project, Geezersläw. He died in San Francisco after a surgery and a subsequent coma.

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RIP – STEVE REID


EXPIRED: 04/13/10 – Steve Reid, 66, started drumming 50 years ago. Now, almost all teenagers think they can start a band when they’re 16 years old.  But Reid, whose family moved to Queens, New York during these turbulent years, settled in just 3 blocks down the street from John Coltrane.

How fortuitous.

Being influenced by the jazz that permeated NYC at the time, Reid eventually took a job as a house drummer in the Apollo Theatre, under the direction of Quincy Jones. It was here that his career started to blossom.

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RIP – JERRY FUCHS


EXPIRED: 11/08/09 – Jerry Fuchs, 34, drummed his way from Athens, Georgia to Williamsburg, Brooklyn where he finally found a place to call home. Unfortunately it’s also the same neighborhood where the talented drummer’s life came to an end. Fuchs fell to his death on Sunday morning in the elevator shaft of an industrial building near the Williamsburg Bridge.

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