My first introduction to the world of drumming was at the age of Five. Apparently our neighbours at that time complained to my parents about the noise I was making banging on the drums. I actually didn’t have any! So my uncle went out and bought me a snare drum and said ‘go for it kid’. Apparently I did, with great success!
I didn’t really notice music again ‘till I was 15 years old. One of my school mates had a brother who was in an R&B band in Driffield ( the small Yorkshire town where I was born). They were called the ‘Roadrunners’. One day while kicking a football around with 4 of my mates, I bent down to retrieve a lousy shot on goal, that had landed at the door of the bands rehearsal room. This place was called ‘The Cave’. As I bent down I heard them rehearsing. After 2 weeks of pestering they eventually allowed me in to watch one song being rehearsed. Within a week, we had formed our own band which we called ‘The Mutations’! A perfect name when I look back!
Our first gig was the Christmas dance at the local secondary school for girls. An assembly hall full of girls and us, the only guys, in the school! I’d found my vocation!
The next couple of years were spent practising and doing gigs, mainly pubs, clubs and church halls. The music was early R&B, Bo Diddley, Smoke Stack Lightening, Dust my Broom etc.
As with many great bands, the Mutations split up, (musical differences!) and I joined the ‘Roadrunners’. Again we did R&B, but also progressive rock (as it was known then), Cream, Jeff Beck, Free, Who etc.
My favourite drummers were Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, Sandy Nelson & John Bonham.
One of the best local bands at this time were a band called ‘The Rats’ led by a lad from Hull, Mick Ronson, a brilliant guitarist. They played mostly Hendrix, Zeppelin, Beck, Cream and blues stuff.
So I became a ‘Rat’. Gigs were better, usually supporting major acts that played in the area. Good memories!
In 1969, Mick left Hull to join David Bowie in London. A short time later Bowie phoned me and said ‘Mick says you’re a great drummer, I want you to come and join us’.
So we started, at first as David Bowie and Hype, later as the Spiders. We worked hard and played hard, brilliant times with tours, TV and radio. Rock and Roll history bla bla!
Other Bands and Current Projects
After this period I formed a band called U-Boat, which eventually sank without trace!! Then I did a ‘Spiders’ album with the other half of the Bowie rhythm section, Trevor Bolder.
Since then I’ve had numerous musical adventures including Dexys Midnight Runners, Art Garfunkel, one –off projects with Paul McCartney, Edgar Winter.
July 2006: Did an album with Gillian Glover, produced by Tom Wilcox. Album was released in April 2007 followed by short tour in April, album called ‘Red Handed‘.
February 2007: Finished drum album, recorded it in LA with sons Nick and Dan. It’s called Future Primitive and we’re called 3-D. Guess world fusion best sums it up, with drum & bass, hip hop, funk, latin and tribal influences. About to start rehearsals for the ‘live’ show. Hope to be gigging soon, will keep you info’d. Check out our sounds and dvd ‘The Making of Future Primitive‘ at www.3Dproject.co.uk.
Holy Holy which originated with the following guys in 2013 ( Steve Norman, James Stevenson, Paul Cuddeford, Malcolm Doherty, Hannah Berridge Ronson, Lisa Ronson, Maggi Ronson, Elizabeth Westwood, Paul Fryer, Tracie Hunter, David Donley, Rod Melvin, Clem Burke) for Latitude Festival decided to play a set in September dedicated to Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World (TMWSTW) as it was never played live before.
Tony Visconti (Bowie’s producer, bass player) was asked if he’d like to join in (2014) and so he will play his own incredible bass parts from The Man Who Sold The World album thus re-uniting him with Woody, the original rhythm section from that time and album.This has continued as a project culminating in a month long tour of UK & Dublin during June & July 2015, followed by dates in Japan which have all been very successful.The band now consists of Woody, Tony, James S, Paul C, with the addition of Glenn Gregory on vocals, Berenice Scott on keyboards, Terry Edwards on sax & acoustic guitar, Jessica Morgan backing vocals, Lisa Ronson backing vocals.