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Brian Bennett
Brian Bennett
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: The Shadows
  • Birthday: February 09
  • Country: United Kingdom

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Brian was born in 1940 and by 1957 was resident drummer at the 2 I's Coffee Bar, in London's Soho and now known as the birthplace of British Rock 'n' Roll, backing artists including Tony Sheridan, Terry Dene, Tommy Steele, Vince Eager and Vince Taylor. His early TV appearances included Jack Good's legendary 'Oh Boy' show - where the 2 I's house band was featured as an alternative to Lord Rockingham's 11. He went on to tour and record with Marty Wilde as drummer in The Wildcats - also backing Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent during their 1960 UK tour.

In 1961 Brian joined Britain's most successful instrumental group - The Shadows, with whom, and together with Cliff Richard, he toured and recorded extensively throughout the Sixties. Brian wrote many of the groups hits including Cliff's "Summer Holiday" which he co-wrote with Bruce Welch. A favourite feature for the audience at any Shadows' concert was always his drum solo - with "Little B" perhaps being the best known and highly regarded piece which has inspired countless drummers over the years and is still performed now by budding young drummers at Shadows' music clubs throughout the UK. Many drummers back then considered each new Shadows' record as a drum lesson - learning how to play the fills in classic tunes such as "The Rise & Fall Of Flingel Bunt" and "Foot Tapper."

The late Sixties also saw Brian writing and recording his own material for solo albums "Change Of Direction" & "The Illustrated London Noise."

By the early Seventies Brian was a highly successful and much sought after session drummer working with a vast array of different artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John, Engelbert Humperdinck, Richard Harris, The Walker Brothers, Georgie Fame and Ken Dodd - to name just a few!!! He became Cliff Richard's musical director and formed The Brian Bennett Orchestra touring the world including the first Western rock concerts performed in Russia. By the mid 1970s, Brian was in demand as an arranger, conductor and record producer and was composing for film and television. His solo albums included "Rock Dreams" & "Voyage."

Brian is a three-times Ivor Novello award winning composer and recipient of the Gold Badge Award from the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters Society. His TV and film work has included Dallas, Knotts Landing, Pulaski, The Royal Wedding, BBC Golf & Rugby themes, The American Way, Terminal Choice, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, The Knock, Nomads of the Wind, Global Sunrise, The Harpist, Living Britain, Dirty Work, Murder In Mind & New Tricks. In 2004 he was awarded an OBE, Officer of the British Empire, in HM The Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to music.

Brian has continued to record and tour with The Shadows - right up to their final UK & European tours in 2004/2005. He has recently written and performed a track on Peter Frampton's Grammy award-winning "Fingerprints" album and, together with Queen's Brian May, produced a new version of Cliff Richard's "Move It."

Brian continues to inspire audiences with his drumming today and has made guest appearances this year, together with Shadows colleagues Hank Marvin & Bruce Welch, with Marty Wilde as part of Marty's 50th Anniversary "Born To Rock 'n' Roll" tour and with The KMP Allstars at Jarvis Cocker's recent "Meltdown" festival. He is currently working on an album of The Music Of John Barry.

Brian has used Zildjian cymbals throughout his extensive career. Back in the Sixties his Avedis Zildjian cymbal set often consisted of 13" HiHats, 20" Ride, 5" Splash, 15" Thin Crash, 16" Crash with a 22" Swish.

For the last Shadows' tour he used an 18" Avedis Zildjian Thin Crash Platinum, 12" Avedis Zildjian Quick Beat HiHats, 18" A Custom Zildjian Crash, 8" Avedis Zidjian Splash, 18" K Custom Zildjian Ride, 18" Avedis Zildjian Thin Crash Platinum, 20" Avedis Zildjian China Boy Low (Inverted).

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