Saxophone great Pat Rizzo approached a young drummer named Andy Newmark after a performance and invited him to audition with Sly Stone. It was an incredible opportunity - over the previous few years, Stone had inherited the funk torch from James Brown and was in the process of revolutionizing popular dance music.
According to Newmark, he ran up to Stone's house between performances and was promptly escorted into the singer's darkened bedroom. Stone was sprawled on the bed in an incoherent haze. Several other band members stood in sinister silence around their visionary leader. Eventually, Stone's eyes focused and he rasped out a question: "Are you funky?"
Newmark said he was, and Stone simply commanded him to play. Newmark took a seat at the battered drum pads by the bed and - knowing he had 20 seconds to make an impression - let fly with the funkiest beat he could muster. Suddenly, Stone leapt from the bed and began dancing around the room. Without even asking Newmark's name, Stone instructed his brother, the guitar player, to fire the other guy - they had found a new drummer.
Newmark went on to record an album called "Fresh" with Stone, and that album forever changed the landscape of popular music by fusing jazz, funk, and soul in a combination that had never been heard before, or maybe since. Jazz legend Miles Davis was so overwhelmed by one of the album's tracks that he called his band to a rehearsal and made them listen to it repeatedly for a half hour straight.
Finally, The Secret: How was Andy Newmark able to land that job in 20 seconds? By spending years upon years alone with his instrument beforehand. He had been preparing for that 20 seconds for a very, very long time.
Andy Newmark has played drums on Flesh + Blood, Avalon, Boys And Girls, Bete Noire, Taxi, Mamouna & As Time Goes By. Andy also played on Roxy Music's 1982 tour and Bryan Ferry's 1988 tour, this can be seen on the High Road and New Town videos.
Some of Andy's best work can be heard on John Lennon's 1980 masterpiece "Double Fantasy". His unmistakable sound and silky smooth grooves are the driving force behind timeless classics such as "Starting Over", Watching The Wheels" and "Woman" from Double Fantasy, as well as Carly Simon's "Anticipation, and Roxy Music's "More Than This" and "Avalon". Andy Newmark is truly one of the greats - his drumming has been a source of inspiration for drumming greats such as Steve Gadd, Rick Marotta and Mickey Curry.
Andy has aslo played with: Eric Clapton, Willie Weeks, Jim Keltner, Ronnie Wood, David Sanborn, Will Lee, Steve Gadd, Hugh McCracken, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Luther Vandross, Carly Simon, Neil Jason, Tony Levin, Ralph MacDonald, Earl Slick, Klaus Voormann, Jimmy Maelen, Don Grolnick, Ronnie Cuber, George Benson, Sly & the Family Stone McKendree Spring, Phillips-Macleod, Glamour Camp, Mark Farner Band, Tom Verlaine Band, Grand Funk, ABC, Alessi Brother, Andy Pratt, B.B. King, Bob James, Badfinger, Carole King, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, David Forman, Evie Sands, John Lennon, Jim Capaldi, Liona Boyd, Roy Harper, Steve Winwood, Yoko Ono.
Andy Newmark is now available for private instruction in his home.
Contact: Telephone: (44) 01227 750 139
Mobile Telephone: (44) 07887 990 348