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Spencer Dryden


Spencer Dryden was the drummer within the basic lineup of Jefferson Aircraft, from the springtime of 1966 before wintertime of 1969-1970, and for some of that period was among the 3 most well-known drummers for the San Francisco picture (combined with the Grateful Dead’s Costs Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart). He also arrived of the background very different from all of those other band — where in fact the additional users from the Aircraft were all fairly not used to the globe of full-time professional music, Dryden have been making a good living and operating full-time like a drummer for a long time before he crossed pathways with Marty Balin and organization. And unlike others, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA wasn’t where he produced his house or prepared on producing a profession, and he was under no circumstances area of the folk picture like the various other people. His method into music — and his living for an excellent a decade before signing up for the music group — originated from jazz. Dryden originated from a executing family members, though not just one directly involved with music. He was created in NEW YORK, the son of the British professional (who was simply a half-brother to Charles Chaplin) along with a dancer. The family members moved to LA in 1939, and it had been there, in the past due ’40s and early ’50s, that Dryden started finding jazz — his parents got split up within the middle-’40s, and his dad happened to appreciate jazz; among the items that they would perform on their times together is always to go directly to the jazz night clubs around the town. He became captivated by the drumming within the rings that he noticed and made a decision to occupy the drums himself. He analyzed with Jimmy Dorsey veteran Ray Bauduc, whose profession went back towards the ’20s, and by his mid-teens, he previously also discovered contemporary jazz and was beginning to sit along with professional and semi-professional rings around LA. While an incredible number of American teenagers were embroiled in the rock and roll & roll growth from the middle-’50s, Dryden was using Charles Lloyd and Bobby Hutcherson in the first times of their professions. He didn’t actually turn toward rock and roll & roll before early to middle-’60s, once the mixed impact from the English Invasion as well as the folk-rock growth that followed started overtaking a number of the jazz night clubs where he worked well. Dryden joined up with a band known as the Ashes — who afterwards evolved in to the Peanut Butter Conspiracy — who have been doing well more than enough until their business lead vocalist became pregnant and quit. Dryden was contacted during this time period with the Jefferson Airplane’s then-manager, who was simply buying replacement for Neglect Spence, the group’s first drummer — Spence, who was simply a really guitarist and songwriter, got quit following recording of the 1st recording. At that time he became a member of, in the first summer time of 1966, the Aircraft was, as fortune could have it, also along the way of dropping its female vocalist, Signe Anderson, to being pregnant. Her replacement emerged aboard in Sept of 1966 by means of Sophistication Slick, whose even more thrilling and charismatic performing, coupled with a set of tracks she brought with her, abruptly jump-started the group’s profession and transported them in to the Top Ten in the singles graphs double in 1967. Dryden was along for the trip and rose towards the event — from playing night clubs in 1966, he visited executing before 50,000 people in June of 1967, in the Monterey Pop Event. His drumming, alongside Slick’s tone of voice and the brand new boldness of the additional users, helped change the Surrealistic Cushion recording into among the best-selling & most long lasting albums from the past due ’60s. Dryden performed an essential function inside the group’s audio, providing even more of a powerful, driving beat for most from the music on Surrealistic Cushion compared to the band’s 1st LP had demonstrated, in addition to great sensitivity like a percussionist on a number of the even more subtle tunes like the ballad “Today.” Within the band’s two following, even more experimental information, After Bathing at Baxter’s and Crown of Creation, his playing required on a far more diverse, sometimes surprisingly melodic part. He offered small in formal, traditional songwriting but do provide one of the most delightful psychedelic occasions on After Bathing at Baxter’s, by means of “A LITTLE Package of Worth Will Be Arriving at You Quickly”. Still, Dryden wasn’t completely a perfect match the group — probably because of his devoid of been area of the folk picture before getting into the group, also to his earlier a decade having been spent within the music business, he was not as laid-back in his lifestyle or are the others; actually, for a while (partly because of a physical appeal), his closest ally there is another “brand-new” member, Sophistication Slick. Additionally, though his abilities were challenging, he originally lacked a number of the straight-ahead, fresh power — which became essential after the group started playing ever-larger locations — in his playing the group desired. Dryden adjusted, nevertheless, and his audio within the live recording Bless Its Pointed Small Head is obviously a match for all of those other band. Dryden still left the group following discharge of Volunteers as well as the wearying calendar year of 1969, where the Aircraft had were able to play both Woodstock and Altamont. By that point, neither the music which the group was producing nor the displays they were performing were gratifying to him, and he’d currently composed his brain to keep at the idea that he was terminated by the music group, to be changed by Joey Covington. Dryden’s departure simply opened up a door by which vocalist/creator Marty Balin exited through the pursuing calendar year. Additionally, despite his unhappiness using the group, Dryden do play on Paul Kantner’s 1971 single record Sunfighter. In 1971, he joined up with the brand new Riders from the Crimson Sage, using them for seven years; he ultimately got over their administration representation aswell. During this time period, he also performed for the Pleased Dead offshoot record Seastones. Dryden was more than enough of the fixture over the San Francisco picture that he was asked directly into several combos of veteran Bay Region players through the ’80s, like the Dinosaurs, whose associates included veterans of such rings as Nation Joe & the Seafood, YOUR GOVERNMENT & the Keeping Company, as well as the Quicksilver Messenger Assistance, and performed using one of Barry Melton’s albums aswell. He was the only real person in the traditional lineup never to take part in the Jefferson Airplane’s 1989 reunion tour and record, though he was within 1996 for the group’s induction in to the Rock and roll & Move Hall of Popularity. In 2003, Dryden’s house was demolished by fireplace and the next calendar year he was the receiver of an advantage concert to greatly help along with his mounting medical expenses. After numerous health conditions, Spencer Dryden passed on January 11, 2004 at his Petaluma, CA house.

Quick Facts

Full Name Spencer Dryden
Died January 11, 2005, Petaluma, California, United States
Profession Musical performer, Drummer
Education Army and Navy Academy
Nationality American
Spouse Sally Mann, Kathy Miller
Children Jeffrey Dryden, Jackson Dryden, Jesse Dryden
Parents Wheeler Dryden, Alice Chapple
Music Groups Jefferson Airplane, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy

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1 After leaving Jefferson Airplane in 1971, he moved over to another Bay Area band, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, became their drummer and stayed through the late '70s, when he stepped down from the drum kit and became their manager for several years.
2 Drummer and percussionist for Jefferson Airplane.
3 Born in New York but raised in Los Angeles.
4 Had a two-year affair with Airplane vocalist Grace Slick.
5 Was a member of The Dinosaurs, a group of psychedelic rock veterans that played informally around the San Francisco Bay area.
6 Was working as a drummer at the Hollywood strip club The Pink Pussycat when session drummer Earl Palmer recommended him to the Jefferson Airplane's manager. He replaced Skip Spence.
7 His Petaluma home and all his possessions were destroyed in a fire in September 2003.
8 He was married three times and is survived by three sons; Jeffrey, Jes and Jackson Dryden.
9 He attended Glendale High School and graduated from the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad in 1955.
10 Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 (as a member of Jefferson Airplane).
11 Son of Wheeler Dryden. Grandson of Leo Dryden and Hannah Chaplin. Nephew of Charles Chaplin.



Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live: Light My Fire 2009 Video Himself
Fly Jefferson Airplane 2004 Video Himself
Behind the Music 1998 TV Series documentary Himself
Fillmore 1972 Documentary Performers (as The New Riders of the Purple Sage)
Beat-Club 1972 TV Series
San Francisco Rock: A Night at the Family Dog 1970 TV Movie documentary Himself - Jefferson Airplane
Gimme Shelter 1970 Documentary Himself (as Jefferson Airplane)
Monterey Pop 1968 Documentary Performers (as Jefferson Airplane)

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