Woody Woodmansey Drummer

Early Beginnings

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!

First Gigs

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.

Influences

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!

Bowie Years

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: Just finished an ablum with Gillian Glover, produced by Tom Wilcox. Album will be 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.myspace.com/3dproject.

Classic Tracks - from Ziggy Stardust: Article By Rick Clark at MixOnline.
Woody - "We all lived in the same house, so David would be basically writing. He had a piano in one room and he'd play guitar in another room, and he'd just go, ‘Woody, come in and listen. I just finished this one,’ and he'd play a song.” Click here for the article.