Top Five Double-Career Musicians

I was thinking about musicians who have belonged to at least two major rock bands. There’s a lot of them, so let’s narrow it down: I’m interested in the sidemen, not stars like Dave Grohl or Eric Clapton. For our purposes today, spinoff projects don’t count (where two or more people from one band start another band together), and supergroups don’t either.

1. Jerry Harrison (Modern Lovers, Talking Heads)
2. Pat Smear (Germs, Nirvana)
3. David Robinson (Modern Lovers, Cars)
4. Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam)
5. Matt Sorum (The Cult, Guns N’ Roses)

That was off the top of my head, and I’m sure there’s plenty more. What resume-builders did I forget? Bonus points for naming non-drummers.

posted 1 March 2010 in Tasty Bits and tagged . 9 comments

9 Comments on Top Five Double-Career Musicians

  1. Scott Underwood Says:

    Ron Wood sort of fits, I think. He’s not really a star, except in the sense they all are. There are probably too many guitarists: Mick Ronson (Bowie, Mott the Hoople), Johnny Marr (Smiths, Modest Mouse, et al.), David Immergluck (Camper Van Beethoven, Counting Crows, et al.).

    Some ex-Zappa sidemen went on to other bands (Adrian Belew to Talking Heads and King Crimson, Warren Cuccurullo to Missing Persons and Duran Duran, whatever it is Steve Vai went to).

    A couple others:

    Barry Andrews, keys (XTC, Shriekback)
    Vince Welnick, piano (The Tubes, Grateful Dead)
    Pat Mastellotto, drums (Mister Mister, King Crimson)

    Oops, that’s a drummer.

  2. Tom Nawrocki Says:

    Ed King was in both Strawberry Alarm Clock and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I think he wins the award for genre-hopping.

    Bernie Worrell was briefly in the Pretenders, after stints in P-Funk and Talking Heads. Another short-term Pretender was Johnny Marr of Smiths fame.

  3. Gavin Says:

    You remind me: Bootsy, baby! Bootsy Collins was in James Brown’s band and P-Funk.

  4. Chris M. Says:

    Does Neil Schon count since he didn’t sing in either Santana or Journey? I realize the latter band was essentially his creation.

    If you’re disqualifying drummers, I guess Matt Cameron doesn’t count, but drumming for two of the three biggest grunge bands of all time should count for something — it’d be like Charlie Watts also drummed with the Who.

  5. Gavin Says:

    I’m not disqualifying drummers! I just think they might be more plentiful than actual musicians.

  6. Julian Says:

    A couple of bassists:

    Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica)
    Ashley Hutchings (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span)

    And, back to drummers:

    Zak Starkey (Oasis, The Who)

  7. Rob Says:

    this might not count: but remember when Robert Smith joined Siouxsie and the Banshees? He was their guitarist for 2 years, even though he was frontman for the Cure as the same time.

    Billy Ficca. He was the founding drummer for Television. After Television broke up, he became the founding drummer for the Waitresses. You can see him in the video for “I Know What Boys Like.”

    DJ Lethal: was in both House of Pain and Limp Bizkit!

  8. Tom Nawrocki Says:

    Kenney Jones was in the Faces and the Who. I gather that most of these examples will be like that, someone in a modestly successful band who gets called up to the big leagues.

    Along those lines, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit were both in both Poco and the Eagles, though never at the same time.

  9. Kinky Paprika Says:

    Did no one mention Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Ultimate Spinach, Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers)?

    Roger Glover played bass in both Deep Purple and Rainbow — and, while the latter band was founded by his former Purple bandmate Richie Blackmore, Glover didn’t co-found it; he didn’t join until several years later.

    The revolving door that is Black Sabbath creates some possibilities — both Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes were members of both Deep Purple and Sabbath at various points.
    And Sabbath stalwart Tony Iommi was, for a brief time, a member of Jethro Tull.

    I believe a couple Tull members have also been in Fairport Convention, if that counts.

    Keyboardist Gregg Rolie was also in both Santana and Journey.

    David Freiberg was in both Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship.

    Drummer (sorry) Don Brewer was a member of both Grand Funk and Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band.
    (Keyboardist Craig Frost also played with both bands, though I’m not sure if he was a formal member of the Silver Bullet Band.)

    Does Nils Lofgren’s membership of Neil Young’s Santa Monica Flyers and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band count?

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