Miscellaneous PiL Drummers
1958. Manchester, England
Drums September 1979
Briefly Richard Dudanski's replacement in September 1979, Burns was recruited to help complete 'Metal Box' sessions at the Manor, Oxfordshire. However, he does not appear on the album. Despite not playing on 'Metal Box' he does appear on 'Seaside Special' from Wobble's 'Betrayal' album; recorded around the same time.
Apparently Burns left the band after just a few weeks due to a personality clash with Keith Levene. Myth has it that Wobble set fire to his bed and he quite literally lived up his name. However, Wobble later explained the incident was little more than an "LSD fuelled live re-enactment of Space Invaders" where various PiL people set fire to newspapers while marching Space Invader style at Burns who pretended to shoot them (well that explains that then!).
Pre PiL, Burns had drummed with Mark E Smith's The Fall. He later rejoined them (several times) and became one of their longest serving members; until he finally left in 1998 after an infamous on-stage fight with Smith. He has now retired from the music scene and is (infamously) Missing in Action at the present time…
The Fall - Unofficial Fall archive
Queenborough, Kent, England
Drums April-September 1979
(aka Richard Nother). One of many early drummers, Dudanski played with PiL mid-1979. Popular belief is that Martin Atkins was drummer on 'Metal Box' – in fact, he only plays on one track – Richard Dudanski played on the majority of the album; as well as appearing live at the Manchester, Russell's Club (Factory) and Leeds, Futurama Sci-Fi Festival gigs.
Dudanski left soon after the
Leeds show disillusioned with PiL's working ethos. Even going to the extent
of sending a letter to the editor of 'NME' to explain his actions. PiL
simply blamed his departure on his inability to keep time; due to nerves
live on stage. Levene also claimed he became increasingly difficult to
deal with due to an amphetamine habit; a claim which Dudanski venomously
denies: "I never had, and was never near to having, an amphetamine
habit! (which doesn't mean to say that I've never taken the stuff). People
can say what they like about why "I left/was thrown out" of PIL, ie not
being able to keep time, but it is a bit ironic having the drugs bit thrown
at me, when in fact the effects of a much more insidious drug on another
member were in fact from my point of view the main reason for the band's
stagnation at that point, and the reason for my leaving"...
The brother-in-law of Palm Olive of The Slits, prior to PiL, Dudanski had drummed for Joe Strummer's 101ers; then later Bank of Dresden, Tymon Dogg and The Fools, and The Raincoats. After leaving PiL he rejoined The Raincoats, and also had stints with Dennis Morris' PiL-esque Basement 5, then later with The Tesco Bombers. 1986-88 saw him play with The
After moving to Granada, Spain, in 1988 Dudanski co-founded Por Si Las Moscas; and also collaborated with the Morrocan group Al Jaima. He ran a small recording studio in Granada (Mano Grande Producciones), and contributed production work for Spanish TV. 2002 saw him involved with Spanish percussion and vocal project Taller de Compas de Almanjayar; who released the album 'Cale Cale', however, Dudanski does not actually play on the record.
After the death of Joe Strummer in 2002 Dudanski reunited with the 101ers to play a couple of tribute shows for the new charity "Strummerville" set up on behalf of Joe Strummer. Dudanski is currently writing a book of his experiences in late 70s early 80s; and has his own "punky/pop/folk/garage" band El Doghouse; along with Tom Lardner on guitar and lead vocals; and his son Maki on bass.
El Doghouse - Official website
April 1951. England
Drums Manchester, Kings Hall, Belle Vue, 23.2.79
(aka John Edwards). In early 1979 PiL were using rehearsal rooms ran by Pat Collier of The Vibrators. Through this connection Eddie Edwards was brought in as a 'one off' drummer for the Manchester, Kings Hall, Belle Vue, 23.2.79 show.
It took Fodderstompf until 2007 to find out just who played drums at this show. No one we asked could ever remember (or still cared!).
A founder member of The Vibrators Eddie still periodically plays with them.
The Vibrators - Official website
September 1959. Highgate, London, England
Drums Early 1979
With virtually no information about him existing, Humphrey's short time with PiL was always a bit of a mystery; until he got in touch with Fodderstompf in 2003 to clear things up...
After Jim Walker left (but before Dudanski joined etc etc) Humphrey was brought in to play drums for the 'Metal Box' sessions at the Manor, Oxfordshire, and the Townhouse, London. Contrary to previous reports Humphrey did not play with PiL at the Manchester, King's Hall gig on February 23rd 1979 (we don't know who did!). He does however, play on 'Death Disco' and 'Albatross' from 'Metal Box'.
While rehearsing with his jazz fusion outfit Seventh Seal in early 1979, the 19 year old Humphrey was offered an audition for PiL; who were also using the same rehearsal studios. He then spent the next couple of months (most likely March-April) recording with the band; laying down the foundations of 'Metal Box'. Despite striking up a decent rapport and working relationship with Wobble he was "asked to leave" after his other commitments got in the way of his work with PiL. Although relishing his time with the band, Humphrey feels he never quite got the chance to show his real ability; and blames youthful inexperience on his decisions at that time.
Humphrey later played with Mike Oldfield and Sparks (appearing on 'TOTP' with both bands). After a long break from the music scene he returned to live and session work; 2007 saw him begin posting completely self-produced solo tracks on MySpace.
He is also a professional drum tutor and runs classes. Fodderstompf readers could save 20% on lessons by contacting him direct!
www.bluedrums.co.uk - David's Drum Tutor website
MySpace - www.myspace.com/kick41
Drums January 1979 ?
The almost mythical Vivian Jackson! The first in a long line of mysterious temporary PiL drummers. According to reports in the music press Vivian was brought in to replace Jim Walker in January 1979 for the (cancelled) Dublin gig. It seems he only rehearsed with PiL and never appeared or recorded with them; then left as quickly as he arrived. Keith Levene can't remember him being in the band, so that maybe sums up Vivian's contribution. John Lydon remembers him being a "nutter", and Wobble "vaguely" remembers them rehearsing with a "reggae drummer" one day; but thinks that it was very early on; possibly before Jim Walker joined.
The only thing certain about Jackson is that he is definitely not the Jamaican reggae producer Vivian 'Yabby You' Jackson.
There are very few press references to Vivian, though according to 'Melody Maker' he had previously worked with dub-poet Linton Kwesi Johnson on his 'Dread Beat An' Blood' album. We previously contacted LKJ but he said he couldn't remember him; and he is not credited on the album. However, another press report on Vivian came to light in 2010 and stated his second name as "Weathers". Vivian Weathers DID appear on the 'Dread Beat An' Blood' album and also released a solo album entitled 'Bad Weathers' in 1978 on Virgin Records / Front Line. Making him the most likely suspect. Mystery solved? Well, to confuse things (surely not) Vivian is not credited with drums on his solo album or 'Dread Beat An' Blood', but does get a credit on 'Bad Weathers' for percussion.
Roots Archive - Vivian Weathers 'Bad Weather' album
Drums & Percussion 1986-90, 2009-present
Originally recruited for the 1986 'Album' tour, Smith stayed with PiL for nearly four years; playing on two studio albums ('Happy?' and '9') and forming an important part of the "new" PiL. After excessive touring, and personal problems, he finally left at the beginning of 1990. (Recording the track 'Criminal' for the 'Point Break' soundtrack just before leaving). By his own admission he did a lot of "partying and drugs" and it seems things just finally came to a head.
Prior to PiL, Smith was drummer for The Pop Group (1977-81) & The Slits (1979-81), New Age Steppers (1980-81) & African Head Charge (1982). He married Neneh Cherry for three years and moved to Sweden. Formed Rip Rig & Panic (1981-84) and Float Up C.P. (1984-86).
Despite joining PiL in spring 1986, Smith simultaneously did session work for Terrence Trent D'Arby (1987), Guided By Voices (1989) amongst others. Post PiL, more session work followed including The The ('Dusk', 1993), Bjork ('Debut',1993).
Apparently Smith is still actively involved in and around the music scene composing and producing for various recording artists, films, documentaries, commercials etc. He has also played and recorded with Sade's backing band Sweetback; appearing on their first album in 1996, and their follow up released spring 2004. He currently lives with his family in Soho, New York, USA.
Bruce was one of the former members – along with Lu Edmonds – who rejoined PiL for the 2009-10 live shows.
August 8th 1920. New York, USA
Drums New York, The Ritz, May 15th 1981
A respected and well-known jazz drummer since the 1940s, Keith Levene and Ed Caraballo met Ulano at The Bowery in New York, and recruited him for PiL's infamous "Riot Show" at The Ritz, May 15th 1981.
Ed Caraballo: "We met Sam in a bar and asked him if he wanted to play the gig. Keith took out his bank roll and slipped him a couple of hundred bucks. So we just told him to be there Friday." Of course, Ulano didn't know what was awaiting him; and after two numbers the venue was trashed by the audience. Perhaps the most dangerous couple of hundred bucks Ulano ever earned!
Since 1985 Ulano has played regularly with his jazz outfit The Red Blazer's. Nicknamed "Mr Rhythm" Sam is also a respected drum tutor who has published over 2000 books on drum technique! 1997 saw him receive the "Drum Master Award". Incidentally, his son Mark Ulano works in Hollywood as a soundman, and received an Oscar for 'Titanic' in 1999. Now in his eighties Sam still plays live regularly in New York.
Sam Ulano - Official website
Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)
Karl Burns; circa 1999, TBLY © unknown
Richard Dudanski; PiL, The Factory, Manchester Russell Club, June 18th 1979 © Dave Crowe
Eddie Edwards © unknown (Masao Nakagami, Wikipedia Commons?)
David Humphrey; circa 1979 © David Humphrey
Vivian Weathers (from Bad Weather album) © unknown
Bruce Smith; circa 1989 © Bonnie Shiffman
Sam Ulano © unknown