Spencer Davis Group Drummer Pete York Turns 69 [VIDEO]
The Spencer Davis Group introduced singer and keyboardist Steve Winwood to the world along with his brother Muff Winwood on bass. The group began when Spencer Davis was a lecturer on German at the University of Birmingham, in England, moonlighting as a musician. In 1963 he met drummer Pete York and they persuaded the Winwood brothers to leave their traditional jazz band and join them in the Spencer Davis Group.
Their biggest hit was “Gimme Some Lovin’,” written by Davis and both Winwoods. “I’m a Man” also hit the top ten in 1967. Steve Winwood left to form Traffic and his brother, Muff, went on to produce acts like Dire Straits and Squeeze.
York and Winwood were members of a British super group formed in 1967 called Eric Clapton and The Powerhouse. Eddie Hardin, who replaced Steve Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group, got together with Pete York in 1969 and formed Hardin and York.
On tour, the duo often played with Deep Purple where he met and became friends with Jon Lord and Ian Paice. In the 1980’s, York fronted the Olympic Rock & Blues Circus which featured a rotating line-up of musicians including Lord, Chris Farlowe and Brian Auger.
In 1987, York put together the first Pete York’s Super Drumming session with Paice, Cozy Powell, Louis Bellson, Simon Phillips and Gerry Brown. It became a TV show with each session featuring different guest members. The second sessions in 1988 included Bill Bruford, Zak Starkey, Billy Cobham, Dave Mattacks, Nicko McBrain, Jon Lord and Eddie Hardin.
The Spencer Davis Group reunited in 2002 at The Royal Albert Hall in London and York’s drum solo received a standing ovation from the crowd of over 5,000.
York teamed up with the drummer from The Scorpions, Hermann Rarebell, and jazz drummer Charly Antolini for a “Drum Legends” project.
Recently, Hardin and York reunited for “50 Years of the Beatles,” one of many international acts who got together to interpret song of the Fab Four. They played their Northern Medley, a mix of “Lady Madonna” and “Norwegian Wood.”
Pete York has been listed as one of the top ten all-time rock drummers.
Happy 69th birthday to a master drummer who has kept working to entertain us for more than 45 years.