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Brian Bennett (The Shadows)

Brian Bennett (The Shadows) Brian Laurence Bennett OBE, (born 9 February 1940, in Palmers Green, North London, England) is a drummer, pianist, composer, arranger and record producer of popular music. He is best known as the drummer of the UK rock and roll group, The Shadows.

Educated at Hazlewood School, Palmers Green, London and Winchmore Hill School. He finished school at the age of sixteen to play drums in a Ramsgate skiffle group performing for holiday makers. After returning to London he became the in-house drummer at The 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho and was a regular on Jack Good's TV show Oh Boy!

He then became a member of Marty Wilde's Wildcats in 1959. After a successful period with the Wildcats, during which he appeared on their instrumental record without Wilde (recorded as the Krew Kats), "Trambone", he backed Tommy Steele for some of his London stage performances, and then in October 1961 he joined Cliff Richard and The Shadows as the replacement for Tony Meehan.

He stayed with the group throughout all of their subsequent line-ups, and in May 2005 took part in The Shadows' European tour. During a show in Reykjavik, Iceland he sustained what was thought to be a minor injury to a finger. A splinter from a drumstick pierced under his fingernail on his right hand, he removed it with a pair of old pliers and applied a plaster. A few days later after arriving in Paris, France he was in so much pain he called a doctor. The doctor diagnosed a bad infection and recommended Bennett go to hospital immediately. Thinking it would be a short visit he attended only to find out that it would involve a minor, but very painful, operation to remove the poison. He was due to be playing on stage that evening and had already missed the soundcheck. He arrived at the theatre 15 minutes before the show with his right-hand bandaged and still numb from the anaesthetic. He managed to play for the whole show using an altered playing style.

In addition to his work with the Shadows he is also a prolific composer, particularly of soundtrack music for films and television programmes, including The Ruth Rendell Mysteries and Pulaski. He also appeared in Cliff Richard's backing band and plays piano and occasionally vibraphone.

Two of his most famous works were "The Journey" and "Just a Minute", used for the ITV Schools on 4 broadcasts between 1987 and 1993. He has composed many popular TV theme tunes including BBC's "Rugby Special" (Holy Mackerel), sitcoms "Robin's Nest" and Birds of a Feather, "New Tricks" and "Murder in Mind". Probably one of his most recognisable themes is the BBC Golf theme ("Chase Side Shoot Up").

He is also an orchestral conductor, having learned how to arrange and conduct music for orchestras from a correspondence course. His son Warren Bennett formerly played keyboards for the band Glass Ties, and is also a composer and producer.

He was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to music.

Brian Bennett drum solo


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Bass drum played by Brian Bennett

Before joining The Shadows, Brian Bennett was at the centre of the rock ‘n’ roll scene in London. This is the bass drum from his Ludwig Super Classic kit, which was The Shadows’ kit used throughout the 1960s and it featured in the film Finders Keepers.

Brian Bennett (The Shadows)


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