Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds)

English Musician Mel George Gaynor was born 29 May 1959 in Balham, London, England. He is best known as the longtime drummer for the rock band Simple Minds. Gaynor was born to a Jamaican father and an Afro-Brazilian mother. Gaynor began drumming at age 11 and had his first professional engagement at age 14. Gaynor considers The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to be his main influences.

Gaynor first played drums for the British Hard Rock band Samson, Who were formed in 1977 by guitarist and vocalist Paul Samson. They are best known for their first three albums with future Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, then known as “Bruce Bruce”, and drummer Thunderstick (real name Barry Graham Purkis), who wore a leather mask and performed on stage in a metal cage. Drummer Clive Burr was also a member of the band, both before and after his tenure with Iron Maiden. Drummer Mel Gaynor also joined Samson but left soon afterwards. Dickinson’s replacement on vocals, Nicky Moore, performed with Samson throughout the mid-1980s and again from the late 1990s onwards; he has also been a member of the bands Mammoth and Nicky Moore and the Blues Corporation.

After leaving Samson, Gaynor joined Simple Minds in 1982 as a session drummer for the New Gold Dream album (as a recommendation by record producer Pete Walsh), playing on six of the nine tracks. He later joined the band permanently for the New Gold Dream tour, as a replacement for Mike Ogletree. Except for a period (1992–97) away from the band after the Real Life tour of 1991–92, he has been the band’s drummer to the present day. And has had a successful music career being a member of Simple Minds for over 20 years.

In addition to drumming, he is active as a songwriter and a record producer and has also played alongside other acts such as: Elton John, Lou Reed, Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Samson, Mango, Kirsty MacColl, The Associates, Orange Juice, Peter Gabriel, The Pretenders, Prljavo kazalište, Gary Moore, Jackson Browne, Little Steven, Brian May, The Nolans, Goldie, Robert Palmer, Joan Armatrading and Light of the World.

In 2007 Gaynor kicked off his solo project with a version of play that funky music and his new solo album was released in 2016. Gaynor’s first single is the re recording of Robert Palmers Addicted to released 2016. Gaynor was also a member of Birmingham-based Muscles, a funk-oriented covers band that had minor chart success with “If it Relaxes Your Mind” and “I’m a Girlwatcher”.

Gaynor has played a variety of drum sets over the years, including and currently Dixon drums. He has played a variety of cymbals as well, including at first Zildjian during the first years of Simple Minds, but then switched to Paiste in the early 1980s, which he played for much of the duration of his career. He has also endorsed Anatolian and UFIP cymbals. Gaynor has recently acquired an Italian company to make his signature sticks called Drum Art. And will also coming out with a signature snare drum from the same company.

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