Will Calhoun (Living Colour)

Will Calhoun, American rock drummer (Living Colour) was born Born 22 July 1964. Living Colour were formed in New York in 1984 by English-born guitarist Vernon Reid. Their music is a creative fusion influenced by free jazz, funk, hip hop,hard rock, and heavy metal. Their lyrics range from the personal to the political, in some of the latter cases attacking Eurocentrism and racism in America. Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. Although the band scored a number of hits, including “Love rears it’s ugly head” they are best remembered for their signature song “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.

After disbanding in 1995, Living Colour reunited in late 2000. grew out of the Black Rock Coalition, a non-profit organization founded by (among others) Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music. Reid was well known on the downtown New York jazz scenes because of his tenure in Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society. Reid assembled a number of bands under the name Living Colour from 1984 to 1986. Early band members included bassists Alex Mosely, Jerome Harris and Carl James, drummers Greg Carter, Pheeroan Aklaff and J.T. Lewis, keyboardist Geri Allen, and vocalists D.K. Dyson and Mark Ledford, with Reid occasionally singing lead vocals himself. The band’s sound was vastly different from the songs that showed up later on their major label recordings. Material from this period included instrumental jazz/funk workouts, politically pointed punk rock burners, experimental excursions via Reid’s guitar synth, and an early version of the song “Funny Vibe”, which was reworked for their debut album Vivid.

In 1992, Skillings left the band due to creative differences and was replaced by Doug Wimbish. This new line up released their third full-length album, Stain, in February 1993. The album reached No. 26 in the U.S., a further drop since their debut. Despite retaining their strong fan base, Living Colour disbanded in January 1995, after failing to settle on a common musical goal during sessions for their fourth studio album. Four of these tracks were included on the compilation Pride. Following the breakup, individual band members released a variety of solo efforts.

Living Colour reformed on December 21, 2000, at CBGB as a gig billed “Head>>Fake w/ special guests”. Head>>Fake was the current drum and bass project headed by Calhoun and Wimbish. Glover was on the bill to sing a few songs and Reid came on after three songs. The reunion was followed by the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Collideøscope, in 2003, their first album not to chart in the United States, although it was critically praised. In 2005, Sony Records released Live From CBGB, a live album recorded on December 19, 1989, as well as another best of compilation, Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour, with songs from Vivid to Collideøscope.In August 2006, Glover took on the role of Judas Iscariot in a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, touring with JCS veteran Ted Neeley. Doug Pinnick, vocalist and bassist of King’s X, filled in for Glover on lead vocals. Glover’s tour of the musical ran through June 2008, and he then rejoined the band. In 2006, Skillings joined the band for the first time in fourteen years when they played at a private party which drummer Jack DeJohnette threw for his wife Lydia. Wimbish was unable to come back from his base in London to play for the event, so Skillings agreed to take over for the special private event.

The band performed a week-long European Tour starting on December 12, 2006. In May 2007, the band released their first live DVD – On Stage At World Cafe Live. On July 11, 2008, the band performed at the 1980s hard rock-themed Rocklahoma festival at Pryor, Oklahoma. Once again, Skillings performed with them in August 2008 for a Black Rock Coalition Band of Gypsys tribute in Harlem. They performed “Them Changes” and “Power of Soul”.On October 25, 2008, MVD Audio and CBGB Records released CBGB OMFUG MASTERS: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection, a soundboard collection of songs from the Save CBGB’s benefit show. On November 25, 2008, Inakustik and MVD released The Paris Concert, a DVD recorded at New Morning, in Paris, France, during their 2007 European Tour. In 2009 Living Colour released their fifth studio album, The Chair in the Doorway Which was the band’s first album to chart since Stain in 1993, and The band also toured. The band’s song “Cult of Perosnality” was also used as the entrance music for professional wrestler CM Punk And in 2013, Living Colour performed the song live during Punk’s entrance at WrestleMania

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