PAUL BROOK - COVENTRY DRUMMER, PROGRAMMER / SEQUENCER COMPOSER / PRODUCER / GREAT GUY
- 1955 - 2007 RIP
Sad news came via a message from Pete Willow this morning about Coventry Drummer / musician Paul Brooke but I
had already discovered the news on drummer Ted Duggan's site. Ted (a great drummer in his own right) was a close friend of Paul's and has supplied me with material for this tribute. (Note various authors have spelt Paul's name in either with or without an e on the end). I've taken the version without the e which was in the original letter Igot from his first band Analog but it can be corrected!!)
PAUL BROOKE was drummer with Analog, Reluctant Stereotypes, the backing bands for Percy Sledge and the Marvelettes, Pzazz, Mummy Calls (On Geffan label) and more.
Paul was he was also a talented and accomplished Programmer, / Sequencer / Composer and Producer having programmed on Coldcut's Let's Play Album. Paul's band Analog did their first performance at the Hobo Workshop in 1974 and Paul worked on many projects at the Gighouse Studios in Coventry.
I met Paul in the autumn of 1974 when we began the Hobo Workshop - a weekly gig and creative workshop at Coventry's Holyhead Youth Centre, giving opportunities to new Coventry bands and creatives. His band Analog sent a letter to Hobo Magazine saying -
I thoughtyou might like some details of a new and truely original rock band to include in your Hobo Magazine. The name is ANALOG and includes the following people -
Mick Harley - bass / Steve Edgson - 2nd guitar, clarinet, recorder / Paul 'Babbling' Brook - he plays a double kit + vocals and John Rushton - Multi-track maniac on lead guitar and backing vocals.
(Read the full letter signed by John Rushton - here)
ANALOG AND THE HOBO WORKSHOP
The letter went on to say they were working on a 40 min suite, as yet untitled, based on an original idea by Paul Brook. The first half of the set consisted of a 'Super high energy piece' called Custo's Last Stand. The set contains more words than Close to the Edge (by Yes) and has seven main parts. The band had been in existence a year, rehearsing their masterpiece. John Rushton's letter coincided with the demise (owing to lack of finace) of Hobo Magazine and the birth of the Hobo Workshop. Analog did their first gig at the Hobo Workshop to great acclaim and the Coventry Evening Telegraph were there to immortalise them (see photo) in an article about the lauch of the new Hobo project. Analog proved a popular band at the Workshop, reknowned for their innovative Jazz / rock work.
THE RELUCTANT STEREOTYPES
I didn't see the band much after the Hobo Workshop finished summer 1975. Many of the bands had split up and new formations created. Shortly after punk had broken, I bumped into some of the band again. Walking past the 'Dive bar' (Lady Godiva Cellar Bar) in Coventry, a group of leather jacket punks emerged and made a bee line for me. I was about ready to run when I realised they knew me. Two members of the early Stereotypes were from Analog - Steve Edgson and Paul Brook and another was from another band who got started at the Hobo Workshop - Paul Samson formerly of Trigon and Bung. They were excited about their new band The Reluctant Stereotypes and I went to see them shortly afterwards at the Coventry Climax pub.
The early work of the Reluctant Stereotypes built on the Jazz rock styles of Analog, Trigon and Bung but later, after Two Tone broke, the band split and reformed. Some of the band wanted to continue their innovative appraoch and some wanted to go down a more commercial road. Paul Brook was one of the members who left. (See the Pete Chambers Article for the full lineage on these abnd members). Paul King joined - later forming the Pink Umbrellas and the the chart topping 80's band King. Paul Samson produced The Primatives.
But back to Paul Brook - I never really knew how Paul's career in music developed after the Reluctant Stereotypes until the other day when I checked out Ted Duggan's My Space and discovered the sad news.
Ted takes up the story -
PAUL BROOKE 1955 to 2007 RIP
Tuesday 3rd May my dearest friend for 30 years passed away after fighting a 2 year battle against cancer.
Paul Brooke was simply one of the best drummers / musicians on the planet, I worked with Paul on the Yamaha Sample sessions and Chemical beats sessions.
Paul was in and out of hospital for the last 2 years but he never let that get in the way of letting other drummers share his vast knowledge of drums and music. He was a major contributor to drum forums all over the World in particular the Mike Dolbear drum forum where he posted 7445 topics since he joined on .
Paul had his own website that he set up with Jason Bowld
Here is a history of Paul's playing career.
Started playing drums over 30 years ago on an old Olympic kit. Having upgraded via Maxwin to a Hayman kit, he began by touring abroad with covers bands, before playing in the backing bands for Percy Sledge and later the Marvelettes.
During this time, he was very passionate about fusion, his favourite drummers being Billy Cobham and Bill Bruford.
Joined a Jazz-rock band in 1980 called Pzazz and made an album and toured extensively, including two tours with Level 42.
From there, joined a band called "Mummy Calls". who were signed for a ridiculous amount of money to Geffen records in 1984, and made a record with Hugh Padgham producing. The band dissolved the following year and Paul co-wrote the track "Beauty Has Her Way" which appeared on "The Lost Boys" soundtrack.
In the years from '85 to '92 he divided his time between session drumming and programming, working with and for diverse artists including Nick Kershaw, Gary Moore, Greg Lake, Bonnie Tyler, Pino Palladino, Dream Academy, Coldcut, Danny Thompson, etc. etc.
Jason Bowld's Tribute
Paul had battled extremely bravely with his illness, so much in fact, that he managed to outlive his own doctors prognosis. This was typical of Paul's character though. He kept on drumming, in between having various operations – and when he didn't have the strength to drum, his mind carried on drumming. Even whilst being bed ridden in hospital or at home, Paul had a manuscript pad by his side and was constantly writing down new ideas and beats to inspire others – many of which, reside on the nufusions site. I know when I first met Paul six years ago whilst playing a drum clinic in spa he had the aura of a 'Jedi drumming guru' about him! When I went round to his house to see him play shortly after the clinic he drummed like a Jedi too! He had incredible independence, technical ability AND musicality and was one of the best drummers I'd ever seen.
Since then I forged a friendship with him that helped breathe new life into my drumming as I was truly inspired not only by his fantastic playing ability, but also by his style of teaching. This is how the nufusions column in Rhythm magazine was born. Two different playing styles meeting in the middle.
He was also a bit of a dark horse. I'd only found out last year that he worked with Nick Kershaw, Gary Moore, Bonnie Tyler, Pino Palladino, & Coldcut to name but a few as
well as co-writing a song in the film 'The Lost Boys'. He also created the world's first realistic drum sample CD "Masterkit" in 1992 then went on to create one of the best selling sample cd's of all time entitled 'Chemical Beats'.
Along with hundreds of other people – in and out of the drumming community I will miss Paul a great deal, but the impact he had on my drumming will never be forgotten and will continue to be a source of inspiration.
A GREAT MAN who will be sadly missed
Love you Paul
This morning Coventry Folk singer / organiser / editor and folk columnist - Pete Willow left a post on this site with a news release from Gighouse Studios in Coventry where Paul had worked on many projects -
Here's Pete's transcript -
I recently received this sad news from about Paul Brook - it was circulated by Gighouse Studios...
It is with great sadness that we inform you of Paul Brook's death on May
As a professional drummer, programmer /sequencer, composer and producer Paul worked with Gighouse Studios on many projects since we started in 1991. Paul programmed on Coldcut's acclaimed 'Let us Play' album, which he recorded and mixed with us, receiving many writing credits for his contribution. Incidentally, it was voted 'best album of the decade' by DJ magazine in 1999. He also recorded and co-produced his very successful sample CD series, Chemical Beats and Brutal Beats with Andie, our Producer/engineer. He was a regular session player at the studio and a close friend.
Paul had fought a long and brave battle against cancer and his funeral was held at Oakley Wood Crematorium. It was a fitting tribute to Paul that over 200 people attended the ceremony with standing room only, a great final Gig!
Our thoughts are with Jenny, Paul's wife, and his family.
I hadn't seen Paul for years and had no idea he was ill, but knew him quite well in the early 70s when he and I both worked in the Expediting Department of GEC in Copsewood. He was developing his talents then as a great drummer (used to practice with his fingers on his desk all day!!!) and an inventive practical joker.
A few years later he worked with former Dando Shaft guitarist Kevin Dempsey and later-to-be Fairport fiddle-player Chris Leslie. Paul produced (and played percussion on) their superb 'Always With You' album.
Here's a You Tube of his band Pzazz with Steve Tatum on Sax (Ted Duggan asks if anyone knows where Steve is
today) and Kevin Demsey on Guitar.
In 1992, Paul created the world’s first realistic drum sample CD “Masterkit” which was soon followed by “Masterkit 2”. Soon afterwards, he was approached by Yamaha to create a custom drum library, which appeared on their products over the next few years. Later sample CD’s included “Chemical Beats” (one of Zero-G’s top sellers ever) and latterly “Brutal Beats” (featuring Geoff Dugmore).
From 1996 onwards, Paul got seriously into percussion and Jazz where he did gigs at the Montreux Jazz Festival and Ronnie Scott’s.
Up until the end of 2006, Paul was working with Coldcut and running his private teaching practice, and lecture in sequencing & production at Mid-Warwickshire college.
Sonor Delite. – Amber Satin-Oil finish.
20 x18 Bass Drum, plus 24 x 8 Subwoofer w/ May internal mic.
Toms: 10 x 8 / 12 x 9 & 14 x 12 Snare Drums: Impact Tomcat hand made 14 x 5.5 Maple & Steel snares w/Trick throw-offs.
Istanbul 20” Agop Sultan ride, 20” Agop Special Edition Jazz ride, 20” Mehmet Ping ride. Classic series 17” crashes, one thin & one medium thin. Ufip Bionic Series 13” hats and 8” splash. 10” Meinl Mini-hats, plus LP cowbells & jamblocks.
E-Kit: Roland TD-6 plus Roland amplification.
Natal Congas, Cajon, assorted Darabukas, Rain Stick, “Hang” (Swiss-made hand played steel drum), Djembe, Bodhran etc. plus Roland Handsonic.
All notation is prepared and published using Sibelius 3 software, running on a Mac G5.
Great guy. Great loss.
Here are a few of the tribute paid to Paul on Ted Duggan's My Space -
Message from Tim - "Sad indeed - I loved Beauty Has Her Way and still play it whwn I get's me Vinyl out! We don't make enough of our talents here in Cov/Warks and people need to know we've lost a good un!"
Message from Redbox Media "I looked upto Paul when I was about 19 (my dad had passed away) and I took up playing drums; paul became my first drum teacher: I asked him, he said yes straight away. He taught me my paradiddles/exercises and I never, ever, forgot them. He was always hospitable, professional, knowledgeable but never in a patronising way - he was a good music coach and just watching him do his 16ths and rolls on the high hat made me think...paul was the only person to match and in many cases eclipse someone like stewart copeland! What a great shame he has passed away. RIP Paul"