Steve Ferrone

Steve Ferrone

Steve Ferrone (born 25 April 1950 in Brighton, England) is a British drummer, currently a member of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band. He was also a member of the Average White Band, and has recorded and performed with numerous other high-profile acts. Ferrone endorses Gretsch Drums and Sabian cymbals. He plays open-handed, a technique pioneered by legendary drummer Billy Cobham and endorsed by other famous drummers such as Phil Gould (musician) (Level 42) and Simon Phillips (TOTO).

Early life and education

Ferrone came from a musical family: "My grandmother played piano, [and] my father was a dancer for the Sierra Leone folk dancing troupe, but my grandmother was really the one who encouraged me to do something in show business. She spotted my reaction to music early. She actually led me to start with the drums with girls. I saw some girls at a dance react to Manfred Mann’s band and decided that rock music was for me! I had figured out how to play the drums from appearing in a summer show…in England and watching the pit drummer every night. I took to the drums like a duck to water."

His first claim to fame happened when he opened for the not-yet-famous band The Who at Uncle Bunnie's Chinese Jazz Club, as part of a small local band in the early 1960s -- Ferrone was just twelve years old at the time.

Ferrone was educated in France at the Conservatoire de musique de Nice and was heavily influenced by the Motown sound. He cites Jack DeJohnette as his favorite drummer, and also drew inspiration from Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Tony Meehan, Bernard Purdie, Grady Tate, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, John Bonham, Clyde Stubblefield, Al Jackson Jr., and Bobby Mason. He became very active in the music scene in Italy and France.

Musical career

Ferrone played with the band Bloodstone, appearing on their 1975 album "Riddle of the Sphinx". He then began playing with Brian Auger's band Oblivion Express, which had previously featured drummer Robbie McIntosh.

McIntosh later joined the Average White Band, and had just released their first number one album when McIntosh died of a heroin overdose. Ferrone was asked to join AWB in his place, and stayed with them for the next eight years, recording and playing concert tours to support several hit albums, until AWB broke up in 1982.

In 1985, Ferrone joined the "Saturday Night Live" house band. He intermittently served as sessions and tour drummer for Duran Duran from 1986 to 1988, and toured and recorded with Eric Clapton from 1986 to 1992.

He has also appeared on recordings by The Bee Gees, Scritti Politti, Brian May, Anita Baker, George Benson, Jonathan Butler, Bryan Ferry, Climie Fisher, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Jeff Golub, Rick James, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Freddie King, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Morrissey-Mullen, Dick Morrissey, Jeffrey Osborne, Paul Simon, Bernie Worrell and jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, among others.

Ferrone met guitarist Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers when the two played a show with George Harrison as part of his Hara and the Hijack band at Royal Albert Hall. He began recording with Tom Petty for the "Wildflowers" album, released late in 1994, with his first live Heartbreakers gig on February 28, 1995 in Louisville, Kentucky. Ferrone has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Heartbreakers so far: "Everyone should have an experience like 'The Heartbreakers' in their musical life; creativity, passion, honesty, integrity, and a lot of fun."

Ferrone released a live solo album entitled "It Up: Steve Ferrone and Friends Live at La Ve Lee" in 2003.

In 2007, he played drums on the self-titled debut album from the band The Black and White Years, produced by Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads.


*1975: "Riddle of the Sphinx" - Bloodstone
*1975: "Cut The Cake" - Average White Band (AWB)
*1976: "Soul Searching" - AWB
*1976 "Person To Person (live)" - AWB
*1977 "Benny & Us" - AWB
*1977: "Up" - Morrissey - Mullen
*1977: "The Atlantic Family Live in Montreaux"
*1978: "Warmer Communications" - AWB
*1979: "Feel No Fret" - AWB
*1980: "Shine" _ AWB
*1980: "Volume VIII" - AWB
*1982: "Cupid's In Fashion" - AWB
*1985: "Glow" - Rick James
*1985: "Cupid & Psyche 85" - Scritti Politti (Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin), Absolute)
*1986: "Souliloquy" - Dick Morrissey
*1986: "Notorious" - Duran Duran
*1988: "Big Thing" - Duran Duran
*1989: "Journeyman" - Eric Clapton
*1992: "Unplugged" - Eric Clapton
*1993: "The Sun Don't Lie" - Marcus Miller
*1994: "Wildflowers" - Tom Petty
*1996: "Songs and Music from She's the One" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
*1999: "Echo" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
*2002: "The Last DJ" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
*2003: "It Up: Steve Ferrone and Friends Live at La Ve Lee"
*2006: "Highway Companion" - Tom Petty
*2006: "Steve Ferrone's Farm Fur More Head" - Farm Fur

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Gretsch signature series drums]

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