R.I.P. Richie Hayward, Little Feat/Robert Plant drummer extraordinaire
I'm taking a brief break from all the media stuff for a small tribute to a player who influenced me tremendously and we lost all too soon: Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward.
Hayward died at age 64 on Aug. 12 after battling liver cancer for more than year. Musicians from around the world had been trying to help him handle the financial expense by holding benefit concerts; it was a stark reminder of how bad the health care system is in this country, when a founding member of world famous band like Little Feat needed such help to handle a major health crisis.
I first really paid attention to Hayward when he played on Robert Plant's mid-80s solo record, Shaken n' Stirred, powering some amazing album tracks such as Sixes and Sevens and Little By Little. For that record, he had an amazingly crisp style, with lots of power but an unerring sense of groove. He made the oddest tunes groove hard and rock hard at the same time -- and as a young player, I soaked it up like a sponge.
Hayward provided that service for a lot of great artists, including Robert Palmer, Joan Armatrading, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon and many more. He died only days before Kenny Edwards, another amazing backing musician who played with Linda Ronstadt for years and worked on records with Zevon, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Brian Wilson, Emmylou Harris and more.
Heaven's house band just got two more great players. Check out Richie's work below: