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Bobby Chouinard with Chuck Berry

MiaKalish

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Hi, everyone. This is my first post but I have enjoyed reading the discussions. I am actually a bass player so of course drumming and drummers are a major part of music for me.

But I am wondering if someone - or more that one someones - can help with this. Bobby Chouinard is my favorite drummer of all time (he has more finesse than Bonham, drum roll please) and I have a major collection. His discography says he played or maybe recorded with Chuck Berry but other than the discographies, I can't find anything history if it, no tunes, nothing. Does any one of you amazing people know?

Thanks in advance,
Mia
 
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studrum

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Hi, everyone. This is my first post but I have enjoyed reading the discussions. I am actually a bass player so of course drumming and drummers are a major part of music for me.

But I am wondering if someone - or more that one someones - can help with this. Bobby Chouinard is my favorite drummer of all time (he has more finesse than Bonham, drum roll please) and I have a major collection. His discography says he played or maybe recorded with Chuck Berry but other than the discographies, I can't find anything history if it, no tunes, nothing. Does any one of you amazing people know?

Thanks in advance,
Mia
This should probably go in General. Probably get more responses. The Mods might have to help you move it, and welcome to the Forum, "low-end friend!"
 

MiaKalish

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This should probably go in General. Probably get more responses. The Mods might have to help you move it, and welcome to the Forum, "low-end friend!"
Hi, thought I did put it in General. Ooops. And thanks for the welcome. It's nice .
 

John DeChristopher

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Hi @MiaKalish , Welcome!

I knew Bobby. He's from Brockton, MA which is south of Boston. Before playing with Billy Squier, he played in a band called "Orphan" - my late brother in-law knew one of the guitar players in the band. He and my sister took me to see Orphan in 1974 at the impressionable age of 13 and I was blown away by Bobby. We connected again in 1981 when I was working at EU Wurlitzer Music in Boston. By then he was playing with Billy and a rock star. But still a great guy.

In 1989, while working at Zildjian, he got my name from Anton Fig or Mickey Curry (I forget) and contacted me about switching from Paiste to Zildjian. I told him I'd seen him in 1974 with Orphan and he couldn't believe it. To make a long story short, we became friends from that moment in 1989, right up until he passed away in 1997. I saw him several times with Billy Squier and he was amazing. An absolute beast on the drums. I attended his funeral service and hadn't seen him in a few years. He had some demons, but was a kind soul.

His nephew, Roger Chouinard, wrote a wonderful biography on Bobby. I helped him contact some of the drummers who were quoted in it. Check it out if you don't already have it.

As for playing with Chuck Berry, it's certainly possible. I doubt he recorded with him, but Chuck was known for using "pick up bands" when he toured. Bobby played in a band called "Duke and the Drivers" in the mid 70s, and they may have opened for Chuck Berry in Boston or somewhere in New England, and Chuck may have used Bobby and some of the guys in the band for his gig. That sort of thing happened all the time. That's my best guess...

It's nice to see some love for Bobby... May he Rest In Peace.
 
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MiaKalish

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Hi @MiaKalish , Welcome!

I knew Bobby. He's from Brockton, MA which is south of Boston. Before playing with Billy Squier, he played in a band called "Orphan" - my late brother in-law knew one of the guitar players in the band. He and my sister took me to see Orphan in 1974 at the impressionable age of 13 and I was blown away by Bobby. We connected again in 1981 when I was working at EU Wurlitzer Music in Boston. By then he was playing with Billy and a rock star. But still a great guy.

In 1989, while working at Zildjian, he got my name from Anton Fig or Mickey Curry (I forget) and contacted me about switching from Paiste to Zildjian. I told him I'd seen him in 1974 with Orphan and he couldn't believe it. To make a long story short, we became friends from that moment in 1989, right up until he passed away in 1997. I saw him several times with Billy Squier and he was amazing. An absolute beast on the drums. I attended his funeral service and hadn't seen him in a few years. He had some demons, but was a kind soul.

His nephew, Roger Chouinard, wrote a wonderful biography on Bobby. I helped him contact some of the drummers who were quoted in it. Check it out if you don't already have it.

As for playing with Chuck Berry, it's certainly possible. I doubt he recorded with him, but Chuck was known for using "pick up bands" when he toured. Bobby played in a band called "Duke and the Drivers" in the mid 70s, and they may have opened for Chuck Berry in Boston or somewhere in New England, and Chuck may have used Bobby and some of the guys in the band for his gig. That sort of thing happened all the time. That's my best guess...

It's nice to see some love for Bobby... May he Rest In Peace.
Wow, John. This is so nice. So nice to chat with somebody who knew him. Thank you. (I knew him too...)

I tried to get the book that Roger wrote but he was all sold out and didn't seem interested in a reprint. I thought of suggesting he make it available on Kindle but thought also that that might seem too forward. He didn't know me, after all, and he's busy with the record store.
I'm from Boston, by the way, and knew all those guys, James (Montgomery), who actually introduced me to Bobby; Peter Wolf; The Cars; and so on. I played out and had a radio show on the upcoming marriage of music and computers as Andi Jane (AJ) Woernicki.

Back on topic, the Chuck Berry item is listed in his discography...wouldn't that be only if there were a recording? I have found everything except that and the Utopia 45.

Thanks again feels a bit like being home
 

MiaKalish

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I never heard of him besides Billy Squier .
Always thought he was really great for that …
There's an extremely cool CD from Robert Gordon, live, called Fire, out on RCA in 2002. It clearly reflects Bobby's rockabilly roots from back in the day when he was listening to his brother's Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis records.

My favorite Bobby intro is on Rock Me Tonight. No matter how many times I have heard it, it still gives me shivers when he comes in. I think his most beautiful work is on Steve Postell's Travelin' Man. You can get it directly from Steve, he's on Facebook and if you message him, you can get your own, "not available anywhere else" CD. You also get to listen to Steve's beautiful voice.

There are live recordings of Pierce Arrow to be found on Spotify, and selections from the Gary More Victims of the Future tour in 1984. And also Robert Gordon live at various places.

Bobby prided himself on playing what he thought was right for the song, rather than being a flashy drummer showing off his skills, of which he had many. Calley Oh was one of his favorites. He loved how he was on that song.

This list is just a tiny selection, some of my personal, bass-player faves. Check his Discography. You might be amazed.
 

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Back in the day my friends and I weren’t what you’d call fans of Billy Squier , Stroke Me got on my last nerve . but I distinctly remember us agreeing that he had a bad as s rhythm section …..


That’s quite an accomplishment from testosterone filled denim jacket long haired wearing teens to admit .
 

MiaKalish

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Back in the day my friends and I weren’t what you’d call fans of Billy Squier , Stroke Me got on my last nerve . but I distinctly remember us agreeing that he had a bad as s rhythm section …..


That’s quite an accomplishment from testosterone filled denim jacket long haired wearing teens to admit .
I am still laffing...tears flowing...loved it.
 

MiaKalish

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Love this thread and Bobby is one of those anonymous band members I always mention when talking excellent drummers. Billy had a great band backing him up.
You know, rdumas, you got a great point there. Sometimes I listen to stuff and I think, who Were these guys, on drums, on bass? All you get is the front man, the singer, and/or the producer (like we care). Makes it really hard for musicians to figure out who really did what and to maybe find other tunes people we like played on.
 

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Hi @MiaKalish , Welcome!

I knew Bobby. He's from Brockton, MA which is south of Boston. Before playing with Billy Squier, he played in a band called "Orphan" - my late brother in-law knew one of the guitar players in the band. He and my sister took me to see Orphan in 1974 at the impressionable age of 13 and I was blown away by Bobby. We connected again in 1981 when I was working at EU Wurlitzer Music in Boston. By then he was playing with Billy and a rock star. But still a great guy.

In 1989, while working at Zildjian, he got my name from Anton Fig or Mickey Curry (I forget) and contacted me about switching from Paiste to Zildjian. I told him I'd seen him in 1974 with Orphan and he couldn't believe it. To make a long story short, we became friends from that moment in 1989, right up until he passed away in 1997. I saw him several times with Billy Squier and he was amazing. An absolute beast on the drums. I attended his funeral service and hadn't seen him in a few years. He had some demons, but was a kind soul.

His nephew, Roger Chouinard, wrote a wonderful biography on Bobby. I helped him contact some of the drummers who were quoted in it. Check it out if you don't already have it.

As for playing with Chuck Berry, it's certainly possible. I doubt he recorded with him, but Chuck was known for using "pick up bands" when he toured. Bobby played in a band called "Duke and the Drivers" in the mid 70s, and they may have opened for Chuck Berry in Boston or somewhere in New England, and Chuck may have used Bobby and some of the guys in the band for his gig. That sort of thing happened all the time. That's my best guess...

It's nice to see some love for Bobby... May he Rest In Peace.
Right on but I’m still miffed at Billy for bagging Kenny Aaronson on bass, who for my money is one of the top ten rock bassists of all time. I heard it was because he was unhappy that Kenny was almost as popular as he was, which I find a little hard to believe but stranger things have happened.
 

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John, Did Bobby switch from P to Z? I always remember him seeing use Paiste and Ludwig?
Great drummer as well
 

MiaKalish

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Right on but I’m still miffed at Billy for bagging Kenny Aaronson on bass, who for my money is one of the top ten rock bassists of all time. I heard it was because he was unhappy that Kenny was almost as popular as he was, which I find a little hard to believe but stranger things have happened.
You knew Billy, right?

Doug and Jeff and Bobby were so great... yeah, Billy could sing and he was a great guitarist, but... Right now, Bobby ranks up there as one of the most sampled drummers, 315 at last count, but Billy got all the money cause he had the publishing rights, so I'm with you, but for a different reason
 

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You knew Billy, right?

Doug and Jeff and Bobby were so great... yeah, Billy could sing and he was a great guitarist, but... Right now, Bobby ranks up there as one of the most sampled drummers, 315 at last count, but Billy got all the money cause he had the publishing rights, so I'm with you, but for a different reason
I don’t know Billy, no. But I remember that being a discussion about Kenny.
 

MiaKalish

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What I meant was, if you knew Billy, that shouldn't have come as a surprise. I didn't know Kenny except in passing.
So I started thinking about Kenny...and here's what I know... the original musicians on the demo for Tale of the Tape were Andy Newmark, Bob Kulick, and John Siegler. It took so long to get a record deal that when he finally did, the original people had opted out, so he had no band. First, he hired Bobby and Bobby brought in Doug, whom he had played with in Pierce Arrow, and Jeff. I don’t know anything about Kenny being in that band and a Google search didn't turn up anything about a Billy-Kenny connection except for a writing credit on "World of Denial," but that was on Fit to Be Tied, an album by Joan Jett and the Blackheads. So I’m confused...
 

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So I started thinking about Kenny...and here's what I know... the original musicians on the demo for Tale of the Tape were Andy Newmark, Bob Kulick, and John Siegler. It took so long to get a record deal that when he finally did, the original people had opted out, so he had no band. First, he hired Bobby and Bobby brought in Doug, whom he had played with in Pierce Arrow, and Jeff. I don’t know anything about Kenny being in that band and a Google search didn't turn up anything about a Billy-Kenny connection except for a writing credit on "World of Denial," but that was on Fit to Be Tied, an album by Joan Jett and the Blackheads. So I’m confused...
When I saw Billy in either 80 or 81, Kenny was the bassist. A simple Google search with both names shows it.
 

John DeChristopher

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John, Did Bobby switch from P to Z? I always remember him seeing use Paiste and Ludwig?
Great drummer as well
Yes he did. Summer of 1989. It was a pretty huge deal for me having just started at Zildjian a few months before.

Billy Squier played in Boston in the fall of 1989 and Blue Murder with Carmine Appice on drums was the opening act.
 
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MiaKalish

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When I saw Billy in either 80 or 81, Kenny was the bassist. A simple Google search with both names shows it.
Yeah, tried that. If you have definitive links, that would be cool. But, as accidents will happen, I stumbled across this in Pinterest. The person credited as "Alan Levi" looks suspiciously like a very young Alan St. John. But I never saw this incarnation.
 

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