R.I.P. Tony Thompson

I don’t suppose too many of us are able to say an awful lot about what makes one drummer better than another – I’m certainly not. Still, I wanted to mark that probably my second favourite drummer ever (behind the sublime Al Jackson Jr.), Tony Thompson, has this week died of cancer.

I’d put money on there being a good few reading this who don’t know who he is, but he was basically the third member of the Chic organisation. It’s understandable why the drummer gets the least play, when the other two are also dazzling musicians and they write and produce everything too, but he deserves some attention. His drumming was as punchy, funky and outright sexy as anyone has ever managed.

Sadly, he is also notable for what I’ve always seen as one of the worst musical career moves ever, in that after Chic stopped he hooked up with Robert Palmer and some ex-Duran Duran people as Power Station, but rather than that (or his session work, which reached into jazz as well as disco and pop), I’ll play Good Times and We Are Family and some other classic hits, and regret his passing.