- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : GP
- Profile : 2/5 - Hermit / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 4
American rock and jazz band drummer whose career highlights included spots with Frank Zappa (1975-1978) and “Missing Persons” (1980-1986). Bozzio launched his career as the drummer for Frank Zappa’s backing band, but would go on to become one of rock’s most skilled and versatile session men, forming one of new wave’s most visually exciting bands, “Missing Persons”, along with then-wife Dale Bozzio.
Bozzio was born into a musical family in San Francisco, CA, to Italian-American parents and has a sister, Carol, who is a song writer and singer with the group Chatterbox. He began by playing on makeshift drums at age six, and started formal lessons (after convincing his father) at age 13. His biggest inspiration was the Beatle’s infamous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Bozzio’s father, a salesman, had been a talented accordion player and his mother had sung in her own high school jazz band. Bozzio majored in music at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, CA, where he earned a musical scholarship. He then graduated with a musical degree from the College of Marin, CA. He filled in his spare time by playing in various local garage bands during the mid-late ‘60s. In the early ‘70s he landed gigs in such rock musicals as “Godspell” and “Walking in my Time,” in addition to playing in several jazz-fusion bands. Backing trumpeter Luis Gasca, he appeared on his first record with the 1972 release, “Born to Love You.” In 1975 Bozzio got his biggest career break when he auditioned for and got a spot drumming for Frank Zappa’s “Mothers of Invention” band. During the three years with Zappa he was featured on ten albums and in countless tours, also appearing in the Zappa concert movie, “Baby Snakes.”
After leaving Zappa in 1978, he tried spots with various other bands including “Group 87” and hard-rocking “Thin Lizzy,” but things just didn’t work out. In 1979 he joined progressive rocker group “UK,” recording a couple albums before quitting to form his own group in Los Angeles, “Missing Persons,” with ex-Zappa guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and vocalist Dale Consalvi. The group recorded several successful albums, touring the U.S. and Europe from 1980-1986. They achieved Gold Record status for “Spring Session M.” Bozzio was married to singer Dale Consalvi, a former Playboy Bunny of the Year, from 1979 to 1986. After leaving “Missing Persons,” he recorded an album with Andy Taylor of “Duran Duran” while working on his own solo pop music projects. During this period he recorded “Solo Drums” his first instructional video for Warner Brothers.
In 1988 Bozzio met and married Ev Kvamme, an attractive and soulful woman he met while she worked for Capitol Records. Their son Raanen was born in 1990. From 1990-1995 Bozzio improved upon, and later became noted for, creating the melodic ostinato (a musical phrase or rhythm consistently repeated) for the drum set. He also became known for creating orchestral compositions on the drum set by playing polyrhythms and polymeter while utilizing his large custom “Drum Workshop Kit,” in which the tom toms are tuned to specific notes to create the atmosphere that is Bozzio’s signature sound. The period 1995-2002 saw numerous tours of the US, Australia, Canada & Europe as a “Solo Drum Artist” and the recording of two solo CDs: “Drawing the Circle” and “Chamberworks” (for strings, winds, drums & orchestra).
Among the numerous awards he has received in his long career are the Modern Drummer “Hall of Fame” award, the “Clinician of the Year” award (twice), the Drum Magazine “Drummer of the Year” and “Best Clinician” award (twice). He also invented several new types of percussion instruments including the “Beater Ball Enhancer,” “Piccolo Toms” and “Radia” cymbals, bells and gongs for the Sabian company as well as designing his own signature drumsticks for manufacturer Vic Firth. In his late fifties Bozzio is still an in-demand sessionist, performance clinic instructor, drum set designer and album-video recording artist.