Showing posts with label Bruce and Laing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce and Laing. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2023






M O U N T A I N 











While Corky Laing is best known as the powerhouse rock drummer with the group Mountain, his career has lasted well past the supergroup where he made his name. Laing left Energy in 1969, replacing drummer N.D. Smart and joining electric bass guitarist Felix Pappalardi and guitarist Leslie West in Mountain, who along with Cream and Blue Cheer, became one of the seminal power trios in modern heavy psychedelic rock music.
Mountain released three albums in two years on the independent Windfall label and produced the mega-hit "Mississippi Queen." But Pappalardi went on hiatus while Laing and West formed, West, Bruce & Laing with former Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, producing two studio albums and a live release for the Epic label. Mountain re-formed in 1974, issued two more albums, and broke up again. In late 1975, Laing played congas for several tracks on Bo Diddley's all-star album The 20th Anniversary of Rock N' Roll. Mountain again reassembled in 1985 and Laing has sustained a working relationship with them.

In 2003, Laing and West produced Nantucket Sleighride & Other Mountain On-The-Road Stories, a historical overview of their time with Mountain and tales of touring. 2007 kept Laing busy, recording Stick It, an audio version of his memoirs.
 Mountain also turned out a Bob Dylan cover album Masters of War. West continued with a solo career throughout, while Laing collaborated with John Lennon, Bobby Keyes, Ten Years After, Meat Loaf, Frank Marino, and Mahogany Rush, and bassist Noel Redding, formerly of the Jimi Hendrix Experience to name a few.

In 2019, he released his autobiography, Letters to Sarah written together with Tuija Takala, PhD, who started working with Corky on Playing God: The Rock Opera in 2012, gradually became his manager and partner, and with whom Corky has since collaborated on a number of projects.

Corky's album, the Toledo Session was released on CD in late 2019 and re-released on vinyl in 2020. The album contains nine new original tracks and the excitement brought on by the new repertoire is reminiscent of the classic Mountain albums, Climbing! and Nantucket Sleighride.

Since 2015 Corky has been touring the world celebrating the musical legacy of Mountain.

Corky’s latest release is entitled FINNISH SESSIONS recorded at E-studio in Finland in April. The album features Michael Monroe (harmonica) and Ian Hunter (keyboards) as special guests.







With special guests

Ian Hunter 


Michael Monroe 



 Ray Shasho music journalist











with Tuija Takala


Letters to Sarah is a rock autobiography with a difference. In addition to the exceptionally honest and endearing voice of Corky chronicling the ups and downs of his life, there are excerpts from dozens of letters (out of the c. 200) that Corky wrote to his mother, Sarah, between the years 1963 and 1997. She had saved them all. The letters were a way for Corky, away on the road for years on end, to keep in touch with his roots and also, to make sense of his life. This continues in Letters to Sarah, as Corky relives the first 50 years of his life, up until his mother’s passing in 1998.





Official website



Tuija Takala




Corky Laing & the Bobos (Conny Bloom, Maria Hänninen, John Vihervä & Harri Väyrynen)

5/16/2023 Odal Rock Club, Austvatn, Norway

5/17/2023 Melodybox, Stockholm, Sweden

5/18/2023 Backstage Rock Bar, Trollhättan, Sweden

5/19/2023 Bomber Bar, Motala, Sweden

5/20/2023 Rockland, Sala, Sweden

Corky Laing's Mountain

8/31-9/3/2023 Nene Valley Rock Festival, Peterborough, UK


With Mountain

Studio albums

Climbing! (1970)

Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

Flowers of Evil (1971; partially live)

Avalanche (1974)

Go for Your Life (1985)

Man's World (1996)

Mystic Fire (2002)

Masters of War (2007)


Live albums

Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On (1972)

Eruption (2004)

Compilation albums

The Best of Mountain (1973)

Over the Top (2001)


West, Bruce and Laing

1972 – Why Dontcha

1973 – Whatever Turns You On

1974 – Live 'n' Kickin'


With Leslie West

1975 – The Great Fatsby

1976 – The Leslie West Band

2005 – Guitarded


With Bartholomew plus III

1965 – "She's Mine" / "You're Not There"

1967 – "When I Fall in Love"


With Cork

1999 – Speed of THought

2003 – Out There


As Corky Laing

1977 – Making It On The Streets

2019 – Toledo Sessions

Finnish Sessions (2022)


With Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and Felix Pappalardi

1999 – The Secret Sessions


With The Mix

1980 – American Glue


With The Perfect Child

2013 – Playing God


As Corky Laing's Mountain

2017 – Live in Melle

2019 - Live At Howard's Club H

Guest appearances

1969 – David Rea – Maverick Child,


1971 – David Rea – By the Grace of God, drums

1972 – Bobby Keys – Bobby Keys, drums

1976 – Bo Diddley – 

The 20th Anniversary of Rock N' Roll, congas

1987 – Charlie Karp 

& the Name Droppers – 

Charlie Karp & the Name Droppers, percussion

1991 – Men Without Hats –

 Sideways, on "I Am the Walrus", drums


2004: Jason Hartless Jr. – First Division

2012: Corky Laing and The Memory Thieves – House of Thieves

2018: Pompeii – The Secret Sessions



MARCH 20TH 2023













Order yours today on (Collector edition) Hardcover or E-book at and

Featuring over 45 intimate conversations with some of the greatest rock legends the world will ever know.







-By Literary Titan (5) STARS

The Rock Star Chronicles by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show. 

The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan. 

Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives. 

The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music.  The second noteworthy thing is the use of high-definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.

I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.   

Gold Award Winner


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Corky Laing: Mountain Legendary Drummer talks about Brilliant Rock Opera Release

By Ray Shasho

Canadian powerhouse drummer Corky Laing is essentially associated with rock and roll folklore and as one of the elite drummers in the world. Laing is a longtime member for hard rock/heavy metal giant’s Mountain and the blues-rock power trio of West, Bruce & Laing. But Laing’s musical collaborations are seemingly endless. A list that includes alliances with John Lennon, Jack Bruce, Meat Loaf, Noel Redding, Mahogany Rush, Ten Years After, Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson, Bo Diddley and Gov’t Mule …to name a few. Laing is also a producer and composer.

Corky Laing has recently added a brand new chapter to his illustrious musical career. Laing’s most recent project is a fascinating collaboration with two internationally acclaimed professors (Prof. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala) intermingling the decree of genetic engineering with a rock opera music scheme. The concept album entitled … Playing God is performed by the Perfect Child, an incredible ensemble of musicians and singers. At the core of the rock opera is Corky Laing who astounds instrumentally, lyrically and vocally. The album concept is brilliant and the music is colossal. It’s an awe-inspiring rock musical production and a cross between … Welcome to my Nightmare, The Wall and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Corky Laing and the Perfect Child is … Corky Laing (drums, vocals, percussion, guitar), Bonnie Parker (bass, vocals), Denny Colt (guitar, vocals), Lasse Väyrynen (guitars, guitalele, bass, keyboards, backing vocals), Matti Häyry (guitars, guitalele, keyboards, vocals), Tuija Takala (guitar, vocals), Maya Paakkari (vocals), Harri Väyrynen (guitar, bass, vocals), Mikaela Mansikkala (vocals),Hanna Paatero (backing vocals), with Special Guest: Eric Schenkman (guitar) of the Spin Doctors.

… I gave Playing God - by 'Corky Laing & the Perfect Child' -Five (5) Stars.

The album is available to purchase on the Gonzo Media website and will be available soon on -September 10th.

Corky Laing also records and performs live with his band Corky Lang & The Memory Thieves featuring Bonnie Parker & Denny Colt. Both bandmates also performed magnificently on the Perfect Child rock opera. 'The Memory Thieves' released the album House of Thieves in 2012.

Corky Laing studio and live albums with Mountain … Climbing! (1970), Nantucket Sleighride (1971), Flowers of Evil (1971), Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On (1972). Avalanche (1974), Go for Your Life (1985), Man’s World (1996), Mystic Fire (2002), Masters of War (2004).

Corky Laing studio and live albums with West, Bruce & LaingWhy Dontcha (1972), Whatever Turns You On (1973), Live ‘n’ Kickin’ (1974).

Other studio releases featuring Corky LaingCorky Laing- Makin’ It on the Street (1977), The Secret Sessions (1999), Cork- Speed of Thought (1999), Cork- Out There (2003), Jason Hartless Jr. –First Division (2004), Stick It! (2004).
Corky says …
“The drums are the best instrument in the world. When you’re a kid you go to your dad and say, dad, I want to grow up and I want to be a drummer. Your dad says ...You’ve got to choose one or the other.”
Recently, I had the great pleasure to chat with Corky Laing about his brilliant and awe-inspiring rock opera entitled Playing God. We also talked about recent news concerning longtime bandmate Leslie West, the inception of “Mississippi Queen,” Mountain past and present, playing with Mick Ronson and much-much more!

Here’s my interview with legendary drummer, composer, producer, singer, and member of classic rock legend’s Mountain and West, Bruce & Laing … CORKY LAING.
Ray Shasho: Hello Corky! Where are you at today?
Corky Laing: Hey Ray! I’m outside of New York way-way up on the ocean by Orient Point.”
Ray Shasho: So you no longer live in Canada?
Corky Laing: “No, I was in Canada while my son was finishing college and now we’re back in the U.S. of A. Ray.”
Ray Shasho: I’ve enjoyed chatting with several legendary Canadian music artists …including Burton Cummings, Frank Marino and Gino Vannelli.
Corky Laing: “The Canadian music industry is very small and sort of a family, it’s an oasis of talent especially in the rock field. Most of those guys I know from way back, it’s great. It’s nice to see they are still around, passionately involved, and working it. There are lots of great musicians from Canada. It’s become a world thing now for rock; it used to be really exclusive to the states and now everybody has opened up. It’s an oasis of talent because my theory is … Canadians have to hustle more and they don’t mind it. Canadians are basically blue-collar workers in a lot of ways and they do what they got to do, very similar to the UK attitude. They take nothing for granted; it’s not about the bling-bling … it’s about the commitment.”
Ray Shasho: Corky, let’s talk about your new concept album entitled Playing God … It’s an awe-inspiring rock musical production … a cross between ‘Welcome to my Nightmare,’ ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture show,’ I thoroughly enjoyed the album, what a magnificent musical journey! What was your inspiration for making the album?
Corky Laing: “I’ll tell you what happened … I was lecturing in Canada, my brother is a professor at McGill, and he sort of brought me in to do guest lecturing, and I’d go in and talk about international marketing and the traditional side of the music business. I started with that and I ended up teaching an entire course at University of Western Ontario for about 6 to eight months… and I loved it. What happened is through the network, a couple of professors from the University of Helsinki and The University of Manchester saw me online lecturing and saw a show that I did while I was playing over in Sweden, and they came by and were big fans of Mountain, but I didn’t realize at the time that they were top professors in the philosophy field. They called me and said that they had some opportunities to guest lecture over in Helsinki and Manchester and I said I’d love to. It wasn’t a matter of money … I just loved the idea.”

“But dig this ... It wasn’t about lecturing about the music business, it was about the philosophy of rock. In other words, they would talk about it from the vanish point, how did you survive ethically, in a business or lifestyle that had no rules. It was pretty frivolous when I started. So I began doing more lectures and people were getting more serious about the lifestyle.”

“Then they went on to say … we’ve written these philosophical books and actually put together an opera idea regarding genetic maneuvering and manipulation. They said, “We really love the way you write, would you consider writing a couple of songs for this opera?” This was a couple of years ago and I said why not. What I had the opportunity to do was to use a lot of the ideas that never got used in Mountain and also in West, Bruce and Laing, because I catalogued most of my ideas. So I was able to use them and apply them to certain scenarios. So they wrote the story and I would commute back and forth to Finland every month for the last year and half or so and it started developing.”

“I was able to do anything I wanted to do. All I had to do was to bring the storyline into the song. So I told them there would be a lot of drums because I was going to write to the drumming. Since the actual content was so sophisticated and I had no idea about opera, I just did what I do and they accommodated it. I’m thrilled that you are enjoying it because it is quite an ambitious idea to use the opera as a philosophical teaching tool in universities. That was their idea, it’s not a commercial album sort of speak, it’s an album that satisfies the story. So the fact that it’s accessible and someone like yourself who is very exposed to a lot of music can actually say … wow this makes a dent here … it’s very reassuring on that level. All in all it was a fantastic experience for me.”

“I don’t usually sing a lot but because I had to sing the parts, I’m actually playing different characters on the CD. When we go to do the show in Switzerland, it will be our first workshop where we actually perform the show on stage. I’ll be performing the parts, singing and playing and then various performers from all over Europe are coming in to perform the band ‘The Perfect Child’ which is the band that plays in the show. And I’m preparing for it as I speak to you.”
Ray Shasho: One of the many tracks that I enjoyed on the album is “Perfect Boy.” Who is the female singer on that track?
Corky Laing: That’s interesting, there’s a band that I have and been working on here in Long Island (Corky Laing & The Memory Thieves) and have done some dates. Bonnie Parker & Denny Colt and they have a band called ‘Tang’ a heavy metal band, they’ve been around for years starting out in the mid 80’s. They’re great …guitar player and bass player. I knew Bonnie for years from way back to the Bonnie Parker Band. She’s just a great little singer and really a powerful little nuclear bomb. She’s a beautiful girl with this power and her girlfriend is Denny. So those girls sing on it and except for Maya Paakkari a Finnish singer who has that Eartha Kitt sort of vibe, she’s the other female singer.”
Ray Shasho: Corky, you have an intriguing voice that instills throughout the entire album.
Corky Laing: “I’m actually playing a few parts. I actually have the opportunity to play God and it’s quite a powerful place to be. I also play Tony who is my favorite character. When they first started asking me, they needed an old blues guy who makes the deal with sort of with the devil to get money to pay for his drugs and his gambling fees and he’s all washed up. That was Luke and my initial introduction and it sort of fit me like a glove. So basically my singing parts are the God’s, Luke, Tony and Sophie’s father.”

“I think some of the conflicts are very contemporary. It’s pretty deep but relevant. I really got involved heavily when I realized the content. The actual subject matter is one of those things I don’t think will go away too quick, it’s very controversial. Biogenetics is about trying to become perfect at whatever we do. That in itself is so contemporary with everyone trying to take whatever medication, whatever science … to live longer, better, or trying to be perfect.”
Ray Shasho: I think most of all, it’s just really good music on top of all that.
Corky Laing: “That’s really the best compliment you can give. That’s my neighborhood I try and come into. I had a chance to really stretch. To be told, do whatever you can and use every fiber of your being to come up with anything because you will not be shut down. It’s quite a wonderful place to be, especially at my time in my life.”
Ray Shasho: You also sang on “Eyes in the Mirror” and on that track you sounded very Peter Gabriel.
Corky Laing: “I’ve got to keep you on the line here … this is very good (All Laughing). That’s a lovely complement. I have to say, I was a little bit reluctant to do as much singing. I was basically singing everything to demonstrate to the other singers, because we roll out stuff musically but basically for the attitude. Over a period of time we couldn’t get some of the singers we wanted so they said we just love the way it feels … let’s just go with it. So I’m glad you get it.”
Ray Shasho: Your mom loved Cuban music and so you grew up listening to Latin rhythms?
Corky Laing: “We were in Montreal and she loved to dance. Somehow I got known for the cowbell and Timbales. People would say, well what brought that on? I’d say, when I started I played dance music and tried to imitate Latin music. Then when Mountain came together I said to Felix that I’d like to get some tom-toms, the reason I didn’t have them is because I couldn’t afford them. I had the timbales and Felix said …no-no man that’s the only thing that could cut through the huge Sunn Amplifiers. Timbales as you know are like nuclear warheads when you hit them hard. So between the cowbell and the timbales, from a percussion point of view, I was able to cut through the Marshalls and the Sunn Amps. Oddly enough, that’s where somehow I’m associated with heavy metal, because of the metal in the timbales. I don’t mind it; it sort of confuses me a little bit when they associate me with a heavy metal grandpa of drumming. I scratch my head on it …but I’ll take it! (All laughing)”

“I just used a good deal of what I know on the opera. You’ll hear tons of bass drums and tom-toms and I kept the cymbals at a minimum because of the grit that comes with the actual drums and so that was sort of translated quite a bit in that. Then there was a quasi Arabic feel towards the end that I picked up from a Northern Moroccan group and it helped soothe the whole story line at the end. Ray, I just let ‘er rip and I didn’t expect a lot of the stuff to translate to the actual record … but you know what, it did and I’m thrilled.”
Ray Shasho: Corky, I’d like to talk a bit about Mountain … first of all, how’s Leslie West doing?
Corky Laing: “I’d have to say I haven’t talked with him for awhile, but that’s only because he’s been pretty much on his own. I was talking with Warren Haynes and I ran into Alice and they all love Leslie, they were asking the same question. He’s just staying to himself. Leslie and I had a couple gigs that we did before he had his leg amputated and he was in terrible pain in those days. Going to a gig was even hard to communicate with him. I hope he’s doing well, I know he’s recorded a couple of records with some of his friends like Slash, so I know he’s playing. So I think he’s probably alright.”

“Ray, when you put yourself in his position, he’s one of those guys who loves to get around. For a big guy, I’ve always been amazed in over forty years how he moves faster and more than anybody I know that has half of his weight. So I think it’s got to be quite discouraging not to be able to get the places literally that he would want to get. Example, he just can’t fly around, it’s a whole situation when he gets on a plane or he has to travel because it has to be accessible. In conclusion … I hope he’s doing well; he’s been playing a bit, has his own trio and does some blues. But Mountain is in the sunset. We can’t get up and play the shows that people would want Mountain to play. Even if we’re fifty years older, it’s not about that, it’s about the energy and conviction that the band was known for, even when it wasn’t playing that great, we always played very hard. So I would say he is doing as well as expected.”

“If Leslie wanted to ever do something, I would do whatever he wanted to do. Right now he’s using a good friend of mine Bobby Rondinelli when he plays a couple of gigs around New York.”
Ray Shasho: Corky, I’ve attended hundreds and hundreds of rock concerts over my lifetime, but the rowdiest show I’ve ever been to was at a Mountain concert in the early 70’s at the Capital Centre in Maryland. Mountain opened for The J. Geils Band. The announcer, who I believe was a local deejay named Barry Richards, introduced the band and was hit with a bottle. Then Leslie West began wailing this incredible solo and people began jumping up on the stage and went wild … it was incredible!
Corky Laing:That’s funny. When I played with Meat Loaf for a stint, he used to get nailed all the time. In England, what they would do is they had these plastic beer bottles and they’d drink the beer, piss in the beer, and then put the cap on very loosely and throw that on stage. It’s called a piss bomb. I remember playing with Meat Loaf and having to duck from those piss bombs. You either loved Meat Loaf or you hated him. In England it was a very fine line.”

“Mountain was a pretty wild ride. Leslie was a very moody guy depending on what day it was in the week and what type of drug he was taking or I was taking… whatever it is. Again, you’re going back to a time when there were no rules. You did what you had to do at the time and hoped it worked and if it didn’t work in many cases …who the f*ck cares. I’m sorry to say, but the commitment to the music at that point was … I’m not sure how solid that was; it was more about the whole atmosphere. It was more about hard rock and the impact of music as opposed to the subtlety of the music and that went a long way. So there were good things that came out of it.”
Ray Shasho: So when Saturday Night Live created the sketch “More Cow Bell” featuring Christopher Walken and the SNL Players portraying Blue Ӧyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” … they really should have been portraying Corky Laing with Mountain playing “Mississippi Queen.”
Corky Laing:It has come up quite a bit. Blue Ӧyster Cult copied me and I copied The Chambers Brothers. Everybody copies somebody. The cowbell was just an idea of function, to do the count, so everyone knew where (1) was. Think about the audio aspect, when you get into an arena and you’ve got those amps at full blast … I would use the cowbell just to keep the time. I did “Mississippi Queen” way back before Mountain. It was one of those spontaneous wrote itself in the limo kind of songs. We were in Nantucket and I was playing with my local band ‘Energy’ and there was this beautiful chick called Mollie who was dancing with this really good friend of mine Roy Bailey, and it was in the middle of the summer in 1969. The lights blew-out in Nantucket, it’s a small island and they never had air conditioning until that summer. So everybody turned on their air conditioners blowing out the power on the entire island. So all there was … was this emergency spotlight shining on this beautiful chick who was wearing a see-through dress. I’m playing drums, and the organ, the bass, and the guitar go off …and there are just drums. We were in the middle of playing “Cripple Creek” and people were getting off the dance floor except Mollie and Roy kept dancing. I knew she was from the South and I wasn’t going to stop playing to get them off the dance floor. I just kept staring at her and then screamed at her … Mississippi Queen! I kept rambling on and on and then screamed …You know what I mean! So that’s the story.”

“What happened is, when the end of the summer came after Woodstock and we had to go into the studio, Felix said do you have any songs; we’ve got an album to do. He sent Leslie and I to the back room and said you guys go back there and write something. Leslie had already done his solo album with Felix called Mountain. So Leslie says you got any words? He knew I had been writing with my local band and I said yea, I actually wrote these words out for this thing that I played with just the drums. So I played it for him and he immediately came up with the lick. It was within f*ing seconds! We looked at each other and literally laughed ourselves sick and thought … wow this is f*ing cool!”
Ray Shasho: Did you get the chance to jam with Jimi Hendrix?
Corky Laing: “Yes I did. A lot of guys did way back, but he was a big fan of Mountain. I have articles that I kept personally where they ask him what are you listening to …and he says I’ve been listening to Nina Simone and Mountain. That’s what he was listening to at the time. Leslie jammed with him ….it was an era where we all crossed paths. It wasn’t like a big deal, nobody was God yet and there was nobody that was a hero yet like Clapton. Everybody played all the time and there were no egos involved. When it sort of kicked into the 70’s, big business came in and everybody had to watch out what they were playing and who they were playing it for ….becoming paranoic … too much cocaine Ray, too much cocaine.”

“If I could say one word that would wrap up my life it would be either blessed or lucky.”
Ray Shasho: One of my favorite guitarists that I also feel is one of the all-time greatest players is Mick Ronson. You’ve also worked with Mick and Ian Hunter in the past.
Corky Laing: In the musician world Mick Ronson was magical. There’s a record that I did that I was very proud to do called The Secret Sessions and Mick Ronson, Ian Hunter and I were a band at one point in the late 70’s. Ian and I wrote and recorded about six to eight songs and then Ian was offered his own record deal and put out You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic. With the arrangement that we had he gave me these songs that Mick Ronson, myself, Ian Hunter and Felix Pappalardi played bass. Then we had Paul Butterfield playing harmonica and John Sebastian came in from the Spoonful. We had some great players.”

“You’ll hear some of the best work that Ronson did apart from Bowie on The Secret Sessions. Even Mick himself, God bless him was one of the most beautiful people, said, that he really enjoyed that because when Felix and I played we stuck to the old American bass and drums when it came down to recording, we played very thick. Mick loved the idea because he could do his high-end guitar playing that I call his spacey stuff. There’s a song called “The Outsider” that Mick plays solo on. He played some amazing guitar, there are about four or five tracks that he played on. I have to say Ray you’re exactly right, one of the best of all time players.”
Ray Shasho: One of the drummers that influenced you early- on was Gene Krupa?
Corky Laing: “He was my number one influence as of drummers. Of course there was Art Blakey in those days … I didn’t know anything about drumming you just know what you love. But to look at Gene Krupa, and watch Gene Krupa as well as listen to him, there was just so much heart and soul. And I loved him. Then who follows in his footsteps but Keith Moon. Keith Moon was just a psychedelic version of Gene Krupa. Amazing performer and I always loved Keith and always wanted to be Keith. Again, I was lucky enough to be with the same management company as they had in Europe so we became close friends. As much as I sat behind him at Madison Square Garden, right with his drum roll, right behind him, I watched everything he did for three days and I still cannot do one of them. And that’s the way I drum, I drum eye to hand, for me it’s all in coordination. So I always wanted to be Keith Moon.”

“But at the same time, my influence would be a Ginger Baker because of Felix’s association with Cream. My all-time favorite character drummer is Levon Helm. John Bonham …yes, I just did the Bonzo Bash a few months ago. They celebrated his birthday with about 15-20 drummers that played on his drum kit. Each drummer played a different Led Zeppelin song and I was cordially invited to play on that and it was great.”
Ray Shasho: Here’s a question that I ask everyone that I interview, If you had a “Field of Dreams” wish, like the movie, to play or collaborate with anyone from the past or present …who would that be?
Corky Laing:It would be Elvis Presley. I’ve always wanted to play with Elvis and I felt there would come a time. When he was on stage and got into that whole martial arts thing, it’s like visually, he’s a drummer and he’s very physically looking. His songs were very subtle about how rhythmic they were. He started to get into some real good sh*t …and yes, that would be my wish.”
Ray Shasho: Corky, thank you for being on the call today and more importantly for all the incredible music you’ve given us with Mountain, West, Bruce & Laing and into the present with your brilliant rock opera … Playing God.
Corky Laing: All the best Ray, stay in touch and God bless!”

Playing God …the sensational ‘Rock Opera’ by Corky Laing and the Perfect Child is available to purchase on the Gonzo Media website and will be available soon on -September 10th
Corky Laing official website
Corky Laing & The Memory Thieves
Cory Laing on Facebook
Corky Laing on Myspace
Very special thanks to Billy James of Glass Onyon PR

Coming up NEXT a recent interview with Cherie Currie former lead singer of 'The Runaways'

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Purchase Ray’s very special memoir called ‘Check the Gs’ -The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business … You’ll LIVE IT! Also available for download on NOOK or KINDLE edition for JUST .99 CENTS at or - Please support Ray by purchasing his book so he can continue to bring you quality classic rock music reporting.

“Check the Gs is just a really cool story ... and it’s real. I’d like to see the kid on the front cover telling his story in a motion picture, TV sitcom or animated series. The characters in the story definitely jump out of the book and come to life. Very funny and scary moments throughout the story and I just love the way Ray timeline’s historical events during his lifetime. Ray’s love of rock music was evident throughout the book and it generates extra enthusiasm when I read his on-line classic rock music column on It’s a wonderful read for everyone!”

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