Terry Bozzio

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Terry Bozzio
Terry Bozzio Fantomas Quart Festival 2005.jpg
Terry Bozzio performing with Fantômas at Quart Festival, Norway on July 9, 2005.
Background information
Birth name Terry John Bozzio
Also known as Ted
Born (1950-12-27) December 27, 1950 (age 64)
San Francisco
Genres Rock, Jazz/Fusion,[1] Synthpop, Classical, Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards
Years active 1972 (1972)–present
Associated acts Frank Zappa, UK, Missing Persons, HoBoLeMa, Jeff Beck, Polytown, Fantômas, Debbie Harry, KoRn
Website www.terrybozzio.com

Terry John "Ted" Bozzio (born December 27, 1950) is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.[2] He has been featured on nine solo or collaborative albums, twenty six albums with Frank Zappa, and seven albums with Missing Persons. He has been a prolific sideman, playing on numerous releases by other artists since the mid-1970s.


Terry Bozzio was born on December 27, 1950 in San Francisco, California. He started at age 6 playing makeshift drum sets. At the age of 13 he saw The Beatles' premier performance on The Ed Sullivan Show[2] and begged his father for drum lessons.[3] During the 1960s, he played in the garage bands Blue Grass Radio, The Yarde, and Tamalpais Jungle Mountain Boys.

In 1968 Bozzio attended Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, California, where he received a music scholarship award, and later went on to the College of Marin. During this time he studied concurrently with Chuck Brown on the drum set and Lloyd Davis and Roland Kohloff on a percussion and timpani scholarship. He also played Bartok-Dahl-Cowell & Baroque chamber ensembles with the Marin and Napa County Symphonies.


In 1972 Bozzio played in the rock musicals Godspell and Walking in my Time. He also began playing in local jazz groups with Mark Isham, Peter Maunu, Patrick O'Hearn, Mike Nock, Art Lande, Azteca, Eddie Henderson, Woody Shaw, Julian Priester, Eric Gravatt, Billy Higgins, Andy Narell, Hadley Calliman, Mel Graves, and Mel Martin. He became a regular in the Monday Night Jim Dukey Big Band at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

He recorded and toured with Frank Zappa beginning in 1975, and appeared, also as a vocalist, on a number of Zappa's most successful albums, including Zoot Allures, Zappa in New York, Sheik Yerbouti and Thing-Fish, and in the concert movie Baby Snakes (which includes him singing lead on a portion of the song "Punky's Whips"). He is noted for performing Zappa's "The Black Page," a piece of music designed to be a "musician's nightmare," a page so dense with notes it was nearly solid black.

In 1977 he joined The Brecker Brothers with long time San Francisco friend and guitarist Barry Finnerty. With The Brecker Brothers, Bozzio toured and recorded the album "Heavy Metal Be-Bop." Shortly after, he was dismissed by Zappa as he joined Group 87 with Mark Isham, Peter Maunu, Patrick O'Hearn and Peter Wolf. The group auditioned for and was signed to a record deal with CBS; Bozzio declined membership in the group and then auditioned unsuccessfully for Thin Lizzy.

After Bill Bruford & Allan Holdsworth's departures from the band UK in late 1978, Bozzio joined Eddie Jobson and John Wetton to continue UK as a trio. The trio recorded Danger Money and Night After Night and toured the U.S. twice (supporting the popular progressive rock band Jethro Tull), and in Europe and Japan.


After UK disbanded in early 1980, Bozzio, ex-Zappa guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and then-wife and vocalist Dale Bozzio founded the band Missing Persons. Missing Persons released the albums Spring Session M (which went Gold), Rhyme & Reason, and Color in Your Life. Missing Persons also toured the U.S. & Europe and often appeared on TV and radio.

After the Missing Persons breakup in 1986, Bozzio joined ex-Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor's solo band. He also played on sessions with Robbie Robertson, Gary Wright, Don Dokken, XYZ, Paul Hyde, Herbie Hancock, Dweezil Zappa, and Richard Marx. During this time he began touring as a clinician/solo drummer and recorded Solo Drums, which was his first instructional video for Warner Brothers. Bozzio joined Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck for the video "Throwaway," and teamed up with Beck and keyboardist Tony Hymas to co-write/produce and perform on the Grammy Award winning album Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop. promoted on The Arsenio Hall Show, which was Jeff Beck's first-ever live appearance on American TV.

In 1988 Bozzio married Ev Kvamme. They have one son.


In 1990–1995 Terry developed ostinato-based drum solo compositions and recorded his second instructional video Melodic Drumming and the Ostinato Volumes 1, 2, and 3, as well as Solo Drum Music Volumes 1 & 2 on CD. He also joined Tony Hymas, Tony Coe, and Hugh Burns to form the band Lonely Bears and record The Lonely Bears, Injustice, and The Bears are Running, while living in Paris, France. He also formed the band Polytown with David Torn and Mick Karn.

From 1995 to 2002 Bozzio did tours of the US, Australia, Canada & Europe as a solo drum artist as well as recording two solo CDs: Drawing the Circle and Chamberworks. With bassist and Chapman Stick player Tony Levin and guitarist Steve Stevens, he formed the group Bozzio Levin Stevens, which released two albums: Black Light Syndrome in 1997, and Situation Dangerous in 2000.


In 2001, he teamed up with Chad Wackerman to produce the Duets video and Alternative Duets CDs. Bozzio was inducted into the Modern Drummer "Hall of Fame" and won the Clinician of the Year award twice as well as Drum Magazine's Drummer of the Year and Best Clinician. Internationally, he received Slagwerkkrant Magazine's (Netherlands) and Player Magazine's (Japan) Best Drummer Award.

Bozzio was inducted into Guitar Center's RockWalk in Hollywood on January 17, 2007[4] along with rock and roll icons Ronnie James Dio and Slash. Bozzio also worked with the nu-metal band Korn on their 8th studio album after the departure of their drummer David Silveria. He was scheduled to play on the road with the band during the Family Values Tour, but he left and was replaced by Joey Jordison of Slipknot and later Ray Luzier.

Since November 2008 Bozzio has toured with guitarist Allan Holdsworth, bassist Tony Levin, and drummer Pat Mastelotto as the experimental super-group HoBoLeMa. He has also hosted on Drum Channel.

UK have recently reformed with John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Terry Bozzio for a world tour in 2012.[5]

Musical innovation[edit]

Terry Bozzio performing live with the SS Bozzio.

In most of Bozzio's works, the ostinato is played using various bass drum and hi-hat permutations while he solos against these rhythms using his hands. Sometimes (often in the same composition) the opposite is true, where he will hold an ostinato pattern with his hands and solo with his feet. More recently Bozzio (always known as a melodic player) has taken a more structural approach to his playing and composition. He uses two octaves of pitched toms and several 'tuned' metallics (cymbals, spokes, bells, gongs, etc.) to play melodies much like a marimba, while integrating rhythmic variations more endemic to conventional drum set drumming. Combined with his use of ostinatos, Bozzio has made an impressive career of solo drumming (not to mention his status as a sideman in many highly reputed bands).

Below is Terry's "Big Kit" drum setup as of 2012:[6]


Drum Workshop Collector's Series Vertical Grain Low Timber shells in Ziracote finish over Mapa Burl Exotic black powdercoat lugs – black powdercoat rims – with TB "tunerz" lug locking adapters to prevent detuning & back turning. All heads are Terry Bozzio Attack signature in clear Mylar.

Bass Drums: 12x20", 16x18", 16x20" (x2), 14x24", 14x16" All bds are mounted on PDP cradles that allow the most tone & resonance and adjustment for striking the sweet spot on the head. Beaters are Puresound Percussion hard plastic or felt.

Snare Drums: 5.5x12" Solid Maple Craviotto snare tuned to B (Puresound snares) 10″ snare tuned to D (Puresound snares)

Tom-Toms: 5x8", 5x10" (x5), 7x10", 6x12" (x2), 8x12", 9x13", 11x14"

Specialty Drums: 2x8"(x14) Piccolo Toms designed by Bozzio and John Good. Chromatically tuned from high C to C an octave lower. (drums descend in 1/2 step in pitch from upper L down to lower R at a diagonal angle)


All bass drum pedals have nylon straps and Bozzio's special cam modifications.

  • 9000 Single Bass Drum Pedal (x2)
  • 5002L Remote Bass Drum Pedal (x2)
  • 5002R Remote Bass Drum Pedal (x2)
  • Remote pedals are 9000 single post. The right side pedal posts are reversed because linkage goes to the right and to allow for the pedals to sit close to each other.
  • 9500 Hi-Hat with custom linkage (x5)
  • DW Rack Component Bars, Clamps, Arms and Memory Locks.


All cymbals are Sabian Radia Terry Bozzio signatures.

Foot operated[edit]


Selected discography[edit]


  • Solo Drum Music I (1992)
  • Solo Drum Music II (1992)
  • Drawing The Circle (1998)
  • Chamber Works (1998)
  • Solos & Duets (with Chad Wackerman) (2001)
  • Nine Short Films (with Billy Sheehan) (2002)
  • Chamber Works (2005, with Metropole Orchestra)
  • Prime Cuts (2005)
  • Four From Ten Twenty Nine (2008)
  • Seven Nights in Japan (2008)

Frank Zappa[edit]

Missing Persons[edit]


Dweezil Zappa[edit]



  1. ^ "Group 87 CD Album". Cduniverse.com. November 21, 2000. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  2. ^ a b Prato, Greg (December 27, 1950). "Terry Bozzio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  3. ^ "Drummerworld Bio". Drummerworld.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  4. ^ "Guitar Center's Hollywood Rockwalk". Rockwalk.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  5. ^ "UK reunion 2012". Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Kit Setup " Terry Bozzio". Terrybozzio.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 

External links[edit]