|Birth name||Charles Leslie Drayton|
May 9, 1965|
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
|Instruments||drums, bass guitar|
|Associated acts||X-pensive Winos, The Cult, Divinyls, Cold Chisel, The Dead Daisies|
Charles Leslie Drayton (born May 9, 1965) is an American multi-instrumentalist and producer, known primarily as a drummer. Artists he has recorded or performed with include Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Cash, Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey, Seal, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Janet Jackson, Courtney Love, Michelle Branch, Andrés Calamaro, Hiram Bullock, and many others.
Drayton played with Australian rock band Divinyls from 1991–2008. He married Divinyls front woman Chrissy Amphlett on July 27, 1999. Amphlett died on April 21, 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Drayton was born in Brooklyn, New York City to a musical family: his grandfather, Charles H. "Charlie" Drayton (1919 – 1953), a bassist, had performed and recorded with many jazz greats, notably Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Billy Holliday, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Jack Teagarden, Louis Armstrong, and Fletcher Henderson. His father, Bernard Drayton, was a prolific studio audio engineer and producer. Bernard was the audio engineer for John Coltrane's last recording, The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording. Drayton was a child prodigy who first recorded as a drummer at age eight and began touring professionally at fourteen.
In 1985, Drayton contributed percussion work on the Rolling Stones' album Dirty Work, which led Keith Richards to ask him to become a founding member of his side project X-pensive Winos in 1987. As bassist, Drayton toured and recorded with Richards and the Winos until December 1992, and played on their albums Talk Is Cheap and Main Offender, and the live album and video Live at the Hollywood Palladium, December 15, 1988. Richards describes Drayton as one of his all-time favorite drummers.
Drayton played drums on four tracks of The B-52's 1989 album Cosmic Thing, including the singles "Channel Z" and "Love Shack". However, Zack Alford, who subsequently toured with the group on drums, appeared in the videos for both songs.
He played drums on two albums for Australian band Divinyls: 1991's Divinyls and 1996's Underworld (which he also produced), the band's last album before their hiatus in late 1996. In 1999, Drayton married Divinyls' lead singer Chrissy Amphlett and the couple lived in New York City. In 2007, Divinyls reformed and Drayton played drums in their touring band and in their new recording sessions, also producing the band's new album. Amphlett died of complications from breast cancer and multiple sclerosis on April 21, 2013.
In 2008 and 2009 he recorded and toured with Paul Simon. In 2010 he toured with Simon & Garfunkel. Paul Simon said "Charley's the heart of the band and I'm very grateful that I have him. He comes in prepared, real serious and he’s a delight. He’s an all around great musician and a fine, fine drummer."
In 2015 he played drums on French chart topper Johnny Hallyday's album De L'Amour, as well as on the number two charting album by Japanese artist Kazuyoshi Saito.
As of 2017 Drayton is on a world wide tour playing drums with Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul.
- United States Public Record Number 60804371
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- Charley Drayton: Playing Both Sides of the Rhythm Section Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Yamaha Access All Areas, Winter 2005.
- Bockris, Victor (2003). Keith Richards: The Biography. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 394. ISBN 0-306-81278-9.
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- , Rolling Stone