Charley Drayton

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Charley Drayton
Charley Drayton and Chrissy Amphlett.jpg
Charley Drayton (left) Chrissy Amphlett (right) on stage with Divinyls
Background information
Birth name Charley L. Drayton
Born (1965-05-07) May 7, 1965 (age 50)[1]
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Instruments drums, bass guitar
Associated acts X-pensive Winos, The Cult, Divinyls, Cold Chisel, The Dead Daisies

Charley L. Drayton (born May 7, 1965)[1] is an American multi-instrumental musician and producer of African-American descent,[2] who has played as a drummer and bass guitarist for many bands and artists and is currently the drummer in Cold Chisel. Charlie was married on July 27, 1999 to Divinyls front woman Chrissy Amphlett until her death on April 21, 2013 at their home in New York City after a long battle with breast cancer.

Career highlights[edit]

In 1985, he contributed some session overdubbing percussion work on the Rolling Stones' album Dirty Work, which led Keith Richards to ask him to join his side project X-pensive Winos in 1988. Drayton toured with Richards and the Winos, 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.[3]

Drayton played bass guitar on The Cult's 1991 album Ceremony.[4]

Drayton's other credits include work with The B-52's, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Cash, Andrés Calamaro, Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey, Michelle Branch, Seal, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Janet Jackson, Courtney Love, Simon & Garfunkel and many others.[5]

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.[6] Amphlett died of complications from breast cancer and multiple sclerosis on April 21, 2013.

Drayton co-produced and played various instruments on Fiona Apple's album The Idler Wheel..., released in June 2012.[7] Also, he was recently announced as the new session drummer for Australian band Cold Chisel as they complete their album of new material following the death of original drummer Steve Prestwich, as well as taking part in their Light the Nitro tour commencing October 2011.[dated info]

Musical family[edit]

Drayton was born in Brooklyn, New York City to a musical family: his grandfather, Charlie Drayton (né Charles H. 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.


  1. ^ a b United States Public Record Number 60804371
  2. ^ Chrissie Amphlett (Pleasure and Pain, 2005)
  3. ^ Bockris, Victor (2003). Keith Richards: The Biography. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 394. ISBN 0-306-81278-9. 
  4. ^ The Cult Discography: Ceremony, The Cult.
  5. ^ Charley Drayton: Playing Both Sides of the Rhythm Section, Yamaha Access All Areas, Winter 2005.
  6. ^ Divinyls News, Divinyls.
  7. ^ [1], Rolling Stone