Corky Laing

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Corky Laing
Laing; February, 2016, Hamburg
Laing; February, 2016, Hamburg
Background information
Birth nameLaurence Gordon Laing
Born (1948-01-26) January 26, 1948 (age 75)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active1965–present
Member ofCork
Formerly of

Laurence Gordon "Corky" Laing (born January 26, 1948)[1] is a Canadian rock drummer, best known as a longtime member of the pioneering American hard rock band Mountain.[1]

20th century[edit]

A native of Montreal, Quebec,[1] Laing was the youngest in a family of five children. His eldest sister Carol was followed by triplet brothers, Jeffrey, Leslie, and Stephen, and then by Corky. According to Corky, his brothers called him "Gorky" because they could not pronounce his given name "Gordon". "Gorky" eventually morphed into Corky, a moniker which has remained with him throughout his career.

Getting his break playing drums for the vocal group The Ink Spots in 1961, he later played in a group called Energy, which was produced by Cream collaborator and Laing's future bandmate Felix Pappalardi. Laing left Energy in 1969 to replace drummer N.D. Smart in a hard rock outfit and heavy metal forerunner Mountain, who, with Laing at the drum kit, released three albums and the classic song "Mississippi Queen" between 1970 and 1971.

Laing, with West, Bruce and Laing, Musikhalle Hamburg, April 1973

After the band's first breakup the following year, Laing and Mountain bandmate Leslie West went on to form the blues-rock power trio West, Bruce and Laing with former Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce. West, Bruce and Laing produced two studio albums and a live release before Mountain reformed without Laing in 1973 for a Japanese tour releasing the live Twin Peaks. Laing rejoined in 1974 recording Avalanche only for Mountain to break up again shortly after. The band would once again reconvene with guitarist Leslie West and Laing in 1985 for the release of Go For Your Life, and Laing has continued with them, most recently working on the band's 2007 Bob Dylan cover album Masters of War.

In late 1977, he recorded an album with Felix Pappalardi (former Mountain bass player), Ian Hunter (from Mott the Hoople) and Mick Ronson.[2] This album was not released at the time but was subsequently released in the UK in 1999 as "The Secret Sessions".[why?]

In addition to Mountain, he has recorded as the group Cork, with Spin Doctors guitarist/vocalist Eric Schenkman and Noel Redding, formerly bass guitarist of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In late 1975, he played congas on several tracks on Bo Diddley's all-star album The 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll.

In 1991, he was featured on Men Without Hats' cover version of The Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus" on drums. This is available on the Sideways album.

21st century[edit]

In 2003, Laing and Leslie West authored Nantucket Sleighride and Other Mountain on-the-Road Stories, a chronicle of their time with Mountain in its heyday and their careers in the years following.

Laing lives in Toronto's historic Liberty Village and was interviewed for the 2006 documentary film, Liberty Village - Somewhere in Heaven. He contributed the music for the film from recordings of his band Cork.

In 2007, Laing recorded Stick It!, the audio version of his memoirs with Cory Bruyea in Oakville, Ontario. Laing's interest in education led him to attend the KoSA Music Camp in Vermont for the summer of 2012.

In 2019, he released his autobiography, Letters to Sarah.[3]

Following the death of Leslie West in December 2020, Laing became the last surviving member of Mountain's classic lineup. In 2016, he formed Corky Laing's Mountain, with former Mountain bassist Richie Scarlet, now on lead guitar, and the bass slot was filled in by Mark Mikel, Joe Venti, or Bernt Ek.[4]



With Mountain[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

West, Bruce and Laing[edit]

With Leslie West[edit]

With Bartholomew plus III[edit]

  • 1965 – "She's Mine" / "You're Not There"[9]
  • 1967 – "When I Fall in Love"[10]

With Cork[edit]

  • 1999 – Speed of THought[11]
  • 2003 – Out There[12]

As Corky Laing[edit]

  • 1977 – Making It On The Streets[13]
  • 2019 – Toledo Sessions

With Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and Felix Pappalardi[edit]

  • 1999 – The Secret Sessions[14]

With The Mix[edit]

  • 1980 – American Glue[15]

With The Perfect Child[edit]

  • 2013 – Playing God[7]

As Corky Laing's Mountain[edit]

  • 2017 – Live in Melle[16]
  • 2019 - Live At Howard's Club H

Guest appearances[edit]


  • 2004: Jason Hartless Jr. – First Division
  • 2012: Corky Laing and The Memory Thieves – House of Thieves
  • 2018: Pompeii – The Secret Sessions


  1. ^ a b c Nastos, Michael G. (2011). "Corky Laing Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Timeline John Cale - 1977". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  3. ^ Corky Laing; Tuija Takala (30 May 2020). Letters To Sarah. Waterside Productions. ISBN 978-1939116697.
  4. ^ "TOUR". Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  5. ^ "Interview:Corky Laing (Mountain, West Bruce & Laing, 'Playing God' Rock Opera) – Hit Channel". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  6. ^ Alex Henderson (2004-08-10). "Eruption - Mountain | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  7. ^ a b "Playing God - The Perfect Child, Corky Laing | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  8. ^ Greg Prato (2005-01-04). "Guitarded - Leslie West | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  9. ^ "Bartholomew Plus Three - She's Mine / You're Not There (1965, Vinyl)". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  10. ^ "Bartholomew Plus Three - When I Fall In Love (1967, Vinyl)". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  11. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1999-06-22). "Speed of Thought - Cork | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  12. ^ "Out There - Cork | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 2003-06-10. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  13. ^ Joe Viglione. "Makin' It on the Street - Corky Laing | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  14. ^ Bruce Eder (1999-01-19). "The Secret Sessions - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  15. ^ "The Mix - American Glue (1980, Vinyl)". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  16. ^ "On Stage records". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  17. ^ "Maverick Child - David Rea | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  18. ^ "By the Grace of God - David Rea | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  19. ^ Sean Westergaard. "Bobby Keys - Bobby Keys | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  20. ^ "The 20th Anniversary of Rock N' Roll - Bo Diddley | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1984-02-21. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  21. ^ "Charlie Karp & Namedroppers - Charlie Karp & the Name Droppers | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  22. ^ Robin Platts. "Sideways - Men Without Hats | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-28.

External links[edit]