Don Myrick

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Don Myrick
Don Myrick, live in Pasadena, CA, 1982.jpg
Don Myrick in Pasadena, 1982
Background information
Birth nameDonald Myrick
Born(1940-04-06)April 6, 1940
Chicago, Illinois, US
DiedJuly 30, 1993(1993-07-30) (aged 53)
Los Angeles, California, US
GenresBlues, soul, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, funk
InstrumentsSaxophone, vocals
Years active1960s–1990s
Associated actsThe Pharaohs, Earth, Wind & Fire, Phenix Horns, Phil Collins

Donald Myrick[1] (Chicago, Illinois, April 6, 1940 – July 30, 1993[2]) was a saxophonist.[3]

He played alto, tenor and soprano sax and was a member of Earth, Wind & Fire's original horn section, The Phenix Horns Esq. from 1975 through 1982. Previously, Myrick had been a member of the musical group The Pharaohs. Myrick is also credited as a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)[4]

Some of his most famous saxophone solos include Phil Collins': "All of My Life", "If Leaving Me Is Easy" and "One More Night", the latter even featuring Myrick performing the sax solo in the official music video, filmed in a London pub. Another was the live recording of "Reasons" featured on the Earth Wind & Fire Gratitude album, and "After the Love Has Gone" from the album I Am. He performed with many prominent musicians including Grover Washington, Jr. and Carlos Santana.[5] Myrick appeared on albums by artists including Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Dells, Regina Belle, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and Heaven 17.

Earth, Wind & Fire's single "Runnin'" earned him the 1977/78 Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental.[5]

Early life[edit]

Myrick attended Crane Junior College in Chicago, Illinois, where he was part of a band called The Jazzmen with Louis Satterfield, who later joined him with the Phenix Horns performing with Earth, Wind & Fire. Myrick and Satterfield played with The Pharaohs with musicians from Chess Records who included drummer Maurice White, who became Earth, Wind & Fire's founder.


Myrick was fatally shot in Los Angeles, California by a Santa Monica policeman during a narcotics investigation.[6] While attempting to serve a search warrant, Police Officer Gary Barbaro mistook a butane lighter in Myrick's hand for a weapon. He fired a single bullet that hit Myrick in the chest. Myrick died in the hospital shortly afterward, aged 53 years.[7]

Following a funeral service at a Baptist church, his body was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles County.

Myrick was survived by his mother, Antoinette Myrick-Carr (now deceased), wife Barbara (now deceased), and three daughters; Shani, Lauren, Shirika Myrick, and a cousin, Elliot Myrick. In 1995, their wrongful death lawsuit against the city was settled for $400,000.[8]

Myrick's body was buried in an unmarked grave, but on July 27, 2018, shortly before the 25th anniversary of his death, an inspired friend from DAVEL Entertainment placed his headstone at Inglewood Park Cemetery.

Myrick's Grave

The song "For A Friend" by Phil Collins, released on the CD single "We Wait And We Wonder" in 1993, was a tribute to his friend, who actively participated in Collins's songs and shows for many years.

As a tribute, Gary Bias performs the saxophone solos that originated with Myrick at Earth, Wind & Fire's live shows.


With Howlin' Wolf 
With Philip Cohran & The Artistic Heritage Ensemble 
  • The Malcolm X Memorial (A Tribute In Music) (1970)
With Donny Hathaway 
With Odell Brown 
  • Free Delivery (1970)
With The Intentions 
  • Dig It / Blowing With The Wind - Single (1971)
With Jack McDuff
With Terry Callier 
  • What Colour is Love (1972)
  • I Just Can't Help Myself (1973)
With Charles Bevel 
  • Meet "Mississippi Charles" Bevel (1973)
With Penny Goodwin 
  • Portrait of a Gemini (1974)
With Ramsey Lewis 
With Earth, Wind & Fire 
With Sky 
With Phil Collins 
With Frida 
  • Something's Going On (1982) - Album produced by Phil Collins, with Daryl Stuermer, Mo Foster, The Phenix Horns, etc.
With Philip Bailey 
  • The Wonders of His Love - (1984) - Sax on I Will No Wise Cast You Out.
  • Chinese Wall (1984) - With Phil Collins, Nathan East, The Phenix Horns, etc.
  • Chinese Wall / Inside Out (1988) - Double Compilation Album.
With Heaven 17 
With Shuybah 
  • Shuybah (1984)
With France Gall 
  • Le Tour de France (1988)
Various Artists 
  • Knebworth (1990) - Plays with Phil Collins Band on Sussudio.
  • Live At Knebworth - Parts One, Two & Three (1990) - Plays with Phil Collins & The Serious Band on In The Air Tonight & Sussudio as well as with Genesis & The Serious Band together on Turn it on again Medley.


  1. ^ "Don Myrick". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  2. ^ CHAZANOV, MATHIS (1993-08-15). "Questions Cloud Life, Death of Saxophonist : Music: Those who loved Donald Myrick are still in shock over his fatal shooting by police in an apartment where drugs allegedly were found". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  3. ^ "Don Myrick | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  4. ^ Ervin, Mike (1994). Hey Donald (Media notes). Roscoe Mitchell.
  5. ^ a b "Saxophonist Donald Myrick fatally shot in drug probe", Jet, 23 August 1993.
  6. ^ Chazanov, Mathis. Obituary. The Los Angeles Times, 15 August 1993.
  7. ^ CHAZANOV, MATHIS (15 August 1993). "Questions Cloud Life, Death of Saxophonist : Music: Those who loved Donald Myrick are still in shock over his fatal shooting by police in an apartment where drugs allegedly were found". Retrieved 10 May 2018 – via LA Times.
  8. ^ Associated Press. "Lawsuit settled in Donald Myrick’s death", 4 August 1995.

External links[edit]