Paul Thompson (musician)

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Paul Thompson
Thompson with Roxy Music, LG Arena, Birmingham, England, January 2011
Background information
Birth name Paul Thompson
Born (1951-05-13) 13 May 1951 (age 64)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Genres Glam rock, rock, art rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Years active 1970–present
Labels Island
Associated acts Roxy Music, Angelic Upstarts, Concrete Blonde, Lindisfarne

Paul Thompson (born 13 May 1951) is an English drummer. He has been a drummer for the rock band Roxy Music from 1971 to 1980 and from 2001 onwards.[1]

In between those stints with Roxy Music, he was drummer in the Oi! band, Angelic Upstarts and the American alternative rock band Concrete Blonde. He joined the reformed Lindisfarne in 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland.

Thompson lived in Jarrow from the age of six months, and attended West Simonside Infants and Junior School.


He joined a group called The Tyme in 1965 which played at local youth clubs.[2]

Thompson's next group was a local band called The Urge which he joined when 17 years old. Tiredness from performing with them seven nights a week in local clubs and pubs led him to fall asleep on his job as an apprentice metalworker, which resulted in his dismissal.[3]

He was a member of The Influence with John Miles, then joined Roxy Music in 1971 and wielded the drum sticks for six albums, as well as performing on solo records of his bandmates Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera; he also toured with them.

In 1980, Thompson took leave from Roxy Music due to a thumb injury. Later that year he left the band due to musical differences between himself and Bryan Ferry;[4] and Thompson played with musicians like Gary Moore, Jonathon Perkins and Concrete Blonde.

Fans nicknamed him "The Great Paul Thompson", because of his remarkable drumming skills and power.[5]

In 2001, he reunited with his fellow Roxy Music band members for a tour (excluding Eno, who refrained from participating). He also toured with Ferry, supporting his Frantic album in 2003. The band, again with Thompson on the drum stool, performed on 11 June 2005 at the Isle of Wight Festival 2005.

Thompson played live gigs and on a CD with Andy Mackay's project, The Metaphors.[3]

Drummer Roger Taylor of the new wave band Duran Duran has said that Thompson's drumming was a big influence over his development.[6]

Paul Thompson joined the north-east England band Lindisfarne in 2013, initially with original member Ray Jackson (until the latter's retirement in January 2015) and, subsequently, under Rod Clements.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "The Official Roxy Music Tour 2001 Paul Thompson Biography". 13 May 1951. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Interview: Roxy Music's Paul Thompson". Chronicle Live. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Paul Thompson Biography". Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Interview: Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 

External links[edit]