Rob Townsend

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Rob Townsend
Birth nameRobert Townsend
Born (1947-07-07) 7 July 1947 (age 72)
Leicester, England
Years active1967–present
LabelsArista, Polydor, RCA
Associated actsThe Blues Band, The Manfreds, Axis Point, Medicine Head, Peter Skellern, George Melly, Bill Wyman.

Rob Townsend (born 7 July 1947) is an English rock and blues drummer. He was influenced by jazz greats such as Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa and is best known for being the drummer for progressive rock band Family and later The Blues Band.[1]


Townsend was born in Frog Island, Leicester, England, where he spent his teenage years playing in various bands, such as the Beatniks, Broodly Hoo and Legay. He became drummer for Family,[2] replacing Harry Overnall in 1967. Family broke up in 1973 and Townsend joined Medicine Head,.[2] After eighteen months he left Medicine Head and spent much of the late 1970s as freelance session drummer for Peter Skellern,[3] George Melly and Bill Wyman amongst others. During this time he played drums for Kevin Ayers[4] and Charlie Whitney's Axis Point.[1][5]

In 1979 Townsend joined The Blues Band, in a line up including Paul Jones, guitarists Dave Kelly and Tom McGuinness also bassist Gary Fletcher.[6] He has also appeared with Jones and McGuinness in the Manfred Mann splinter band The Manfreds.

Townsend once told drummer and drumming website manager Mike Dolbear:

I have come home from tours absolutely dead on my feet and I will get a call to go and play at a local pub because their regular drummer can't do it and I say yes…When I am not playing I go to drum shops or music shows. I just love it. I feel so lucky to be able to be doing something I love to do and to be able to earn a living from it.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Interview with Rob Townsend". 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Terry Rawlings. Then, now and rare British beat 1960-1969. Omnibus Press. p. 74.
  3. ^ Mackenzie, Compton & Stone, Christopher. Gramophone, Volume 53. Mackenzie. p. 1258.
  4. ^ Strong, Martin Charles & Peel, John. The Great Rock Discography. Canongate US. p. 34.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness. p. 293.
  6. ^ Terry Rawlings. Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 360.
  7. ^ "Interview with Rob Townsend". Retrieved 9 October 2015.

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