Russ Kunkel

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Russ Kunkel
Birth name Russell Kunkel
Born (1948-09-27) September 27, 1948 (age 68)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Rock, pop, country
Occupation(s) Drummer, session musician, producer
Instruments Drums, percussion, timbales, congas, tambourine, cowbell, shaker
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts The Section
James Taylor
Jackson Browne
Lyle Lovett
Carly Simon

Russell "Russ" Kunkel (born September 27, 1948) is an American drummer and producer who has worked as a session musician with many well-known artists, including Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, Stephen Stills, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Neil Diamond, Glenn Frey,and Carly Simon.

Life and career[edit]

Kunkel was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the 1970s, Kunkel worked so frequently with bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and keyboardist Craig Doerge that they eventually became known as "The Section" and recorded three albums under that name between 1972 and 1977.

Kunkel had a cameo as doomed drummer Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs in the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap.

In 2010 Kunkel joined the Troubadour Reunion Tour supporting James Taylor and Carole King.


Kunkel endorses Yamaha drums, Paiste cymbals,[1] Evans drumheads and Pro-Mark sticks[citation needed]. He has previously used Premier drums, Pearl Drums and Remo drumheads, but prior to switching to Paiste in 1983,[2] it is likely that he used Zildjian cymbals up to that point.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Kunkel's first marriage was to singer Leah Kunkel, younger sister of Cass Elliot, and together they raised Elliot's daughter Owen, as well as having their own son Nathaniel, who is an Emmy Award-winning sound engineer.

Kunkel's second marriage was to singer Nicolette Larson (best known for her hit single, the Neil Young-penned "Lotta Love") in 1990 and they had a daughter. Larson died of cerebral edema on December 16, 1997, at the age of 45.

Kunkel's third marriage was to Susan Borgeson, a former executive at Disney Music. They were married for 10 years. Susan passed away at the age of 59 on September 12, 2012.

Kunkel's fourth marriage was to Shauna Drayson Hayward, the widow of Little Feat's original drummer Richie Hayward, on January 3, 2014, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Partial discography[edit]






  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 

External links[edit]