Terry Bozzio

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Terry Bozzio
Bozzio performing in 2006
Bozzio performing in 2006
Background information
Birth nameTerry John Bozzio
Also known asTed Bozzio
Born (1950-12-27) December 27, 1950 (age 73)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Drums
  • vocals
Years active1972 (1972)–present
Formerly ofFrank Zappa band
Missing Persons

Terry John Bozzio (born December 27, 1950) is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.[2] He has been featured on nine solo or collaborative albums, 26 albums with Zappa and seven albums with Missing Persons. Bozzio has been a prolific sideman, playing on numerous releases by other artists since the mid-1970s. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1997.[3]


Terry Bozzio was born on December 27, 1950, in San Francisco, California. He started at age 6 playing makeshift drum sets. At the age of 13 he saw the Beatles' premiere performance on The Ed Sullivan Show[2] and begged his father for drum lessons.[4] He cited Carmine Appice, Mitch Mitchell and Ginger Baker among his biggest influences in the early years.[5]

In 1968, Bozzio graduated from Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, California, where he received a music scholarship award, and later went on to the College of Marin. During this time he studied concurrently with Chuck Brown on the drum set and Lloyd Davis and Roland Kohloff on a percussion and timpani scholarship. He also played Bartok-Dahl-Cowell & Baroque chamber ensembles with the Marin and Napa County Symphonies.


In 1972, Bozzio played in the rock musicals Godspell and Walking in my Time. He began playing in local jazz groups with Mike Nock, Art Lande, Azteca, Eddie Henderson, Woody Shaw, Julian Priester, Eric Gravatt, Billy Higgins, Andy Narell and Mel Martin. He became a regular in the Monday Night Jim Dukey Big Band at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

Bozzio recorded and toured with Frank Zappa beginning in 1975, and appeared, also as a vocalist, on a number of Zappa's most successful albums, including Zoot Allures (1976), Zappa in New York (1976), Sheik Yerbouti (1979) and Thing-Fish (1984)[clarification needed], and in the concert movie Baby Snakes (1979) (which includes him singing lead on a portion of the song "Punky's Whips"). Bozzio became a staple of Zappa's live act, not only because of his drumming capability but also by playing the role of the Devil in the song Titties & Beer. The song called for Bozzio to don a devil mask and argued with Zappa's protagonist character, hurling insults at each other throughout.

In 1977, he joined The Brecker Brothers with longtime San Francisco friend and guitarist Barry Finnerty. With The Brecker Brothers, Bozzio toured and recorded the live album Heavy Metal Be-Bop (1978). Shortly after, he was dismissed by Zappa and joined Group 87 with Mark Isham, Peter Maunu, Patrick O'Hearn and Peter Wolf. The group auditioned for and was signed to a record deal with CBS but Bozzio declined membership and then auditioned unsuccessfully for Thin Lizzy.

After Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth departed from the band U.K. in late 1978, Bozzio joined Eddie Jobson and John Wetton to continue U.K. as a trio. The trio recorded Danger Money (1979) and a live album Night After Night (1979) and toured the U.S. and Canada twice (supporting the popular progressive rock band Jethro Tull), and in Europe and Japan.


After U.K. disbanded in early 1980, Bozzio, ex-Zappa guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and then-wife and vocalist Dale Bozzio founded the band Missing Persons. Missing Persons released the albums Spring Session M (which went Gold), Rhyme & Reason, and Color in Your Life.

After Missing Persons broke up in 1986, Bozzio joined ex-Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor's solo band. He also played on sessions with Robbie Robertson, Gary Wright, Don Dokken, XYZ, Paul Hyde, Herbie Hancock, Dweezil Zappa, and Richard Marx.

During this time, Bozzio began touring as a clinician/solo drummer and recorded Solo Drums, which was his first instructional video for Warner Brothers. He joined Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck for the video "Throwaway", and teamed up with Beck and keyboardist Tony Hymas to co-write/produce and perform on the Grammy Award-winning album Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop. The album was promoted on The Arsenio Hall Show, which was Jeff Beck's first-ever live appearance on American television.

He also featured on the album Confetti by Sergio Mendes in 1984.


Between 1990 and 1995, Bozzio developed ostinato-based drum solo compositions and recorded his second instructional video Melodic Drumming and the Ostinato Volumes 1, 2, and 3, as well as Solo Drum Music Volumes 1 & 2 on CD. He also joined Tony Hymas, Tony Coe, and Hugh Burns to form the band Lonely Bears and record The Lonely Bears, Injustice, and The Bears are Running, while living in Paris, France. He also formed the band Polytown with David Torn and Mick Karn. In 1993 Terry joined T. M. Stevens and Devin Townsend on Steve Vai's Sex & Religion album.

From 1995 to 2002, Bozzio did tours of the US, Australia, Canada & Europe as a solo drum artist as well as recording two solo CDs: Drawing the Circle and Chamberworks. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1997. With bassist and Chapman Stick player Tony Levin and guitarist Steve Stevens, he formed the group Bozzio Levin Stevens, which released two albums: Black Light Syndrome in 1997, and Situation Dangerous in 2000.


Bozzio performing with Fantômas in 2005

In 2001, he teamed up with Chad Wackerman to produce the Duets video and Alternative Duets CDs. Bozzio won the Clinician of the Year award twice as well as Drum Magazine's Drummer of the Year and Best Clinician. Internationally, he received Slagwerkkrant Magazine's (Netherlands) and Player Magazine's (Japan) Best Drummer Award.

Bozzio was inducted into Guitar Center's RockWalk in Hollywood on January 17, 2007.[6] He worked with the nu metal band Korn on their eighth studio album after the departure of their drummer David Silveria. He was scheduled to play on the road with the band during the Family Values Tour, but he left and was replaced by Joey Jordison of Slipknot and later Ray Luzier.

Personal life[edit]

His son and stepdaughter are also drummers; the latter, Marina, is a member of the band Aldious.[7]

Selected discography[edit]


  • Solo Drum Music I (1992)
  • Solo Drum Music II (1992)
  • Drawing the Circle (1998)
  • Chamber Works (1998)
  • Solos & Duets (with Chad Wackerman) (2001)
  • Nine Short Films (with Billy Sheehan) (2002)
  • Chamber Works (2005, with Metropole Orchestra)
  • Prime Cuts (2005)
  • Four from Ten Twenty Nine (2008)
  • Seven Nights in Japan (2008)
  • Melodic Drumming & the Ostinato v.1. 2. 3. DVD (2011)
  • Terry Bozzio Live Performance & Seminar 2 Disc DVD (rec. 2003) (2011)
  • Terry Bozzio Live in Japan 2007 菩慈音 (2012)
  • Musical Solo Drumming DVD English w/ Japanese subtitles (2012)
  • Terry Bozzio – Composer Series / 4CD + Blu-ray + Blu-ray (Audio-only) + Bonus DVD (2015)
  • Terry Bozzio – Reality & Simple Moments Compilation CD (2017)

Frank Zappa[edit]

Missing Persons[edit]


Dweezil Zappa[edit]



  1. ^ "Group 87 CD Album". Cduniverse.com. November 21, 2000. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Prato, Greg (December 27, 1950). "Terry Bozzio". AllMusic. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "Modern Drummer's Readers Poll Archive, 1979–2014". Modern Drummer. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Drummerworld biodata". Drummerworld.com. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  5. ^ "Terry Bozzio - An interview with the world class drummer who has worked with Frank Zappa, Missing Persons and many others". musicguy247.typepad.com. June 25, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  6. ^ "Guitar Center's Hollywood Rockwalk". Rockwalk.com. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "【ライブレポート】アルディアス、ニューアルバムのリリースを発表". barks.jp (in Japanese). October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.

External links[edit]