THE GREGG BISSONETTE HISTORY:
Gregg Bissonette, born June 9, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan, is an American drummer. He has been a touring, session recording, and full-time drum set player in many jazz and rock bands. He is well known for his instructional videos, drum clinics, and for having been a member of the David Lee Roth band.
Bissonette was born in a family of musicians. His father Bud Bissonette plays drums, his mother Phyllis plays piano and vibraphone, and brother Matt Bissonette plays bass guitar. Bissonette started learning to play the drums at age 5 from his father. Bissonette went on to study at the University of North Texas where he was a music education major. He was featured in the famed One O'Clock Lab Band.
After college, Gregg Bissonette joined Matt Bissonette in the Maynard Ferguson big band and recorded Live from San Francisco.
One of Bissonette's first recordings is Brandon Field's The Other Side of the Story in 1985. It featured David Garfield on keyboards. A few years later Bissonette would start playing shows with Brandon, David, and Steve Lukather (Toto) on guitar and with John Pena on bass as Los Lobotomys, to standing room only audiences. These shows took place at The Baked Potato, a jazz club and restaurant located in Los Angeles, California, playing rock, Latin, jazz and more.
Bissonette was the drummer, Steve Vai was the guitarist, and Billy Sheehan was the bass player on David Lee Roth's multi-platinum releases Eat 'Em and Smile (1986) and Skyscraper (1988). Bissonette appears on David Lee Roth's A Little Ain't Enough (1991) and Joe Satriani's The Extremist (1992) along with brother Matt Bissonette playing bass.
In October 1989, Bissonette was invited to perform two songs with the Buddy Rich band for The Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert. Fellow performers included Dennis Chambers, Louie Bellson, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and Steve Gadd. This performance is available on DVD.
In 1990 and 1993, Bissonette released drum videos Private Lesson and Playing, Reading & Soloing with a Band, respectively. Private Lesson covers a variety of topics including double bass drumming, rudiments (featuring a backsticking technique from the snare drum solo Tornado by Mitch Markovich), playing with a metronome, brushes, and more. In Playing, Reading & Soloing with a Band, Bissonette plays five songs with a band. He discusses reading, drum fills, solo ideas, and the importance of being a team player in a band situation.
In late 1995, he filled in for Simon Phillips during the Toto, Tambu Tour (1995-1996) because of the former suffering from a back problem during the first leg of the tour. While Bissonette was on this tour there was a DVD made called Live 1996 Tambu Tour.
In 1997, he played drums on In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy by Pat Boone, in which Boone covers hard rock and heavy metal songs in a jazz/big band style.
Also in 1997, he played drums on Steve Lukather's album Luke and the subsequent tour.
In 1998, he toured with Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather in Japan. The live album No Substitutions, which was recorded during those shows, won a 2001 Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
In 2001, Bissonette and his brother Matt Bissonette both appeared on the Zoom Tour Live DVD which was recorded at CBS Television City in Los Angeles and later televised as a PBS special. In that same year, the brothers also toured with Jeff Lynne in support of Electric Light Orchestra's final studio album Zoom. The tour was quickly cancelled due to dismal ticket sales.
Jeff Lynne – vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Richard Tandy – keyboards, synthesizer, vocoder
Marc Mann – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Matt Bissonette – bass guitar, backing vocals
Gregg Bissonette – drums, backing vocals
Peggy Baldwin – electric cello
Sarah O'Brien – electric cello
Rosie Vela – backing vocals
In 2002, he was involved in the band Jughead with Ty Tabor of King's X, Derek Sherinian formerly of Dream Theater, and brother Matt. He is featured playing drums on the Foo Fighters Bonus Track "Danny Says" from their album One by One.
In 2003, he and his brother Matt Bissonette backed Ringo Star on a promotional tour of the United States. The two brothers backed Starr again in 2005 at live shows at Irving Plaza in New York City in June 2005, at the Genesse Theatre in Waukegan, IL for the PBS show SoundStage, and the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, California, as well as on several TV appearances (CBS This Morning, etc.)
Bissonette played drums on Santana's multi-platinum album Supernatural.
Bissonette played on the NBC sitcom Friends, as well as films like American Pie and American Pie 2, Payback, Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, and A Mighty Wind. He has toured with James Taylor and the semi-fictional band Spinal Tap.
In 2004 and 2008, Bissonette was featured on several songs for Richard Marx's albums My Own Best Enemy, Emotional Remains and Sundown.
The year 2005 saw the release of Bissonette's popular DVD entitled Musical Drumming In Different Styles. Bissonette is known for being a very versatile and well rounded drummer, which he showed in this DVD. He covered many styles of drumming while playing to eight audio tracks from his CD Submarine.
In 2007, Bissonette recorded on the album La La Land by Daniel Glen Timms.
In 2008, 2010 and 2012, Bissonette toured with Ringo Star & His All-Starr Band.
In 2009, Bissonette is featured on albums Weve by Jason Sadites, and Back from the Dead by Spinal Tap. In 2009, Bissonette was invited to speak at and perform with bassist Abraham Laboriel at the Christian Musician Summit in Buffalo, New York.
During May 15–17, 2010 in Bologna Italy, Bissonette filled the drum throne for "The Ultimate World Guitar Exhibition". He played for over four hours for 30.000 people with Neil Murray, Derek Sherinian, Glen Hughes, Yngwie Malmsteen, Doug Aldrich, Jennifer Batten, Stef Burns, Seymour W. Duncan, Timo Tolkki, and George Lynch.
In the summer of 2010, Bissonette toured with Ringo Star and his All Starr Band, for the second time.
Also in 2010, Bissonette was featured on the following albums: The Return of Randy Dynamite by Randy Jacobs, Brand New World by Grand Illusion, The Art Of Pop by Ralf Jung, Hands On by Mark Nilan Jr., World Gone Crazy by The Doobie Brothers and the self-titled album by Jet Velvet. The Jet Velvet album features Matt Bissonette for bass, vocals, and composition; and it features Paul Dexter for vocals and composition.
In the summer of 2011, Bissonette once again joined Ringo and his All Starr Band on a large European tour.
In 2012, he was featured on the album The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age of Ignorance by Douglas R. Docker's prog rock space opera Docker's Guild with Tony Franklin, Guthrie Govan, Jeff Watson, Goran Edman, John Payne, Tony Mills and Amanda Somerville.
Bissonette can be heard on a number of rock instrumental and progressive rock albums, including the following: Temporal by Shadrane, Deep Forest by Deep Forest, Bass Invader by Martin Motnik, Inner Galactic Fusion Experience by Richie Kotzen, Shadow King by Steve Fister, Revolution Road by Rocket Scientists, In The Eye Of Time by Vox Tempus, Bug Alley and the soundtrack to the movie The Endless Summer II by Gary Hoey, Instrumentality by Marco Cardona, and a number of albums by Steve Vai.
He is a featured drummer from Yoav Goren's epic rock band called Globus from the album Epicon.
In 2014, he is again on tour with Ringo Star, and in 2015, he played percussion on Starr's album, Postcards from Paradise, on a song written during the 2014 All Starr Band tour.