Studio drummer Gary Chester played for The Coasters, Country Joe McDonald, Van Morrison ("Brown Eyed Girl"), The Monkees, The Mamas And Papas, Lesley Gore ("It's My Party"), The Lovin' Spoonful, Dionne Warwick ("Walk On By"), Petula Clark ("Downtown"), John Denver, Laura Nyro, Dusty Springfield, Jim Croce ("Time In A Bottle"), The Drifters ("Under The Boardwalk"), The Angels ("My Boyfriend's Back"), Aretha Franklin, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Wilson Pickett, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Thunder, Pete Seeger and many other artists.
If the subject is great studio drummers, this man's name inevitably comes up, and Gary Chester can also take credit for both writing and co-writing a pair of books that are acknowledged masterworks of drum instruction.
The average listener's reaction might still be "Gary who?", but feel assured the sounds of this man's drumming have been in the ears of just about anyone who wasn't hiding out in an underground cave from the 60's onward.
Gary Chester occupied the same position of studio prominence on the east coast recording scene that Hal Blaine did on the west, and had the musical abilities and creative spirit to roll with all the changes in popular music flow that happened during his lifetime. Beginning with doo-wop and rhythm and blues recordings, Chester also showed a great knack for folk rock, eventually collaborating with artists such as Country Joe McDonald and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band.
In the meantime Gary Chester played on literally hundreds of records and claimed to have logged some 15,000 studio sessions over three decades. Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" is another one of Chester's great drum parts, although sophisticated jazz drummers often mention his work with Warwick as some kind of watermark of great pop drumming.
Chester's instruction books, entitled New Breed and New Breed II, are published by Modern Drummer. His systems have been used and endorsed by drummers such as Kenny Aronoff, Danny Gottlieb, and Dave Weckl.