Richie Hayward is a session drummer who played with Little Feat, David Garfield and Tom Waits, among others. Richie Hayward was a also stand-in players in the Walter Trout band on a regular basis in their early days.
Richie Hayward came into this world kicking and screaming on February 6, 1946 as a budding baby boomer.
First memory is of clear Lake Iowa and running away from first day of kindergarten. Liked it a lot.
Moved to Ames, Iowa at 6 and a half, still loving school.
Then one fine day he saw Count Basie on the tube. Sonny Payne is kicking ass. Comes the dawn obsession sets in. This had to be it… drums, yeah that’s for me. Stix on an orange crate and pound to records. Then came Ray Charles and Miles and Bobby Blue Bland, Sonny Rollins, Bruebeck, Kenton and then it’s time to add two more orange crates.
HAD TO HAVE DRUMS NOW!!! Finally got them around the age of ten and made so much noise they put him in the cellar. But he got out…
First gig was New Years Eve 1959 almost 13 years old at the Moose Lodge in Nevada, Iowa (Moose, Elk, Eagles, ya gotta love the Animal Circuit :-)
Then he discovers girls and with that, rock and roll and the decision that this is the life. No other kind of work worked you see. Drumming in Iowa: no future, no way.
Ahhh, Californy is the place he ought to be so, that’s the tickets so he flies west with 85 ducats in his pocket on a one way ticket.
1966, knocking around LA and see an ad in the Free Press that says “Drummer Wanted, Must Be Freaky”. That’s me says he and this turns out to be Lowell George and a band called the Factory. Another floundering band from LA, painfully hip.
The madness continues for almost two years and then blows up, disbanded. From the debris grew a toadstool called “The Fraternity of Man” funny name for a band that hated each other. Folly Balderdash.
Lowell renters the scene, fresh from the Zappa experience and there’s talk of a new band. Enter Billy Payne, next the name??? Why not Little Feat after Lowell’s earth pads?
Fourteen bass players later enter Roy Estrada, yeah a record deal and now were cooking. Two records later exit Estrada who goes to Captain Beefheart for stability and sanity… yeah.
So now enter Paul, Kenny and Sam and it’s on with the show. Dixie Chicken and such, moving along and having some kind of fun. Touring, recording and getting weird. Richie gets side work doing records with Ry Cooder, Van Dyke Parks, Jon Cale, Doobies, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Frampton, Carly Simon, Robert Palmer and more.
The following years were turbulent but productive till that black day in June of 1979. Lowell was gone. Loss, sorrow confusion and farewell. No more Feats.
Ah, but wait, there’s more… Richie gets work and just in time too. Joan Armatrading, then Robert Plant, sessions, tours, a cast of thousands. Piece work colorful but not by deluxe.
Richie Hayward passed away on Thursday August 12, 2010 after contracting pneumonia as he battled liver cancer