Henry Spinetti is a world-class drummer whose catalogue of sessions and tours includes the likes of Joan Armatrading, Mike Batt, Eric Bibb, Roger Chapman, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Bob Dylan, Andy Fairweather Low, George Harrison, The Herd, Paul McCartney, Gerry Rafferty, Cliff Richard, Neil Sedaka, Pete Townsend, Tina Turner, and Bill Wyman; he has recorded over a hundred albums and is experienced in film and TV work. Born in South Wales in 1951, Henry first played live with Gary at The Parrot blues nights, which he attended with Eric Clapton, having been EC’s drummer since 1979; their involvement together on record goes back to a Mickey Jupp session in 1977 produced by Procol’s one-time organist Peter Solley.
In the 1980s Henry was Gary’s drummer of choice for the ‘Rock Meets Classic’ concerts organised by Eberhard Schöner, which kept the Procol flame alive between the band’s first decade and the ‘New Testament’ that started in 1991 with The Prodigal Stranger (an album opened by Henry’s attacking drums). He played the one-off gig by The Gary Brooker Band in Hamburg in 1983, promoting Brooker’s second, entirely self-written, solo album. And he drummed with Procol Harum live in the mid 90s, most notably in 1996 at their legendary symphonic sell-out at London’s Barbican, where the ninety-minute autograph queue broke all house records.
‘It’s always a pleasure to play Gary’s music,’ says Henry, who is also the regular drummer with No Stiletto Shoes, and played the principal kit for 2002’s ‘Concert for George’ at the Royal Albert Hall. He is thoroughly enjoying his current work, touring the world with Katie Melua. He is just back from playing Nelson Mandela’s AIDS awareness benefit in South Africa, which raised over 1.5 million dollars.
‘Henry really is a great drummer,’ says Gary. ‘He plays with a lot of spirit; he knows how to absorb the moment.’ And tonight Henry will be drumming in places where no percussion was heard on the original Gary Brooker Ensemble CD.