Chester Thompson

Chester Thompson

born on 11/12/1948 in Baltimore, MD, United States

Chester Thompson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Chester Thompson

Chester Cortez Thompson (born December 11, 1948) is an American drummer and session musician.[1]


Thompson made his name as a session drummer, going on to play in Frank Zappa's touring band (as part of the 1973-1974 lineups, which also featured percussionist Ruth Underwood and jazz keyboardist George Duke) and in Weather Report's album Black Market (1976).[2] He played on such noted Zappa albums as Roxy & Elsewhere (Live recording 8-10.12.1973 & 8.5.1974), You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 (Live in Helsinki, Finland 2223.9.1974, released 1988) and One Size Fits All (1975).

His longest-standing gig was with Genesis as the touring drummer (1977-2007).[3] His relationship with the band began with the departure of frontman Peter Gabriel. Then-drummer, Phil Collins, assumed Gabriel's role in live shows, but remained behind the drum kit in the studio. Thompson became the touring drummer[4] in 1977, playing on their tours in that year and in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983/4, 1986/7, 1992 and the 2007 reunion Turn It On Again Tour. Chester is featured on their live albums Seconds Out (1977), Three Sides Live (1982), The Way We Walk Volume 1 (1992) & Volume 2 (1993) and Live Over Europe 2007. He chose not to be involved in the band's Calling All Stations European 1998 tour, following the band's failure to invite him to join the studio band after Phil Collins's departure.

Thompson has also worked with Phil Collins on his solo concert tours, drumming on the 1982/83 Hello, I Must Be Going! tour, 1985 No Jacket Required tour, 1990 ...But Seriously tour, The Tarzan Premiere tour of 1999 and The Final Farewell tour of 2004/05. Chester also appears on Phil Collins' Serious Hits... Live! (1990) live album and DVD, and has released his own solo album, A Joyful Noise (1999, Camino Records, CAMCD16).

Chester also plays on the Steve Hackett albums, Please Don't Touch (1978) and Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited (1996). Later on, he played on Tony Banks' solo album A Curious Feeling (1979). He also appears on Steve Hackett's live album The Tokyo Tapes released in 1998 (recorded, which features also and John Wetton, Ian McDonald and Julian Colbeck.

He was also a founding member of the band Fire Merchants with Brand X guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Doug Lunn and appeared on their first eponymous recording in 1989. Chester has also been credited with playing drums with Santana in 1984 and is credited in the Beyond Appearances album along with Chester D. Thompson on keyboards.

Chester's playing style is widely acknowledged and respected, and can be seen on numerous live videos of Genesis, from 1977 up to early 1990s. His live playing with the band is a striking mixture of his own style and Collins' own, being equally comfortable with acoustic and electronic drums. In the past, Chester has endorsed Ludwig Drums (1970-March, 1977), Pearl Drums (April, 1977 - July, 1987), Sonor Drums (1990-1999) and Paiste cymbals (197090), but now he endorses DW Drums since 2000 and Sabian cymbals since 1990.

He was also a member of Air Pocket, a band centered around the Fowler Brothers.

Chester Thompson is Adjunct Instructor at Belmont University's School of Music in Nashville/USA.

Selected discography


  • A Joyful Noise (1991, Mesa/Bluemoon )
    • with George Duke, Gerald Albright, Brandon Fields & Fowler Brothers
  • Approved (2013, Joyful Noise Inc)
    • with the Chester Thompson Trio

As sideman

With Frank Zappa

  • 1974: Roxy & Elsewhere (Live recording 8-10.12.1973 & 8.5.1974)
  • 1974: You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 (Live in Helsinki, Finland 2223.9.1974, released 1988)
  • 1975: One Size Fits All
  • 1975: Bongo Fury

With Weather Report

  • 1976: Black Market

With Air Pocket

  • 1976: Fly On (East Wind Records)
  • 1985: Hunter
  • 1988: Breakfast for Dinosaurs

With Genesis (live albums)

  • 1977: Seconds Out
  • 1982: Three Sides Live
  • 1992: The Way We Walk, Vol I: The Shorts
  • 1993: The Way We Walk, Vol II: The Longs
  • 2007: Live over Europe 2007

With Steve Hackett

  • 1978: Please Don't Touch
  • 1996: Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited
  • 1998: The Tokyo Tapes (recorded live 16. & 17.12.1996, released 1998)

With Tony Banks

  • 1979: A Curious Feeling

With Ahmad Jamal

  • 1980: Night Song (Motown, 1980)

With Santana

  • 1985: Beyond Appearances

With Fire Merchants

  • 1989: Fire Merchants

With Phil Collins

  • 1990: Serious Hits... Live!


  1. Chester Thompson Official Site
  2. Jenkins, Todd (2002-04-24). CD/LP Review: Black Market. All About Jazz. Retrieved on 2010-06-01.
  3. Kelman, John. Genesis: The Movie Box 1981-2007. All About Jazz. Retrieved on 2010-06-01.
  4. Doerschuk, Bob (1 May 2002). Playing from the heart: great musicians talk about their craft, Hal Leonard Corporation. URL accessed 1 June 2010.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Chester Thompson

  • The official Chester Thompson site
  • World of Genesis - Chester Thompson Biography
  • World of Genesis - World of 2002 Chester Thompson interview
  • Drummerworld: Chester Thompson
  • Steve
Tony Banks | Mike Rutherford | Phil Collins | Peter Gabriel | Steve Hackett | Anthony Phillips | John Mayhew | John Silver | Chris Stewart | Daryl Stuermer | Ray Wilson
This page was last modified 10.04.2014 17:34:23

This article uses material from the article Chester Thompson from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.