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Ricky Lawson Tribute

The Remo family mourns legendary Remo artist and friend Ricky Lawson who passed away on December 23, 2013.

Born November 8, 1954, in Detroit, Ricky was immersed in all things musical from a very young age. Ricky didn’t need to look far for inspiration, as his uncle Harold Jackson was a drummer, and his uncle Paul Riser was Motown’s leading arranger and producer. Ricky was the drummer for Michael Jackson and Phil Collins during their biggest tours in the late 80s and early 90s, and was also a founding member of the legendary jazz fusion group The Yellowjackets. Ricky also won a Grammy Award for co-writing The ‘Yellowjackets’ hit “And You Know That”. He played with a who’s who of top recording and touring artists, including Whitney Houston, Steely Dan, Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, Lionel Richie, Al Jarreau, Babyface, George Duke, Bette Midler, Toto, George Benson, Robben Ford, Roy Ayers and Stevie Wonder.

Ricky’s drumming was featured on numerous top-10 hits, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Lionel Richie’s “Dancing On the Ceiling”. From the mid-1980s thru 2005 Ricky was the most visible player of Remo drums, with the familiar “Ricky Remo” graphic on his bass drumheads, which were seen by millions of people worldwide. Nicknamed “The Timekeeper”, Ricky Lawson had a groove as deep as the Grand Canyon, and a smile that lit up every room. He was fond of telling everyone he met “I Love You”, even if he had just been introduced to them, for Ricky loved people and wanted everyone around him to see the joy and beauty in life. Ricky loved drumming, he loved life, and he loved to make people laugh. Ricky was the consummate professional who prided himself on “getting it right the first time”, and knowing exactly what to play whether it was Jazz, R & B, Gospel, Pop, Rock or Fusion. In addition to being a drumming icon, Ricky was a world-class writer and producer, and he always made everyone around him better on the gig. Ricky’s passing is a huge loss for the entire music community. We will miss him greatly, but Ricky’s beautiful spirit is alive and well in the countless recordings and videos of his amazing drumming. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ricky’s family.

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