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.
He is the drummer with the Coasters. He is the drummer with the Monkees. He is the drummer with the Lovin' Spoonful, and a host of other acts who either fronted bands consisting of studio musicians to record their hits, such as the Mamas and Papas or Dionne Warwick, or groups who gladly sent their regular drummer out for a smoke break in order to get Chester's take on things beat-wise.
He 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 he played on literally hundreds of records and claimed to have logged
some 14,000 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.
Several musical scholars who have devoted their lifetimes to the work of studio drummers have advocated the renaming of the "oldies" radio station format to "Gary Chester radio."
Chester's instruction books are entitled New Breed and New Breed II .