Mark Craney
August 26, 1952 - November 26, 2005
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Zoro




© Lloyd B. Cunningham - from the archives of Doane Perry



gone much too early...






© Lloyd B. Cunningham - from the archives of Doane Perry





© from the archives of David Levine



Mark Craney...
Mark Craney was born in Minneapolis in 1952. Taking up the drums, Mark has had the opportunity to work with a number of notable musicians. Among those names are Jean Luc Ponty, Tommy Bolin, Gino Vanelli, and Eddie Jobson. He joined up with Jethro Tull during the 1981 recording of A (an album that had its start as an Ian Anderson solo project). Health problems have haunted him throughout the years, curtailing his musical excursion and forcing him to leave Jethro Tull. He did, however, manage to play with such musicians as Tower of Power and Eric Burdon, throughout the years. In 1996, his health forced him to quit his musical career altogether. 

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing on Saturday, November 26, 2005













performed with:

Gino Vanelli
Mike Keneally
Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson
Jean Luc Ponty
Tommy Bolin
Eric Burdon
Eddie Jobson
Doane Perry
Tower of Power
Fairport Convention
The Headpins
Jimmy Haslip
TenSeconds
Gregg Rolie

...and many more







































Doane Perry about Mark Craney...
"A stunning player. A natural. A giant of his instrument. Gifted with an extraordinary musical imagination that left me many times just simply shaking my head. How did he do that?!!! Always sensitive to the music. Capable of great dynamics, subtle shadings, ditch-digging or beautifully complex grooves and jaw-dropping breaks.

Those beautiful, angular and abstract fills and such an unbelievably good sense of time, note placement, phrasing. All the elements that gave Mark his uniquely identifiable sonic identity. That effortless fluidity and deeply rooted musicality provided him the ability to play in any musical setting and yet still leave that immediately recognizable stamp, that it was him."



Gregg Bissonette about Mark Craney...
"The music world and the international drumming community lost one of its brightest stars, Mark Craney, on November 26th. Mark was an incredible drummer, and a wonderful friend to many people all over the world. He was probably best known by drummers the world over for his amazing drumming on Gino Vannelli's album "Brother to Brother". His playing CHANGED the way drummers all over the world approached playing drums. Mark also played with: Jethro Tull, Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Beck, Tower of Power, Tommy Bolin, Eric Burdon and MANY others...

Mark was 53 years old, and had struggled with Diabetes for many years. He had recently suffered a brain stem stroke that left him with many other complications. Many people the world over also know Mark as one of the founding members of "The Woodland Hills Drum Club," a club of drummer friends that began in his garage in Woodland Hills California in 1985. Mark Craney and his inspirational drumming will live on in our hearts forever...we love you Mark!"




This is a pic of The Woodland Hills Drum Club circa '89
Mark Craney - Barry Schneider - Myron Grombacher - Gregg Bissonette - Doane Perry - Billy Ward



Mark Craney & Friends:
SOMETHING WITH A PULSE (Laughing Gull)
released in 1997


This compilation CD started with a suggestion from Ian Anderson. He couldn’t be here for the benefit so he said why don’t I just donate a track and we’ll put together a C.D. It’s called "Something With A Pulse", and has 14 tracks. I’m on six of them which are all live. There’s a never before released, live Gino Vannelli cut, another live one with Tower of Power, there’s a live trio gig I did with Terry in our home town in Sioux Falls. Two new tracks we cut last April with Mike Miller on guitar, Jimmy Haslip on bass, Mike Fisher on percussion, Bill Champlin on keyboards and guitar, and from Santana, Alex Ligertwood on vocals and Richard Baker on keyboards. There's a new Eric Burdon track and another Ian Anderson track that he did specifically for the C.D. There's a cut by "Thread", a group Doane Perry is in with singer Ellis Hall who’s also on the Tower of Power track. It shows you how diverse his vocal stuff is because you’d never know it was the same guy. Terry Bozzio did a track, solo drumming. There’s a track from David Garibaldi and two percussionist friends of his. There’s a Fairport Convention track. There’s a track with Mike Keneally, a friend of mine who played with Zappa, and a track by James Taylor is the closing track. Everyone donated their publishing royalties on my behalf so it’s kind of an unusual CD. It’s also the first CD I’ve been involved in from start to finish which can really be a pain in the ass, getting the cover art right and all that. Now its off and running, on Laughing Gull Records which is Doane Perrys personal label. It could also come out on a major label with a distribution deal that we're looking at.

I wrote the lyrics to Listen to Your Heart. I wanted to write some kind of a song we could record for the C.D. and my friend Richard Baker had the music, but no lyrics. I brought the lyrics in and Alex the singer and I made them fit the music and that was our song. The reason I’m learning piano is so that I can write my own music, but I’m real pleased with this, it’s called Listen to Your Heart and it’s all about giving or receiving and sharing ids why we are in this and Make the Connection is part of the chorus. So it was written about the event and everyone coming in to record.

July 17, 1997
By Mark Craney

1. Jethro Tull Black Sunday (live) 7:05
2. Eric Burdon I'm Your Man 4:05
3. Tower of Power What is Hip? (live) 5:19
4. Mark's Brother's Listen to your Heart 4:27
5. Gino Vannelli Brother to Brother (live) 8:06
6. Talking Drums Guaramina (excerpt) 3:27
7. Fairport Convention Slipjigs and Reels 4:52
8. Mike Keneally Craney 2:35
9. Miller/Craney/Miller Blockhead (live) 5:08
10. Terry Bozzio Klangfarben Melodie 4:37
11. Mark's Brothers They don't make 'em like they used to 4:36
12. Thread Hands of Kindness (excerpt) 4:55
13. Ian Anderson Song for Jeffrey 3:50
14. James Taylor New Hymn (live) 2:52

Make the connection, we all need one another
Make the connection - whether giving or receiving,
It’s the sharing that’s bringing us together






Billy Ward:
These are Mark Craney's drums that I've borrowed for a Bill Champlin album titled "He Started To Sing" -1994. Great drum sizes. 16x20, 8x12 and 13x15. I used that kit on the entire album - just changed snares at times. Change the snare and the whole picture of the kit changes.




Doane Perry - Mark Craney



Terry Bozzio - Mark Craney



Bill Forth - Mark Craney



Glenn Noyes - Gregg Bissonette - Mark Craney











Mark Craney...the "Indian of the Group"
by Ian Anderson
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing on Saturday, of Mark Craney, ex-Jethro Tull drummer and long-time friend.

Mark had been ill for many years fighting with an ongoing kidney ailment, transplant rejections, stroke paralysis and associated medical problems.

In spite of periods of increased mobility, hope and even some returns to drumming, his conditioned worsened dramatically last August and resulted in a critical condition keeping him on life-support in hospital. Mark never gave in, fighting to the end and even giving rise to some optimism in the last weeks before finally passing away quietly in his sleep. During all the times of Mark’s illness, Tull drummer Doane Perry kept in constant touch, visiting Mark at home and in hospital regularly, especially during the worst periods. We saw Mark at our LA shows where he was a visitor whenever his health permitted.

Mark came to us courtesy of Eddie Jobson (ex-UK, Zappa, Roxy Music), when Eddie became keyboard player for Tull during the recording of the “A” album and the tours in 1981. Mark had been working with Eddie on some solo projects and so joined the Tull family too for the duration of Eddie’s working relationship with us.

Mark wrote the following words after his benefit show, which I think might sum up his generosity of spirit, his love of his friends and music and above all, his strength, determination and optimism. Better than any epitaph I could write.

"You all know how I feel - I'm very blessed
Life is a celebration - Thank you all
Expect good things - Make the Connection"
Cheers, Mark

God Bless, Mark. Drum-on, big man from South Dakota.

Ian Anderson





Fortune Drums:
6 1/2 X 14 made for Mark Craney



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Gregg Bissonette - Billy Ward - Doane Perry - John P. DeChristopher