Clem Cattini is a legend of British music. He was the drummer in
the Tornados and Johnny Kidd & the Pirates before becoming one
of the most in-demand session drummers and playing on numerous
number one hits. This early part of his career is notable for
two iconic hits, the Tornados' Telstar and the Pirates'
All Over. What a pair to have on your CV! However, this was just
the beginning. In the 1960s, studio time was expensive so
producers often used session musicians so that the tracks could
be recorded quickly. Many sessions musicians became household
names or formed well-known bands. Cattini became one of the most
in-demand session drummers, often playing three different
studios on the same day. The list of tracks he played on
includes some of the best-known tracks produced in the UK and
includes 43 number one singles!
The book is much more than a biography of Clem Cattini. His story is placed
in the context of the times, mostly the 1960s. It was a decade where so many
things changed, not just music. He was discovered, like many others, in the 2is
coffee bar in Soho. He joined the Joe Meek stable becoming one of the
Tornados and playing on Telstar which was a massive hit. After that
it was Johnny Kidd & the Pirates before he decided to retire from
touring. He then turned to sessions as well as being the drummer in the Top of
the Pops Orchestra. The Orchestra backed artists on the top television programme
as there was a no miming policy. He was also asked two bands that were being
formed but he turned them down as he did not want to return to touring. They
were Led Zeppelin and Wings.
This is an excellent and very readable book about the music business. He
played on tracks by Ike & Tina Turner, Lulu, Tom Jones, Lou Reed and many more.
He was still going strong well into his seventies.
Published: 11 July 2019