About Dash Dunbar

If you had already visited my site during last months, you should have seen that I had included a note about Dash Dunbar, son of Aynsley Dunbar. He was ill, and some friends had set up a website for receiving messages sent to him and his family.

Now, I feel very saddened to announce that Dash has passed away. He was only 5 years old. Now, he's resting in God's arms.

Aynsley has asked me to give thanks to so many people who sent Dash so many messages that made him smile. And please, keep Dash Dunbar in your prayers.



Very talented drummer, Aynsley T. "The Hawk" Dunbar was born in January 10, 1946, in Liverpool, England. He started playing violin, but he later changed to drums. He has the ability of playing perfectly many different styles: jazz (yes, jazz!), blues, rock, and hard rock. It isn't easy to play under so different names as Frank Zappa, John Mayall or Whitesnake, to name a few.

Rumour has it about two different groups. He was supposed to be the drummer in a trio with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. And, he was supposed to be the original drummer in Asia. Both jobs were given to Carl Palmer.

More facts to his legend:

Now, we're going to read about the bands he has belonged.


Sorry, I don't know anything about them, except that Aynsley played there.


Derry Wilkie was lead singer in Howie Casey's band called Howie Casey & The Seniors. Around 1962, he formed his own band, The Pressmen, and after several lineup changes, Aynsley joined them in August 1963:

But, in January 1964, the band disbanded. Derry and Phil Kenzie formed Derry Wilkie & The Others, while the other 4 guys formed The Flamingos.


It was January 1964:

After a short tour by Germany, and not getting a recording contract, they join lead singer Freddie Starr in April 1964.


Freddie Starr (born Freddie Howell) also was lead singer in Howie Casey & The Seniors. At the end of 1962, he started forming his own bands, where Keef Hartley even played. In May 1964, they became Freddie Starr & The Flamingos.

Again, lack of success, so Aynsley left the band in October 1964.

This band recorded a single in 1964 for Decca.


The Mojos were a band from Liverpool from the early times (1963), that is, Beatles contemporaries. They were commanded by Stu James, a member from Nomads. The Mojos started on the blues path, although they made good pop singles. In December 1964, they change lineup and band name (they became known as Stu James & The Mojos).

They only recorded two singles, toured a lot, and in September 1966, Collins and Dunbar leave the group.


After leaving Mojos, Aynsley joins John Mayall prestigious band in September 1966, replacing Hughie Flint.

A great lineup (as almost every Mayall lineup, by the way!). With my loved Peter Green (sorry, I have to tell that every time I mention his name, he deserves that, and much more!!).

They made a superb album, A hard road, the only one that Peter Green (and Dunbar) made with Mayall. You have to listen to them! A horn section was used in 4 tracks: Johnny Almond (sax), Alan Skidmore (sax), Ray Warleigh (trumpet). Recorded from October to November 1966, it was produced by Mike Vernon.

Looking back comprises 11 tracks, none of them ever available on an album. There are songs from 1964 to 1967. Regarding Aynsley, I can say that there are 3 tracks where he appears. Another musicians from my Olympus: Hughie Flint (2 tracks), Keef Hartley (2 tracks), Chris Mercer (1 track). And with fantastic guitar players: Eric Clapton (1 song), Peter Green (7 songs!!!), Mick Taylor (1 song).

Thru the years (originally a 2LP, including the complete Looking back LP inside), now it has been released as a 1CD, with just the tracks not included in Looking back. It comprises 14 tracks, none of them ever available on an album. Regarding Aynsley, he appears in 7 tracks. Another musicians from my Olympus: Hughie Flint (2 tracks), Keef Hartley (1 track), Chris Mercer (2 tracks). Noted appearances: Peter Green (8 songs, some of them just superb!), Mick Taylor (3 tracks), and several of the musicians who later formed Colosseum: Jon Hiseman, Tony Reeves and Dick Heckstall Smith.

My opinion about those two rarities album is that they have a very good quality. I love them!! Peter Green is great there, playing guitar and lead singing. The instrumental "Curly" is very, very good. In my 'umble opinion, it already contains what later would be the main riff for Fleetwood Mac's song "Rattlesnake shake".

They also recorded an EP with Paul Butterfield, called John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Paul Butterfield (Apr 1967, Decca). They also appear as backing band in an album by bluesman Eddie Boyd, Eddie Boyd & His Blues Band (featuring the Bluesbreakers) (watch the sessions page for details)

In April 1967, Dunbar quits.

Regarding later compilations, London blues (1964-1969) is a 2CD, with several tracks including Aynsley.

In 1997, it has been released the compilation The best of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers - As it all began 64-69. It has been digitally remastered, and includes Mayall's comments on every track, from an interview. In my own opinion, the selection is quite good, and includes some songs not available on albums. Aynsley Dunbar plays in 3 tracks: 'Looking back' (from Looking back), 'A hard road' (from A hard road), and 'Eagle eye' (from the EP recorded with Paul Butterfield).

(from left to right: Aynsley Dunbar, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood)
(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)
Dunbar joins Jeff Beck Group in April 1967. He sits in the drummer kit after several quick replacements by other people. But after a bried period, Dunbar leaves in August 1967.

Before leaving the band, the whole Jeff Beck Group appeared in a Donovan's album, Barabajagal (watch Aynsley sessions page).

unnamed band  

In November 1967, Aynsley forms his own band. Before getting a permanent lineup, he made an attempt to release a single with an all-star lineup:

They record the song 'Stone crazy', but it was not released. Years later, it was finally released in a blues compilation from the 60s, History of British blues (1973, Sire).

unnamed band 

In April 1968, there's another attempt to form a superband. Keith West and Steve Howe left the band Tomorrow, and they formed a band with Aynsley and former colleagues Ron Wood and keyboard wizard Nicky Hopkins:

They recorded some demos in November 1968 for EMI that remained unreleased until now, when they've appeared in the Keith West collection of rarities Excerpts from Keith West - Groups and sessions 65-74 (1995, RPM - 23 tracks, also featuring Herbie Flowers, Clem Cattini, John 'Twink' Adler). The two songs featured from those sessions are 'The visit' and 'She'.


After all these aborted tries, Aynsley finally decides to lead his own band.

Sometime later, a new member enters in the bass role: They release two albums, Retaliation and Doctor Dunbar's prescription. For the third album, To Mum from Aynsley and the boys, there is a new member, the prolific Tommy Eyre. This album was produced by former boss, John Mayall. Several of them were old John Mayall bandmates (Aynsley himself, Tillman and Dmochovski).

They shared bill with Frank Zappa band in Belgium, in the Amougies Festival, in October 1969, and in Paris, where Zappa puts his eyes on him. That would lead to a fruitful team soon later, as we're going to read.

There's a last album released, called Remains to be heard. But several songs sound like demos, so I don't know if the band members appear there.

A curious note: Aynsley appeared in one of the first Hot Tuna concerts, in April 1969, as a guest. Hot Tuna was a side project for Jefferson Airplane members: the magnificent pair by Jorma Kaukonen (guitar) and Jack 'God' Casady (bass). They started as an acoustic duo, and later they dedicated full-time to this great band. But that's another story...


This is the new band formed by Aynsley in 1969, only keeping Tommy Eyre from his band:

Robert Fripp (cerebrum in King Crimson) almost joined the group.

(scan courtesy of Mike Tolan)

They released an album, Blue whale, in a progressive style, with long jamming songs. But Aynsley dissolved the band, when he got a call from Frank Zappa to join forces. Coincidentally, the album contains a long version of Zappa's 'Willie the pimp'.

JOHN MAYALL (again)  

This is just a one-off lineup. In the summer of 1970, John Mayall was to play at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. But, not having a stable band at the time, he asked some of his old friends to play with him. See the surprising one-off lineup! Peter Green, not long ago leaving Fleetwood Mac, bassist Ric Grech, and drummer Aynsley Dunbar! WOW!


Around May 1970, Aynsley joins the numerous list of Frank Zappa alumni. This band incarnation also received the name of Hot Rats, or The Mothers.

Max Bennett is substituted with Jeff Simmons.


Zappa meets Howard Kaylan & Mark Volman (singers in The Turtles), and they form a new band, under the name The Mothers. They play at Bath Festival with this lineup:

They work in the album 200 Motels, where Simmons is substituted by Martin Lickert, and they are augmented for the film with Ruth Underwood (drums), Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black, Jim Pons (bass), Jim Sherwood. 200 motels also has the guest collaborations of Ringo Starr and Keith Moon.

But the live lineup is, in May 1971:

They played with John Lennon in his concert at Fillmore East in June 1971. Two live albums appeared from this event, Fillmore East, June 1971, credited to Frank Zappa, and another one credited to John Lennon: Sometime in New York city.

But in December 1971, Frank Zappa has a serious accident; a person (can he be named like that?) from the audience pushed him from the stage at Rainbow Theatre, London. He had to stay in a wheelchair during several months, so his band decide to put together a new idea, called Flo & Eddie.

Although Zappa was almost abandoned by his musicians, his relationship with them continued being very friendly, as Dunbar later played as a guest in some later Frank Zappa albums, as we'll see in the sessions page.


The funny name comes from The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie.

It's 1972, and this was the first lineup:

Sometime later, Don Preston leaves the band. They release their first album, The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie. They get a new keyboardist. They release their second album, called Flo & Eddie.

They toured supporting wild Alice Cooper. But in 1973, other changes happen within the band:

A third album, still with Aynsley, is released, with another funny title, Illegal, immoral and fattening. With some session musicians playing, like Leland Sklar (later with James Taylor and Phil Collins) or the later member Craig Krampf (drums).

And in April 1973, Aynsley leaves them for David Bowie.


After the breakup of the original Spiders from Mars band, Aynsley joins David Bowie in 1973.

On 18-20 August 1973, David Bowie recorded an NBC Midnight Special at London's Marquee Club titled 'The 1980 Floor Show', with an augmented lineup of the band:
(David Bowie, Mick Ronson and Aynsley Dunbar at The 1980 Floor Show)
(image loaned from MH - thanks a lot, I love it!!)

They played for this show, as well as Marianne Faithfull, The Troggs and a Spanish group called Carmen (ooops!). By the way, this was the only live show Aynsley ever did with Bowie.

After releasing Pin ups, an album made of covers of songs Bowie always loved (from The Kinks, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Easybeats, The Yardbirds, Them... and The Mojos, a band where Aynsley had played!), the remaining survivors from Spiders from Mars, the great ones Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder (now in one of my favourites bands: Uriah Heep) leave David Bowie.

But David Bowie reforms the band (without Aynsley, replaced by Tony Newman) in February 1974. But Aynsley still appears in Bowie's next album, Diamond dogs. Recorded with David Bowie (vocals, guitar, sax, keyboards), Alan Parker (guitar on 1 track), Herbie Flowers (bass), Tony Newman (drums), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), and Tony Visconti (strings). If we have to believe the credits, David Bowie plays all the guitar parts in the album (except for 1 song). Marc Bolan is supposed to be playing guitar uncredited in some songs, as well as Keith Richards. The two bonus tracks in my edition are "Dodo" and "Candidate", both recorded in 1973, but no musicians specified in them.


Still in 1973, as David Bowie was getting rid of all his fellow mates (why??), Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Aynsley Dunbar projected to stay together in a new band, along with vocalist Scott Richardson:

Nothing came from this combo, and they finally split after a few months.


In February 1974, Journey's original drummer, Prairie Prince, leaves the band to join The Tubes, and Dunbar enters here.

They release their first album, Journey, and toured America with many other bands, including Jeff Beck (old Aynsley's boss), and Hot Tuna.

In April 1975, George Thickner leaves the band. They continue as a quartet during two more years:

In May 75, they play in the "Day on the green Festival", with some bands that sooner or later were to be very related with Aynsley: Jeff Beck, Nils Lofgren and Jefferson Starship.

After releasing two more albums, Look into the future and Next, they decide to put more focus on vocals, and they search for a frontman. In June 1977, they are a quintet again:

But after a very short period, in September 1977, Fleischman is substituted for the definitive vocalist, Steve Perry. They release a new album, Infinity, with huge success. But a year later, in November 1978, problems between the band and Aynsley are followed by Aynsley's departure.

There has been released later compilations. Greatest hits mostly covers the Steve Perry period, In the beginning compiles songs from the first 3 albums, and Time 3 is a 3CD box set.


Around the end of 1978, Aynsley joins Jefferson Starship. The band was in a low point, because two of their leaders, Marty Balin and Grace Slick had just left them.

Freedom at point zero contains the hit-single "Jane", and a very beatiful song penned by Pete Sears, "Awakening".
(scan courtesy of Mike Tolan)

In March 1981, Grace Slick comes back to the band, starting a continuous story of entering and leaving the band along the years.

(scan courtesy of Mike Tolan)

They release a new album that year, Modern times.

In 1982, they release a new album, Winds of change, but Aynsley quits same year, before the tour was started.

(thanks to Mike Tolan for the cover)

(scan courtesy of Mike Tolan)

Recently, it has appeared a compilation credited to Starship. It's called Greatest hits (ten years and change 1979-1991), and, although it's credited to Starship (not to Jefferson Starship), it contains several tracks from the Jefferson Starship years, thus Aynsley appearing here.

Where was he?  

After leaving Jefferson Starship, Aynsley took a rest from music business, until 1985.


Whitesnake's former drummer, Cozy Powell, had left the band in January 1985, and they spent 6 months trying musicians for the role, until they chose Aynsley in September 1985.

But in 1986 David Coverdale has to take a rest, and in August 1986, he resumes his activities, now without Murray or Sykes. At the end of 1986, Dunbar is out of the band too.

Soon later, it's released the 1987 album, with help from Adrian Vandenberg (guitar, later Sykes' replacement in the band), Don Airey (keyboards) and Bill Cuomo (keyboards). With a smashing song, 'Still of the night'. Sorry, many people think it's a Led Zep clone, but I love this song! Sykes' playing is IMMENSE, AMAZING, as well as the other performers! Rock'n'roll!!! Ah, the album was called Whitesnake in the States.

Greatest hits is a compilation including some song only available as a single. The list of musicians from my Olympus appearing there is very long. Let's see: David Coverdale (vocals), Micky Moody (guitar), John Sykes (guitar), Steve Vai (guitar), Dann Huff (guitar), Neil Murray (bass), Rudy Sarzo (bass), Don Airey (keyboards), Alan Pasqua (keyboards), Cozy Powell (drums), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Denny Carmassi (drums), Tommy Aldridge (drums).


I don't know the lineup or the period when Aynsley was with Pat Travers. Help, please!


Around May 1996, Alvin Lee, fantastic guitarist from the famous blues-rock band Ten Years After, assembles a band of great veteran musicians, for a tour:

But, after only 4 concerts, Boz Burrell leaves them, being replaced by Tony Franklin. This still was May 1996. They finish the tour at the end of March 1997, and Alvin Lee resumes both his Alvin Lee Band and his old group Ten Years After. But Aynsley and Eric Burdon would reunite very soon, as we'll read...


In 1996, Phil Mogg and Pete Way, two founder members of UFO, start a new chapter of the band, but under the name Mogg/Way.

They release an album, Edge of the world, with help from Matt Guillory (keyboards) and Eric Martin (from Mr. Big, backing vocals on 1 song).

I don't know if they still exist as a group, as UFO played in Spain in November 1997 with Phil Mogg and Pete Way in the band, so...


Aynsley joins Eric Burdon again, after having toured together along with Alvin Lee in 1996. Mark Craney was the original drummer in the band, but his illness finally prevented him to keep on playing live concerts, so Aynsley arrived, around 1997. It wasn't the only disgrace in the band, as their guitarist, Larry Wilkins, sadly passed away on May 6, 1997.

In order to compete with the bootleggers who follow their tour, they issued their own CD, called The official live bootleg. It was recorded during the German tour in November, 1996. It contains many of Eric's greatest hits, such as 'Don't let me be misunderstood', 'Monterey', 'House of the rising sun', etc., plus a couple of covers: Jimi Hendrix's 'Little wing', plus The Doors' 'Roadhouse blues', where Aynsley performs a drum solo. It's a very good live album, I love it!

Sadly, their guitarist, Larry Wilkins, died on May 6, 1997.

(scans courtesy of Mike Tolan)

They are now in the studio polishing work for an upcoming CD, as well as another live one. The new guitarist is Neal Morse (from Spock's Beard, the same band where Dave Meros and Neal play).

There is now available a second I-Band live bootleg CD.
(scans courtesy of Mike Tolan)

Burdon has a new studio CD under review (looking for a label for it - and Dunbar is on all the tracks), and his new autobiography will be issued with a CD - and Aynsley Dunbar will probably be the drummer for many of those tracks too.

Aynsley Dunbar, Live with "Eric Burdon's I Band", Racine, Wis., June, 1998.
(original photo courtesy of Mike Tolan. Thanks for all!!)
"Eric Burdon's I Band", from Cabooze Bar, Minneapolis, June 1998.
(original photos courtesy of Mike Tolan. Again, thanks for all!!)

  • This band comprised four virtuoso musicians: Jeff Watson (guitar, from Nightranger), Bob Daisley (bass, ex-lots of things: Uriah Heep, Rainbow, lately in Dio), and Carmine Appice (drums). They released two albums. But later, Carmine Appice leaves the project, and he's replaced by Aynsley Dunbar in 1997.

    They released their third album (first with Aynsley), Fire on the moon. Initially, it was only released in Japan.

    Please note: Aynsley hasn't left Eric Burdon's band. In fact, all the musicians in Mother's Army belong to other bands, but they record a new album from time to time.


    In January 1999, Eric Burdon decides changing the name of his band, from "I-Band" to "The New Animals". But he keeps the same lineup, except for one change:

    They have released a live video, Live at The Coach House, also available on DVD.

    Other facts

    At the beginning, I had written in my pages that Aynsley had played in the band Rory Storm & The Hurricanes. I included it because I found the next paragraph in the fantastic book "The ultimate Beatles encyclopedia", by Bill Harry, 1992, Virgin Books (a real encyclopedia, completely needed for Beatles freaks like me):

    (page 561, on entry about Rory Storm & The Hurricanes): "Rory Storm & The Hurricanes never recovered from losing Ringo. They had a succession of very good drummers, including Gibson Kemp, Ainsley [sic] Dunbar, Keef Hartley and Trevor Morais, but they seemed to miss out on the nationwide boom in the Mersey sound".

    But now I know this is not true, as Aynsley himself assures that he never was in the band.


    Press here to read about Aynsley Dunbar sessions

    Related links

    From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have: From the superb site Knights in Blue Denim: The British Blues Scene '68 - '70 (by Christer Fridhammar & Vanja), we have:
    Musicians mentioned in this page that I have projected to cover in my site someday: And short tributes to:

    Family tree

    Coming soon (I hope so!).

    Thanks section

    Dedicated with all my love to Dash Dunbar (sweet little angel) and all his family.

    (Dash Dunbar)

    Very special thanks to: Mike Tolan, for all the info about Eric Burdon's I Band, as well as photos, scans and for sending Aynsley my pages on him. Thanks for all, my friend! Aynsley Dunbar, for taking his time in correcting my pages, and for all your fantastic contribution to music!

    Special thanks to Philip Metzger Jr. & Sr., for help and kind messages; Lauren Draplin, for lovely photos and messages; Mike Harvey, for his contribution (you know what it is!) and for building such superb site on Ziggy Stardust; Dennis 'Radioactive', for his very kind message; Daniel Jones, for info on Armageddon.

    Thanks to: Hop, for info about sessions with Pat Travers.


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    Page created by Miguel Terol on: 12/December/1997. Last modified on: 28/August/2000. 1