Great bassist, he has played in several superb bands, as well as performing lots of sessions along the years.


When Rick was 14, he played rhythm guitar in this Cambridge band commanded by John Phillips.

Sometimes they used the alternate name Little Tiger and The Sundowners.


Rick also played in this soul band, based in Cambridge.


David Gilmour had formed this band around 1963. Lots of lineups here and there (including Ivan Carling), and in September 1966, Rick joins.

They released a miniLP privately, Joker's Wild, only 50 copies. So, lucky if you have one of them!

They were playing in France, under the Little Flowers name. Around Summer 1967, their vocalist left them, and they change into a trio, with a new band name.

But, at the end of 1967, the band breaks, as David Gilmour accepts an offer to join Pink Floyd.


I only know two members of this band:

(scans courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

This was a unusual outfit. Being British, they performed a fine country-rock, somewhat in a Creedence Clearwater Revival vein. They were formed in 1969.

(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

They released his first album, Cochise, in 1970. Soon after, Stewart Brown leaves the band, and he's substituted with John Gilbert.

For their second album, Swallow tales, they were joined by some guests, like the superb Tim Renwick (guitar), the late Steve Marriott (piano, vocals), Caleb Quaye (piano), and Cal Batchelor.

(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

They change slightly the lineup, John 'Willie' Wilson leaving the band to join Tim Renwick and Cal Batchelor in Quiver.

(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

Unfortunately, after their third album, So far, they split.

There's also a compilation album, called Past loves.


Brian Parrish (Three Man Army) & Paul Gurvitz (Gun, Three Man Army, later in Baker-Gurvitz Army) assembled a great band to play in a US tour from May to June 1972 to promote his Parrish and Gurvitz album (1971, Regal):

They recorded a second album, but I think it wasn't released. Shortly afterwards, the three musicians left the duo to join Peter Frampton.


After the release of Frampton's first solo album, Winds of change, he assembles a live band in June 1972, with part of the musicians that had played in the album.

But Kellie returns to his former band, Spooky Tooth in March 1973, being replaced by John Siomos.

They released the album Frampton's Camel, with occasional help in some tracks by Frank Carillo playing acoustic guitar. In summer 1974, Gallagher leaves, then joining a superb musician, Andy Bown:

But in November 1974, Rick leaves the band. He still played in the album Something's happening, along with John Headley-Down (drums) and Nicky Hopkins (piano).

Shine on: a collection is a double CD compilation, with some unreleased tracks. The list of performers includes: the much-missed Steve Marriott (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Frank Carillo (guitar), Steve Lukather (guitar), Mick Jones (guitar), Mark Goldenberg (guitar, bass), Rick Wills (bass, vocals), Stanley Sheldon (bass), John Regan (bass), Nathan East (bass), Eddie Watkins (bass), Mickey Gallagher (keyboards), Bob Mayo (keyboards, guitar), Arthur Stead (keyboards), Andy Bown (keyboards, bass), Richard Cottle (keyboards), Pete Solley (producer), Jim Price (horns), John Siomos (drums, percussion), Mike Kellie (drums), Ringo Starr (drums), Steve Ferrone (drums), Anton Fig (drums), Gary Mallaber (drums), John Robinson (drums), Jeff Porcaro (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Steve Forman (percussion), Mike Finnegan (backing vocals), Danny Wilde (backing vocals), Jeannie McClain (backing vocals), Mark Williamson (backing vocals), and the Waters family (backing vocals: I assume they must be Oren Waters, Maxine Willard Waters, Julia Tillman Waters, etc).

20th century masters - the millenium collection: the best of Peter Frampton is a compilation of some of his best tracks. Some of the performers are: Frank Carillo (guitar), Steve Lukather (guitar), Rick Wills (bass, vocals), Stanley Sheldon (bass), John Regan (bass), Mickey Gallagher (keyboards), Bob Mayo (keyboards, guitar), Arthur Stead (keyboards), Andy Bown (keyboards, bass), John Siomos (drums, percussion), Mike Kellie (drums), Gary Mallaber (drums), Jeff Porcaro (drums), Steve Forman (percussion), Mike Finnegan (backing vocals) and the Waters family (backing vocals: I assume they must be Oren Waters, Maxine Willard Waters, Julia Tillman Waters, etc).


Kevin changed its lineup almost completely in January 1975. Only Kevin Ayers and his friend Ollie Halsall remained here.

They performed a European tour, soon to split in April 1975, because of problems with Ayers' stability. They released an album, Sweet deceiver (Mar 75, Island), but I'm not sure if Rick plays there, as I don't have this album. Can anyone confirm me this point, please?


After John Gustafson left the touring band, Rick Wills is called to fill the bass gap. This should be around mid 1975.

Rick played in two US tours with them, until the band split in June 1976. He appears in some tracks of the live album Viva.


In June 1976, Steve Marriott dissolves his own group, trying to resurrect old glories under this monicker. The reunion wasn't complete, because of Ronnie Lane not joining, being replaced by ... yes, by Rick!

They released a new album, Playmates, with help on vocals from Joe Brown, Vicki Brown, Greg Ridley, PP Arnold, Tony Williams and Dave Hynes, as well as Mel Collins on sax.

After a year, they augment the lineup for a new tour in September 1977:

But they split in May 1978. There was released a second album, 78 in the shade.


Joe Brown was a famous English singer from the 1960s. He appeared on BBC TV many times. Had numerous hit records in England including "I'm Henry the Eighth I am". His songs were a mixture of serious ballads, and comedy songs. Don't know about other members of his band, so if anyone can help...


The original sextet broke around 1979, and Rick joins here.

They released their third album, Head games. And around 1981, they become a quartet, losing their two keyboardists.

They release a new album, 4. It contains several hit singles, such as 'Urgent', 'Juke box hero', 'Waiting for a girl like you' or 'Night life'. It has several guests: Thomas Dolby (keyboards), Mark Rivera (sax), the great Hugh McCracken (guitar), Junior Walker (sax), Larrry Fast (keyboards), Michael Fonfara (keyboards), Bob Mayo (keyboards).

(from left to right: Dennis Elliott, Rick Wills, Lou Gramm and Mick Jones)

Their next album, Agent provocateur, contains one of my favourite ballads, 'I want to know what love is', as well as some great rockers. Recorded with help from several keyboardists (Wally Badarou, Bob Mayo, Larry Fast, Dave LeBolt) and sax player Mark Rivera.

Next album was Inside information, with help from Jethro Tull member, Peter John Vettese on keyboards.

(from left to right: Mick Jones, Lou Gramm, Rick Wills)
(click here for a bigger image, 58 Kbs.)

They played in Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary, in Madison Square Garden, which I luckily have a videotape of a part of the event (around 6 hours). Now this concert is most remembered for including Led Zeppelin brief reunion with Jason Bonham on drums.

And after this one, the surprise arrives. Lead singer Lou Gramm announces his departure from the band to pursue a solo career. After a while, around 1990, they get a young talented singer.

(from left to right: Johnny Edwards, Rick Wills, Dennis Elliott, Mick Jones)

They release a new album, Unusual heat, with some guests: Richie Cottle (keyboards), Tommy Mandel (keyboards), Tony Beard (percussion), Felix Krish (bass), and producer Terry Thomas (also playing guitar, keyboards and backing vocals). But the lack of Gramm's voice makes this album a failure, thus provoking the departure of all the members, only remaining the leader, Mick Jones. He soon was to join Lou Gramm again, but that's another story...

The very best ... and beyond is a compilation that included 3 new tracks, resulting from the Jones/Gramm reunion in 1992.


From a great band to another great one. Only two remaining members from the original lineup, Ralphs and Kirke.

Their first album with Rick was a live one, Live: what you hear is what you get.
(click here to get a bigger image, 82 Kbs.)

In 1995, they get a new singer:

They release a new studio album, Company of strangers, followed by an unplugged album Stories told and untold, recorded with several guests, such as Timothy B. Schmidt (from The Eagles), Kim Carnes, Bekka Bramlett (from Fleetwood Mac) and Richie Sambora (from Bon Jovi).


I've read he once played with Emitt Rhodes, but don't know when. I've also read he has been playing with Elton John for several years, which I didn't know. Help, please!


Press here to read about Rick Wills sessions

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Special thanks to: Bry Carling for his help on data about Rick early career and much more!


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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 01/April/1998. Last modified on: 08/November/1999.