RIP: Gary Abbott, drummer with Kingsmen

gary-abbott-kingsmen-1963

Here’s something I just found out about. Gary Abbott, the second drummer with the Kingsmen, passed away recently.

Gary had a short run with the Kingsmen. He joined the band sometime after LOUIE LOUIE vocalist / guitarist Jack Ely and bassist Bob Nordby quit the band on August 16, 1963. There was a big falling out when Kingsmen drummer Lynn Easton told the rest of the band that he registered the name for himself, and decided to install himself as the new permanent lead singer of the band. Lynn also wanted Jack to be the permanent drummer. Jack decided this was unacceptable, and quit the band, along with Bob Nordby.

The Kingsmen enlisted Gary Abbott to play drums and Norm Sundholm to play bass, joining himself, Mike Mitchell and Don Gallucci for the new line-up.

I’m not sure how many gigs this variation of the Kingsmen performed, but I know they definitely performed a big show sometime October 1963 at the Chase nightclub, which was recorded live for the first Kingsmen album released by Wand Records. I believe Gary was also part of the Kingsmen when they did a three-week Midwest tour in December 1963.

Sometime after that tour, Dick Peterson replaced Gary Abbott on drums, and Barry Curtis replaced Don Gallucci on keyboards.

After that, I’m not really sure what happened to Gary Abbott. I never tracked him down for the LOUIE documentary, and there’s not much information I could find about him on the internet.

Thanks to the powers of internet social media, I was able to find out via Facebook that Gary passed away in his sleep on April 10th. Seventeen days later, Jack Ely passed away on April 27th.

I’m sorry I never had a chance to chat with Gary.

Rest in peace, Gary.

gary-abbott-21st-century

REFERENCE:
Gary Abbott’s Facebook page

5 comments to RIP: Gary Abbott, drummer with Kingsmen

  • Myndi Stalnaker

    Thank you for the write up. Gary went on to live a very happy life. He spent it with the love of his life, Shirley, and playing drums with multiple bands, including Main Squeeze. Gary was a dear friend of my family. He may not have left behind any children, but he helped raise my brothers and I. He was like an Uncle to me. The best human being, along with his wife, that I’ve ever known. He’s surely Missed by the Portland Blues scene, even more so by his friends and loved ones.

  • Westside

    He was my neighbor he was my friend and excellent drummer one of the best. Shirley is great for being a part of his life. Nothing more to say except the little things that made him one great character to be around. The nicest man to be around any time.

  • John Stuart

    Was Gary in the Navy in 1965? My uncle said he was in basic training with a member of the Kingsmen, but I never found out which member it was. History of the band members’ tells me it had to have been either Gary or Bob Nordby (Don Gallucci at 16 or 17 – hard to say, may have been too young).

  • Tim Daren

    Any word if Gary was in the Navy around 1965? My uncle claimed he was in Navy boot camp with a member of the Kingsmen. Through my research, I’ve ruled almost all the other members out. Anyone know?

  • EP

    Was Gary in boot camp with another member of the Kingsmen? I know Jack Ely, the original vocalist, was drafted in 1966 while he was touring with the Courtmen, but I believe he was in the US Army.

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