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’s Facebook page