John Steel (drummer)

John Steel (drummer)

"For other persons named John Steel, see John Steel (disambiguation)."

John Steel (born 4 February 1941, Gateshead, England) was the original drummer of the band, The Animals.

Steel went to the Gateshead Grammar School. He met the future lead singer of The Animals, Eric Burdon, while they were studying together at the Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design.

Originally a trumpeter, he and Burdon formed a jazz group in January 1957 called The Pagan Jazzmen. They soon switched instruments and embraced the new rock 'n' roll explosion, when they became The Pagans. In 1959 they met Alan Price at a church hop in Byker, Newcastle, and joined forces. The band went through many name changes and different personnel until, as The Kansas City 5, they broke up in 1962. In 1963 Price formed The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo. John Steel then replaced Barry Preston as the drummer of the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo (later to become The Animals) in December 1963.

Steel went on to play and record with them until 1966. His last charted single with the group was "Inside Looking Out".

Subsequently Steel returned to Newcastle and became a businessman, while also working in former bandmate Chas Chandler's management and publishing organisations. Over the years Steel has remained active as a part-time local drummer and has joined several Animals' reunion incarnations.

He has toured since 1993 as drummer with variations of The Animals line-up including Hilton Valentine, Dave Rowberry, Zoot Money and Mickey Gallagher.

External links

* [ The Animals biography and discography]
* [ John Steel biography] at Allmusic website

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