Ian Wallace


Born: September 26, 1946 Died: February 22, 2007
Best known as the drummer in one of the longer incarnations of King Crimson (Jan. 1971-Apr. 72), and as a drummer for Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, Ian Wallace has been one of rock's busier drummers for more than a quarter century.

Ian Wallace's rock credentials go back to 1963 and a band called The Warriors, whose membership included a young vocalist named Jon Anderson, as well as future Badger bassman David Foster. The Warriors lasted until the end of 1967--Wallace's next band was The World, featuring the Bonzo Dog Band's Neil Innes on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, which lasted six months in 1970. Finally, in the spring of 1971, Wallace joined King Crimson in the wake of the collapse of the interim line-up of the group.

This version of King Crimson was a great performing unit, but its unity was always in doubt, especially when rumors began abounding of an impending break-up within six months of its formation. They toured extensively and won a serious following, but internally their relations were a nightmare, as Wallace and his bandmates Boz Burrell and Mel Collins insisted on a degree of autonomy as composers that clashed with Fripp's musical vision of the band.

During the first six months of his work with Crimson, Wallace's playing broke some new ground on stage when Peter Sinfield, the group's lyricist and computer expert, used a VCS-3 synthesizer to process the sound of Wallace's drums. Additionally, recently released live tapes of that version of King Crimson, following Sinfield's exit but before the break-up of the whole unit, have revealed the full complexity of Wallace's playing with the band, and even Fripp has noted the quality of his work in live performance during those years.

Wallace, Boz Burrell, and Mel Collins turned out to enjoy working together more than they did working for Robert Fripp, and they quit the band en masse in the early spring of 1972. They immediately turned around and hooked up with Alexis Korner) and (Peter Thorup, playing with them of the remained of 1972.

Wallace continued working with Korner for two years and on four albums, and also played with Steve Marriott, Big Jim Sullivan, and Alvin Lee. In 1978, he became Bob Dylan's drummer, beginning wih the Street Legal album and continuing on the subsequent tour and the Live At Budokan album as well. During the 1980's, Wallace also played with Ron Wood, David Lindley, Jon Anderson, Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, The Traveling Wilburys, and Roy Orbison.

In the 1990's, he has played with Joe Walsh and Don Henley, but much of Wallace's activity has centered around his own label, Artist Road Records of Santa Fe, NM. Wallace's work has moved more in the direction of jazz in tandem with his business partner in Artist Road, pianist Brian Trainor, and he has played most recently with Larry Coryell.