Gregg Bissonette, an American jazz and rock drummer, as well as a vocalist, is widely recognized for his remarkable contributions to the music industry. Collaborating frequently with his brother, bassist Matt Bissonette, Gregg’s talent extends across various genres. Notably, he shares drum duties for the renowned Australian band Satellite Train alongside accomplished Australian drummer John Watson.
Gregg’s illustrious career took off when he made one of his initial recordings on jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson’s Live from San Francisco in 1983, where he performed alongside his brother Matt. He continued to showcase his exceptional skills on Brandon Fields’ The Other Side of the Story in 1985, featuring prominent keyboardist David Garfield. Subsequently, Gregg embarked on a series of shows at the Baked Potato, a prestigious jazz club and restaurant in Los Angeles, California, alongside artists such as Brandon Fields, Steve Lukather, and John Peña as part of Los Lobotomys. These performances showcased his versatility in rock, Latin, and jazz music.
Gregg’s breakthrough came when he joined forces with former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, a band that also included guitar virtuoso Steve Vai and future Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan. From 1985 to 1992, he made notable contributions to three highly successful albums that landed on the US Billboard 200 chart: Eat ‘Em and Smile (no. 4), Skyscraper (no. 6), and A Little Ain’t Enough (no. 18). Gregg’s exceptional drumming skills played an integral role in the success of these albums and the subsequent world tours.
In 1990 and 1993, Gregg released two instructional drum videos: Private Lesson and Playing, Reading & Soloing with a Band. Private Lesson covers a diverse range of topics, including double bass drumming, rudiments (featuring the backsticking technique from Mitch Markovich’s snare drum solo “Tornado”), playing with a metronome, and using brushes.
Between 1994 and 2004, Gregg displayed his talents by playing on the musical interludes for every episode of the beloved TV show Friends. His drumming added a distinctive touch to the show’s soundtrack.
In 1995, when Simon Phillips encountered back problems, Gregg was called upon to fill in for him during the first leg of Toto’s Tambu tour. This opportunity allowed him to showcase his skills alongside the renowned band.
Gregg’s contributions extend beyond his collaborations with David Lee Roth and Toto. He played drums on one track featured on Santana’s album Supernatural in 1999. Additionally, in 2007, he made notable contributions to Daniel Glen Timms’ album La La Land.
In 2001, Gregg was slated to play on the Electric Light Orchestra’s Zoom Tour Live, accompanied by his brother Matt on bass. Unfortunately, the tour was cancelled after a single televised performance at CBS Television City on PBS.
Since 2003, Gregg has been an integral part of Ringo Starr’s band, Ringo and The Roundheads, where he plays double drums alongside his brother Matt on bass. This collaboration led to his ongoing membership in Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band since 2008.