Alan Gratzer

1971 - 1990

  • Drums
  • Percussion
  • Backing Vocals


Alan was a founder member of REO Speedwagon. He also co-produced REO's albums from
Hi Infidelity in 1981, until he left the band in 1990.

He now lives outside of Nevada City, California with his wife Nancy. They are both very active in organizations which help less-fortunate members of society. Alan is still close with the band, and has occasionally made a guest appearance.

Picture: Bill Parsons


Background

Alan Gratzer participated in the recording of Star Fleet Project (Capitol Records / MLP 15014), a terrific three-cut EP credited to Brian May & Friends. Star Fleet Project was recorded over a two-day period in April of 1983, and released later that year. Brian May is, of course, the guitarist of Queen.

Besides Brian and Alan, the group also included legendary rock guitarist Edward Van Halen, Alice Cooper keyboard player Fred Mandel, and Phil Chen, the bassist of Rod Stewart's band. Alan and the other participants were invited by Brian May to a two-day jam session at a Los Angeles recording studio. Brian intended the recording to be strictly for fun, but was later persuaded to release the music. The title track was based on the theme music to a British science fiction television series. "Bluesbreaker" is an instrumental blues improvisation, and "Let Me Out" is a blues song Brian May had written.

Brian was interviewed about the EP in Guitar Player (January 1984) and, when asked about Alan's drumming, Brian replied, "I've known Alan for quite a while, but I had no idea what it would be like to play with him. When you hear people's records, you have no idea, really, what they would be like to play with. But it was great. The incredible thing about him is his consistency. He could go for 12 hours, and if you picked up his tempo from the beginning, it would be the same as the end. He's like a rock, particularly on [Bluesbreaker] where you just feel that solidity which gives the track a sort of integrity. I really like that." Unfortunately, this recording is out of print and commands a high price on the used-record market.


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