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In Memoriam: Ricky Lawson

(November 8, 1954 – December 23, 2013)



It is with sincere regret that we announce the passing of Paiste artist Ricky Lawson. The renowned drummer passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, December 23 – he was 59. Ricky Lawson joined the Paiste family in August of 1982. Throughout his illustrious career, Ricky worked with many of music’s biggest stars, including Yellowjackets (which he co-founded), Lionel Ritchie, Babyface, Phil Collins, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson and many others.

Colleagues and fans will remember Ricky’s formidable talents and his unforgettable smile. He was a true ‘drum ambassador’ to the drumming and music community at large. His passion and love for the drums, and that infectious smile is what made Ricky so special to us all. His pleasant, friendly demeanor and the unconditional love he gave to music and to the community will be remembered for many years to come. Ricky was and always will be an inspiration to us all. We thank you for the memories, you will be sorely missed. –Your family at Paiste.

"Ricky Lawson was not just a special drummer, but a special person. The first thing he would always ask is how are YOU doing? His smile, laughter and impeccable groove made him the legend that we will enjoy forever!" - Donald Barrett

"Ricky is and will always be the master of groove and taste. If it's pop, rock, soul, R&B, funk, or fusion, Ricky defined the "pocket" in every tune. Thank you Ricky for inspiring ALL of us...we love you!" - Curt "Kirkee B." Bisquera

“I am shocked and saddened by the passing of a great professional and my friend Ricky. He was a giant of a player and a true gentleman. He brought a wonderful rhythm and spirit to everyone he worked with and will be horribly missed. 'Rest well my friend, you "brought it", and made us all better hearing your incredible talent.' We send our deepest condolences to his family.” - Paul and Jeanie Leim

"I'm honored to call Ricky Lawson my friend and colleague. He possessed one of the deepest grooves I've ever heard and his attitude resonated the joy of playing music. It was infectious and I will miss him." - Rich Mangicaro

"I feel blessed to have known Ricky... His kindness was beyond measure and he exemplified greatness on all levels... Truly a beautiful soul and a wonderful human being..." – Jimmy Paxson

“Ricky was a giver. He was always sharing and gave so much of himself and love! He had a way of making you feel special and I will always hear his voice “Love ya, Love ya, Love ya!” Rest easy big brother. – Gary Stanionis

“I am so sorry to hear of Ricky’s passing...not alone a true loss to his family, the drumming and music world has lost another hero...when people say that someone's genuinely a kind and caring human being, that was Ricky Lawson...always with a smile too! Ricky, you will be genuinely missed"... – Alvino Bennett

"Ricky was a dear friend of mine . He was always encouraging and supportive. An immense talent with a humble heart. His contribution to music will resonate forever. I Love you my brother." - Aaron Kennedy "RhythmSaint"



Michael Jackson: BAD 25 ~ Live at Wembley, UK / Full Show – July 16, 1988



Phil Collins “Sussudio” from ‘Live and Loose In Paris’ (1998)



Yellowjackets: Casino Lights (Montreux Jazz Festival 1981) – Part 1 of 2



Yellowjackets: Casino Lights (Montreux Jazz Festival 1981) – Part 2 of 2



Steely Dan “Peg” – Live (2000)