Preston Heyman

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Preston Heyman
Preston Heyman World Expo Astana Kazakhstan No Mad Karma Rehearsal.jpg
Background information
Birth namePreston Ross Heyman
Born (1953-03-05) 5 March 1953 (age 68)
Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Origin London, England
Occupation(s)Musician, record producer
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active1971–present
Associated acts Tom Robinson Band

Preston Heyman (born 5 March 1953) is a British record producer, drummer and percussionist, whose career spans five decades. Best known for his collaborations with Kate Bush, he was also a member of the Tom Robinson Band and has contributed to many hit recordings and worked with a diverse range of artists including Terence Trent D'arby, Tin Tin Out, Massive Attack, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner and a Grammy Award-winning film soundtrack with Mike Oldfield.


Acting career

Although principally known for his musical career, Heyman's first experiences of show business came as a child actor and student of Corona Theatre School in London; while studying there he appeared in the films Chitty Chitty Bang Bang , Goodbye Mr Chips with Peter O'Toole, Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1968) with Jerry Lewis, and Salt and Pepper starring Sammy Davis Jr. and Rat Pack star Peter Lawford, as well as in an episode of Z-Cars .

Early musical career

During this period, Heyman became increasingly interested in music and, when asked by his classmate, guitarist Ronnie Caryl, both aged 16 and still at school, they formed a touring band fronted by former Unit 4+2 singer Tommy Moellar. They would play their hit "Concrete and Clay" sometimes three times a night up and down the country (1966–1967). He later said it was quite a musical education for the age of 16.[ citation needed ] In 1969, Heyman and Caryl formed the school band Sanctuary; the band's concerts often featured a friend from a rival stage school, Barbara Speake Stage School, the soon to be star Phil Collins. In a two-drummer setup, Heyman and Collins played the same fills, which became somewhat of a norm later in Genesis's career with Chester Thompson. The two were to work again later when Collins asked Heyman to work with his band Brand X as percussionist. Leaving school on the brink of his GCSE exams explaining to his parents that he would not need them in a music career, Heyman secured an album deal for Sanctuary with Polydor, recording an album at Rockfield Studios that still remains unreleased.

Early studio career

Heyman's first chart success came as a member of British R&B funk band Gonzalez, [1] drumming on their worldwide disco hit "Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet" (1975). [2] He had long been a fan and was asked by bandleader and sax player Mick Eve to join them on the eve of dates supporting Bob Marley on his Hammersmith Odeon shows. This led to many studio sessions, as the Gonzalez rhythm and brass sections were always in demand, especially with visiting U.S. artists. While in Air London Studio with Gonzalez recording tracks for their second album, Our Only Weapon Is Our Music (1975), he was watched from the door by Bryan Ferry who asked him when he finished if he would cart his drums along the corridor to the studio next door. He agreed and played on "This Island Earth" from Ferry's fifth solo album The Bride Stripped Bare (1978) alongside bass player Alan Spenner and guitarist Neil Hubbard of Kokomo, who were London contemporaries to Gonzalez. This began a long studio session career.

Kate Bush

Soon after this, a telephone call came from Kate Bush and he began working with her, rehearsing for 6 months as a member of her band before embarking on her Lionheart Tour, later to become known as The Tour of Life (1979). Heyman also appears on Live at the Hammersmith Odeon (1981), which was later re-issued in 1994 as a box set audio CD with video; and on Bush's On Stage (E.P.), a live recording of four songs performed on Kate Bush's The Tour of Life in 1979. It was released on 31 August 1979 with "Them Heavy People" as the lead track. It peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart. Following the tour Bush then had him in the studio to provide drums, percussion and some backing vocals on the album Never for Ever . Released in September 1980, it was Bush's first No. 1 album and was also the first ever album by a British female solo artist to top the UK album chart, as well as being the first album by any female solo artist to enter the chart at no 1. [3] Heyman played drums with the Tour of Life band on the B.B.C. T.V. Special KATE (1979) on which a new song "December Will Be Magic Again" was aired, later to be released by the B.B.C. as a DVD. He then went into the studio with Bush and played both drums and percussion on the single "December Will Be Magic Again" (1979), then working with her on the 1982 album The Dreaming . His pounding drums [4] featuring on her Single "Sat in Your Lap" (1981), recorded in the stone room at The Townhouse Studio 2 London with Paddy Bush and Preston on whip (played on bamboo canes swooshing through the air rhythmically), both appear in the video as singing Bulls. This was filmed in Orchestral Studio 1 Abbey Road. Critic Simon Reynolds called it "an avant-pop stampede of pounding percussion and deranged shrieks." [5]

During this period Heyman also played with the Tom Robinson Band on the album TRB Two , produced by Todd Rundgren (1979), and Atomic Rooster on their sixth album Atomic Rooster (1980). On recommendation from bass player and friend Phil Spalding, 1984 saw him in the studio with Mike Oldfield recording the soundtrack for the Academy Award winning film The Killing Fields , (1984) [6] using unusual percussion instruments he had brought back from an extended trip to Indonesia after Kate Bush's tour.

Kim Wilde

In 1985, Kim Wilde asked him to join her band and he spent most of that year with her in France doing T.V. shows and concerts. He appears in the video for her top 20 single "Rage to Love" which received a remix by Dave Edmunds. They also recorded a French T.V. special on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. And did a tour of Roman Amphitheatres in the south of France and Spain, Summer 1985.

Terence Trent D'arby

After studio sessions (again with Phil Spalding on bass) for the 1987 album Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby produced by Heaven 17's Martyn Ware, he found himself drumming on the U.S.A. Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit "Wishing Well" [7] (1988) and features in the song's video. He joined Terence's band and spent the next 2 years touring the globe. In nearly every country they landed, both the album and single were No. 1 and at times they found themselves doing 5 T.V. appearances a day, once described as "The world's wildest craziest party that never ever stopped." Eventually, on the verge of another U.S. tour, Heyman decided to leave saying he had to "save my sanity before it was too late to do so."[ citation needed ] Worldwide, the album sold a million copies within the first three days of going on sale. [8]


Preston endorses Evans Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Tama Drums and Latin Percussion.


With Empire

With Gonzalez


With Jakob Frímann Magnússon

With Brand X

With Wilding/Bonus

With Bryan Ferry

With Rocky Sharpe and the Replays

With Kate Bush


With Tom Robinson Band

With Atomic Rooster

With Ken Lockie

With World of Music, Arts and Dance

WOMAD Music And Rhythm by WEA Germany (1982) The Best of Music & Rhythm Pengosekan – Vic Coppersmith-Heaven

With Randy California


With Monsoon

With Toyah

With Bill Nelson

With Impulse

With Wall Street Crash (group)

With Mike Oldfield

With Sheila Chandra

With The Colourfield

With Roy Harper / Jimmy Page

With Heaven 17

With Heaven 17 Feat. Jimmy Ruffin

With When in Rome

With Indochine

With Terence Trent D'Arby


With Tina Turner


With British Electric Foundation (Feat. Tina Turner)

With Del Amitri


With Heidi Berry

With Tasmin Archer


With Love City Groove

With Ian McNabb

With Massive Attack

With Asia

With Jason Rowe (Jai)

With Tin Tin Out


With Tin Tin Out featuring Emma Bunton

With DJ EZ

With Whitney Houston

With Sting

With The Waterboys

With The Pretenders

With Anastacia


With Faith Hill

With Hedkandi

Fac 15 Stay With Me Till Dawn (2001) Twisted by the Pool (2001) Haven't You Heard (2002)

FAC 15 Ft. Cathi Ogden

With Simply Red

With King Brillo

With The Wolfmen


With Aigul Babayeva

With Namgyal Lhamo

With Sinead O'Connor

With Ravid

With Parsley Sound

With No Mad Karma

With The Mutants

Movie soundtracks

Music videos

Kate Bush Live at Hammersmith Odeon (1979),Kate Bush – The tour of Life HD LPR Remastering (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 79) on YouTube

Them Heavy People (1979), Kate Bush – Them Heavy People – Official Music Video on YouTube

Breathing (1980),Kate Bush – Breathing – Official Music Video on YouTube

Army Dreamers (1980),Kate Bush – Army Dreamers – Official Music Video on YouTube

Sat in Your Lap (1982),Kate Bush – Sat in Your Lap on YouTube

Kim Wilde

Rage To Love (1985)Kim Wilde – Rage To Love (1985) HD 0815007 on YouTube

Heaven 17 Ft Jimmy Ruffin

The Foolish Thing To Do (1986)Heaven 17 ft. Jimmy Ruffin – The Foolish Thing To Do [1986 on YouTube

Paul McCartney

Only Love Remains (1986) Paul McCartney – "Only Love Remains" – ORIGINAL VIDEO on YouTube

Terence Trent D'Arby

Wishing Well (1987) USA No.1 Terence Trent D'Arby – Wishing Well (Video) on YouTube

Dance Little Sister (1987) Music video on YouTube

Sign Your Name (1988) Terence Trent D'Arby – Sign Your Name on YouTube

Introducing The Hardline Live Terence Trend D'Arby – Introducing the Hardline LIVE on YouTube

Tin Tin Out Here's Where The Story Ends Shelley Nelson Tin Tin Out Here's Where The Story Ends TOTP 1998 on YouTube

Tin Tin Out Emma Bunton

What I Am Tin Tin Out – What I Am ft. Emma Bunton on YouTube

Live performance and tours

Sanctuary Band – London College Concerts. Guest Phil Collins (1971–1973)

The Rocky Horror Show Kings Road Theatre (1974) Pit Band Dep Drummer Various Dates

Kate BushThe Tour of Life (1979)

London Symphony Orchestra / Kate Bush 75th Anniversary Concert Royal Albert Hall (1979)

Peter Gabriel Reading Festival (1979) with Phil Collins/Gerry Marotta

The Nolans British Tour (1980)

Roy Harper Glastonbury Festival and U.K. Tour (1981)

Randy California Glastonbury Festival (1985)

Kim Wilde European Tour (1985)

Paul McCartney Royal Command Performance (1986)

The Princes Trust Rock Gala (1989) Percussion with George Martin Level 42 Alexander O'Neal John Farnham

Terence Trent D'Arby World Tour (1995)

Eurovision Song Contest / Love City Groove (1995)

Jimmy Sommerville European Tour and Festivals (1996)

Tin Tin Out / Hyde Park Route of Kings Concert (2000)

Zohar / World Peace Music Awards /Bali/ Concerts in Lomndon, U.S.A. Tour and Singapore (2006–2007)

Bali Jazz Festival (2006)

The Wolfmen London Concerts (2007–2011)

Avivit UK Concerts and Big Green Gathering Festival (2006)

James Stewart Cape Town South Africa Live Album Recording (2006)

Laura Miller and Double Six (2007) London Concerts

Aigul Babaeva The Opera House Almaty Kazakhstan (2012)

Expo 2017 World Expo Astana Kazakhstan 2017 Concert With No Mad Karma

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