Legendary Woodstock drummer Michael Shrieve now plays in Fremont

Seattle Times

Every Monday night in a Fremont bar, Michael Shrieve, who 40 years ago executed one of rock music’s greatest drum solos in a moment of history documented on film, unceremoniously takes the stage with his newest group, Spellbinder. It’s a five-piece jam band that reflects not only Shrieve’s accomplishments in rock but his interest in jazz and world music. The crowds that gather at the bar, ToST, tend to be a loyal, discerning, curious and enthusiastic lot. They listen intently and are occasionally moved to dance, but are often too young for the words “Woodstock” and “Santana” to hold very much meaning — words that figure largely in Shrieve’s personal history. Shrieve, who lives in Fremont in an apartment a few blocks from ToST, recently turned 60. He made his legend 40 years ago this weekend when, just after having turned 20, he performed with his band Santana at the Woodstock music festival. The band played “Soul Sacrifice,” and movie cameras were rolling so a documentary could be made about the festival. Shrieve, who looked even younger than his actual age, was a marvel, passion and joy written on his face. About three minutes into the nine-minute performance, the drummer set off into a long solo that would become part of rock- music history. In the decades since, Shrieve has played on or produced records that have sold millions of copies, not just with Santana but with the Rolling Stones, Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood and George Harrison. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

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