Richard Drummie is best known as one half of British Male Duo 'Go West' who burst onto the music scene in 1985 and have remained one of the greatest live acts the UK has produced. Go West are still going strong and their new album due out this year looks set to be their greatest ever work. Aside from Go West Rick has forged a career of distinction as a writer and producer and has engaged in a number of high risk treks for charity: his is a fascinating story and this is a part of it...
RICHARD DRUMMIE BIOGRAPHY
Richard Drummie was born in London on 20th March 1959, a lifelong Fulham FC supporter Rick has been involved in the music business since his youth: the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist was involved in local bands from his teens and indeed it was while he was rehearsing with one of those Bands: Free Agent, that he had his first meeting with his songwriting and performing partner of the last 30+ years Peter Cox. It was a fateful meeting and one for which Rick and Pete’s fans have every reason to be grateful for, as it allowed the two guys singular talents to combine into what was, after much hard work, to become Go West.
Always a man of ferocious determination Richard Drummie has carved out a career of great distinction for himself within the music business. His main claim to fame will always of course be as part of Go West; possibly one of the most successful male duos ever to emerge from the UK. After a period where Pete and Rick were simply the writing partnership of Cox and Drummie it was a glorious moment when in 1985 the guys finally got to take to the stage in their own right. Rick is a fantastic writer but he is more than anything else a natural performer and there is no doubt that the fresh faced young man in the suit in the ‘We Close Our Eyes’ video was an immediate success with the record buying public. Rick was as he has stated somewhat luckier in that early video as he was portrayed as the ‘cool bloke’ who got to look good in a suit and stay cool while his unfortunate partner Pete got to sweat it out with a giant spanner!
Go West have always been a Touring Band and in that live arena Rick has consistently been a fantastic performer and a master of the art of engaging with a live crowd. While Pete has to concentrate on his vocals; and in doing so has to be slightly more detached from the crowd to hold his concentration, Rick is the total opposite. From the time of the Runaway Train Tour until today Rick has always been enormous fun as well as a very serious and accomplished musician; he comes alive when he’s on stage and is a bundle of energy leading the clapping and singing in the crowd and encouraging everyone to get involved: his shouts of ‘Lets Have Ya’ are repeated by Westies at gigs up and down the country and there’s no doubt that the brilliant atmosphere at Go Wests gigs is something that Rick can take a very great deal of credit for. Its no co-incidence that amongst the serious Westies who follow the guys round the country there is a universal respect for Rick and a great deal of personal affection; as a fan you really feel you have made it when for the first time you get a nod of recognition from Mr Drummie on the stage.
Go West enjoyed huge success through the 1980s and into the 1990’s when Pete and Rick wrote perhaps the archetypal Go West album; Indian Summer. The writing on that album was simply divine and was proof if any were needed that Rick’s writing skills were maturing as beautifully as his public persona: Indian Summer gave the world the huge hits ‘King Of Wishful Thinking’ and ‘Faithful’ and in the accompanying videos Rick looked like a man who was truly enjoying his work. He always had a knack of grabbing your attention in videos and King of Wishful Thinking was a classic example of Rick at his magnetic and mischievous best: his arm movements and cheeky grin as the guys step out of the Limo in the opening scene of the video had Pete laughing and can hardly fail to bring a smile to the face of anyone watching; ditto the scene with the elephant as Rick plays guitar and sings with one eye firmly fixed on the creature is pure class. The Faithful video where a grinning Rick eyes up the lovely model only to get a slap around the face for whatever he whispered to her was memorable for once again allowing his sense of fun to shine through.
Rick has described the time when he returned to the UK as a time when he ‘bought a house, built a recording studio, started a family and lived happily ever after’. Rick certainly did all that and a lot more as he used the years that followed to cement his reputation as a writer and producer of acclaim. He worked with artists from all genres including Ritchie Neville, 21st Century Girls, Kenny Thomas, Debbie Gibson and many more. His material has seen him achieve chart success across the globe including one of songs ‘Trading Places’ making it to number 1 in Poland!, Rick was quite deservedly getting the plaudits his skills deserved and he is to this day still in continual demand as both producer and writer.
That period whilst being hugely significant in terms of Ricks career was also however a tough time indeed for his loyal fans. It was hugely welcome news when after Reborn in the USA Pete returned to the UK and the partnership with Rick was resumed. It seemed as if both men had benefited from the space those years had given them and the chance to grow as individual writers and performers and not just as part of a duo. Pete’s Reborn mate Tony Hadley toured with the guys in a 42 date sell out Tour in early 2004. It was a huge success and by the end both Pete and Rick and their fans knew that Go West were back in business.
Since that time the guys have celebrated 20 years as Go West with a national tour in 2005 and just as significantly, and much to their fans joy, the guys are writing together once again. The first song from the forthcoming and hugely anticipated Go West album ‘Let Love Come’ is already a firm favourite at Go West gigs and the 2005 Fan Weekend also gave the fans a tantalising debut for the second song from the album ‘Stars Still Shine’. Throughout 2006 Peter and Richard continued to write and the 21st Anniversary Tour from October to December ’06 introduced fans to 8 new tracks: the new album promises to be the best work Go West have produced since Indian Summer and is due for release later this year when Go West will Tour Australia, the USA and of course the UK to promote the Album and share their music with their fan base around the globe.
Both the guys were an advertisers dream and 1985 saw the guys hit the big time with not only a succession of hits but also with the magazine covers, interviews and media attention that inevitably follows such success. Rick had a natural talent for handling the media and it became the norm for fans to expect in any interview that it would be Rick who would take the lead role and do most of the chatting; his dry sense of humour and quick wit made him perfect for handling those situations and ensured that while the guys may have looked for all the world like the archetypal Boy Band they were seen very quickly as serious artists who intended to be judged on their music and not simply on the image placed on them by Promoters.
Indian Summer gave Go West fans more gorgeous songs then anyone had a right to expect in just one album but it was to prove the last time that Pete and Rick were to write together for some time. The guys must have been feeling the strain after years of writing/touring and even living together and the pressure proved too much for even their strong partnership. Pete felt that artistically he needed to write and perform as a solo artist and stayed in LA to do just that. Rick, the self confessed anglophile of the duo returned to the UK to continue his career alone.
As if all this wasn’t enough to keep Richard busy he also plans to follow up on his Trek to the lost world by Trekking through Costa Rica in aid of Action Medical Research. That combined with what promises to be a frantically busy year promoting the new album should ensure 2008 will be quite an adventure, but after the last 21 years should be really expect anything else from Rick?