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Mike Botts : drums
Mike Botts

"Adults Only" represents a labor of love...a lot of love and an enormous amount of labor. It's just my candid, sometimes quirky way of looking at life and the human scenarios within it, fact and fiction, real and imagined. Each song a story, each song a movie for the mind. Some achingly honest, some darkly humorous, some provocative.

There's a lotta' years of living in these songs. It's about as honest as I can get as an artist. As a friend of mine said "I don't know if these stories are true but they happened to me"

Mike Botts

I was born in Oakland, California, then raised for my first six years in the nearby town of Antioch and at age seven the Botts family moved to Sacramento. This is where my fascination with music and drums started to become a "hands on" reality, thanks to a school system that had a music department and for the ecouragement and guidance I received from a grumpy but caring old music instructor named Mr. Wolfe. While I continued my formal music education in school, my informal education came mainly from the local radio stations. By the time I was starting High school, I was also starting to play gigs around town with local bands and had developed a particularly strong interest in Jazz and Rythm & Blues.

It was during this period that I was listening to everything from Miles Davis and John Coltrane to Little Richard and Fats Domino. By the time I had entered college I had become a "large fish in a small pond", so to speak. It afforded me some great playing opportunities such as working for a short time with Jazz greats like guitarist, Wes Montgomery and organist, Jimmy Smith, as well as being first call on some of the best gigs in town. But deep down I knew that if I was going to continue to grow and find new musical horizons I would have to leave Sacramento.

It was during my second year of college that I was offered a few casual summer gigs with a group based out of Los Angeles called the Travelers Three. A few months later they called me from Canada to say they were going Electric, they needed a drummer and offered the job to me. We all got along great, I enjoyed the music and besides, it was my ticket to Los Angeles and The Road, so of course I accepted. Being in L.A. soon gave me the opportunity to break in to recording.

With some networking and recommendations by a few close friends, I was able to do more and more session work in between the college and club tours with the Travelers Three. As the group started fading, my career as a session player started getting brighter. In fact, it was at a recording session for the Travelers Three that I first met David Gates. David had been brought in to produce some recordings of us for Capitol records. The record company passed, the group broke up but I continued to run into David occasionally in various recording sessions around the city.

Over the next couple of years, outside of being a member of an ill fated group called Joshua Fox, I pretty much focused my energy on developing a career as a studio musician. It was during this time that I got a call to do a session with Bill Medley and ended up working with him for the next two years. So, between touring with Medley and all of the session work, I was staying very busy. And just when I thought my career had stabilized and I was really locked in, I got a call from David Gates. David wanted me to come by to meet the other guys in BREAD and hear their first album. Having been soured by previous group ventures, I have to admit I was less than enthusiastic. But after hearing the music and meeting Jimmy and Rob, I agreed to become a member. After all, even if the group failed I always had the studios and Bill Medley to fall back on.

Well, little did I realize what was about to happen. I was able to balance BREAD, Bill Medley and recording sessions pretty well, at least for awhile. Then while I was doing a series of concerts in Hawaii with Medley, I got another call from David. He had called to tell me that Make it With You, was climbing up the charts and we had a hit on our hands. At that point I knew I had to make a choice. So, with the understanding and encouragement of Bill Medley, I flew back to L.A. to be a full time member of BREAD.

BREAD soon became the all consuming part of our professional lives. We were either in the studio or on the road from 1970 to May of 1973. That's when the group decided to take a hiatus from all the pressure and pursue some individual projects and goals. It was shortly after the breakup in 1973 that I started working with Linda Ronstadt. I recorded and toured with Linda for about two and a half years. It was an absolute ball working with Ronstadt and what a band !! Fortunately, I was still able to balance my studio work and my obligations to Linda until I got another call from David in 1976. David called to tell me that he, Jimmy Griffin and Larry Knechtel had been discussing a possible reunion. Well, within weeks of David’s call, I had sadly given notice to Linda Ronstadt and was back in the studio with BREAD cutting tracks for the Lost Without Your Love album.

The band continued to tour through 1978 but unfortunately some irreconcilable differences within the group eventually involved all of us in litigation and caused the group to disband once again. Over the next few years I continued doing studio work with various artists. At this time, I also began trying to develop my production and songwriting abilities with some measure of success. Outside of a short tour of the U.K. with David in 1980, I devoted most of my time to recording and developing my talents as a musician, writer and producer.

By 1982, I was feeling that old urge to hit the road again . So when Karla Bonoff invited me to join her band for a summer tour with James Taylor, I gladly accepted. After that I proceeded to work with Karla on and off for the next couple of years. In late 1983 I formed a group with Andrew Gold. I first met Andrew while working with Linda Ronstadt back in 1974. Although we had all the ingredients for commercial success, the group (Houdini) became a victim of what I call a spontaneous internal combustion, which was ignited by the third member of the group. Unfortunately, It never got off the launch pad. Oh well, Se la vie!

By 1985 drum machines and computers had been introduced to the music scene. It soon became evident that this was not a fad or novelty and that they would be incorporated into all areas of music. Consequently, I had to become a computer programmer as well as a drummer. Becoming at least somewhat computer literate not only helped me in studio work but was also an enormous help in developing my songwriting and production abilities over the next few years. From 1985 through 1990 I was almost totally involved in recording as a player, singer, writer, and producer. The only exception was a short tour to Japan with Richard Carpenter in 1989. But other than that, I stayed in L.A. and concentrated on expanding my talents and abilities in other areas of music including some video production and direction.

In the beginning of 1991 I got an opportunity to tour and record with Dan Fogelberg. After the previous five years, the gypsy in me was more than ready to start touring again. Because Dan usually goes out on tour only once or twice a year, it was, once again, easy for me to balance touring with session work and other projects I was involved in.

That brings us to 1996. I had just released my first C.D. rom of drum samples and loops (Double Platinum Drums), started working on a recording project for the NBA and was waiting to get a phone call from Dan Fogelberg. Well, I got a phone call but it wasn’t from Dan. It was from a man named Selwyn Miller, who very politely informed me that he was representing, guess who? That's right, DAVID GATES! And that became the beginning of an extensive two year world tour to celebrate the groups twenty fifth anniversary. After completing the tour, I began diligently working on my first solo CD effort, "ADULTS ONLY".

Well, it took some time but with the help and encouragement of some stellar musicians and wonderful friends, I'm happy to announce that it’s finally done and I couldn't be happier with the results.