Musician - Other
Scarborough High School c/o 1981
BiographyA modern day renaissance man, Bobby Rock is an internationally-renowned performer and music educator, an author with several books to his credit, a producer, a health and fitness specialist/consultant, and the CEO/Founder of Paranormal Records, Zen Man Publishing and Rock-Solid Fitness.
The Early Years
After studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston with Ed Kaspik and Lenny Nelson, Bobby recorded and toured with a number of funk, fusion and rock bands, and worked on a variety of movie soundtracks, jingles and record dates. Some of the early bands included the Berklee-based fusion ensemble, Interstate, rockin' funk outfit, The Lyons Avenue Jam Band, and seasoned touring groups on the national club circuit, Worlds and Diamond Romeo.
The Arena Years
In 1985, after a brief association with legendary 70's rockers Rare Earth, Bobby began a three-year, two-album stint with ex-KISS guitarist's Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Their self-titled first album became the fastest selling debut in the history of Chrysalis records. The controversial "Boyz Are Gonna Rock" video and extensive tours with Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper had the young rock Rock busy playing arenas and all over international press and MTV. The band's second release, All Systems Go, spawned the hit single/video "Love Kills," which wound up as the theme for one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films.
The VVI affiliation, along with some of his initial endorsement arrangements (most notably Sabian Cymbals), would also prove to be the genesis for Bobby's "second career" as a leading drum clinician and educator.
After the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Bobby played drums on several albums of note including veteran guitarist Bob Kulick's band, Skull (No Bones About It), Japanese guitar hero Kuni (Lookin' For Action) and even the debut release from the manic Nitro (O.F.R.), which has become something of an underground cult smash.
From there, Bobby's increased notoriety as an educator and his continued pursuit of the art form led to the release of his 1989 video/book package, Metalmorphosis (Warner Brothers). This video is still recognized as one of the most cutting-edge available over a decade later, and the book can be found in practice rooms and teaching studios around the globe.
1989 also marked the beginning of Bobby's longtime affiliation with Geffen recording artists, Nelson, perhaps Bobby's most commercially successful project to date. Their 1990 multi-platinum debut, After The Rain, yielded four Billboard Top Ten hits and high-rotation videos, a sold-out world tour (1991-92), and numerous television appearances. Bobby would go on to record two more Nelson records, Because They Can and Imaginator.
Extensive solo/clinic tours commenced in and around the Nelson recording/touring schedule, as did several more record dates including work with guitarist Jake E. Lee on Japanese superstar Ann Lewis' K-Rock record.
The Solo Artist/Master Clinician
In 1993, Bobby moved full time into his solo artist/educator pursuits and began a series of grueling tours that have become legendary in the industry. In a motor home, with a two-man crew and a customized trailer, Bobby and company have zigzagged around North America numerous times, doing drumming exhibitions at conservatories, music stores, schools, theaters, and "every place in between," says Peavey drum product manager, Steven Volpp. "He has revolutionized an industry and, with over 800 educational events under his belt, Bobby is far and away the most active clinician in the business."
During this time frame, Bobby and his crew have traveled well over a quarter million on-the-ground miles throughout the U.S. and Canada, making countless solo exhibition and trade show appearances with his elaborate drum kits. The tours continue to this day and all of Rock's efforts on the educational front have been duly noted, as he's won the coveted Clinician of the Year in Drum magazine's Annual Readers Poll two times.
In 1994, after two recordings with the instrumental rock guitar duo, Garsed and Helmerich (Quid Pro Quo and Exempt), and an innovative book/audio package entitled The Encyclopedia of Groove (Warner Brothers), Bobby's debut solo EP hit the streets. This recording has recently been re-released to CD as a 6-song EP entitled Groovin' In Tongues.
1996 saw the release of Bobby's critically-acclaimed Out Of Body record. The CD features longtime band mates and co-writers, Australian guitar phenomenon Brett Garsed and New York-based session/road monster Carl "The Fox" Carter on bass. Out of Body remains Bobby's most popular solo disc.
The majority of '97 found Rock touring around North America in yet another installment of Peavey's Rock Across America road show where he led an all-star band featuring Neil Zaza on guitar and Bill "The Buddha" Dickens on bass. The trio also headlined club shows and released a rip-roaring, double-live CD entitled Snap, Crackle and Pop...Live! in '98; then returned to the road in '99 for another successful tour of the continent.
Into the 2000s
1999 also found Bobby hooking up with guitar great Gary Hoey for an extensive tour in support of his Money record. Back in the familiar "power trio" format, Bobby and the band toured well into 2000, playing to sold-out clubs and theaters around the continent. He continues this affiliation today.
2001 marked Bobby's long-awaited return to the instructional video arena with The Zen of Drumming. This spectacular, two-volume/three-hour production is undoubtedly the most complete representation of Bobby's artistry to date as it features a full spectrum of solo/band performances, detailed instructional segments and philosophical insights.
Additionally, Bobby has found himself in the producer chair on a number of occasions, having racked up production credits on the LA-based Watson's Psychics Are Standing By, the ultra-intense self-titled EP from Orange County heavyweights, Sicktrip, and the debut release of that hard rockin' new band from Texas, Seventh Rize. He also produced two stunning Bill "The Buddha" Dickens instructional videos for Warner Brothers and co-wrote the book, Funk Bass and Beyond.
Other more recent recording projects include work on the sophomore effort from the Gioeli Brother's and Journey guitarist Neil Schon's band, Hardline 2 (Frontier Records), Gary Hoey's "Wake Up Call," (Surfdog/Warner Bros.) and several movie soundtracks.
Bobby also recently joined forces with his former VVI bandmates Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum for a summer tour with perennial rockers, Slaughter, on the popular Rock Never Stops bill, as well as in a series of headlining shows. Dates continued into '04, then Bobby began his most current affiliation with the NY-based modern metal band, Carnival of Souls.
New books include a second printing of his health and fitness book, to be released as Rock-Solid Fitness due out soon, and Veggie Zone, a detailed resource on veganism and vegetarianism. (You can preview some of these book's contents at www.rocksolidfitness.net and www.veggiezone.com.)
In addition to all of his artistic pursuits, Bobby is a respected fitness specialist with a number of published articles on the subject of health and wellness, a vegan (one who follows a strict vegetarian diet and avoids any animal-based clothing or consumer goods) and an advocate of drug and alcohol-free living with many years of sobriety. He remains dedicated to his healthy lifestyle and daily regimen of training and meditation.