Two or three times now I’ve played for a wedding where I’m dealing with the family for months and only find out when I am at the wedding performing that the groom’s father is a celebrity. Last night’s wedding was particularly fun in this way…

Groom: “can my dad sit in with you guys on some Santana tunes”
Me: “sure” (thinking to myself, “now just let me get back to setting up!”)
Groom: (Trying to get my attention) “let me tell you the reason why, my dad played for Santana from 1976 to 1987.”
Me: “what, is your dad Michael Shrieve?” (beating my brain now thinking that the last name "Lear" sounded very familiar).
Groom: “no he’s Graham Lear”

Modern drummer articles from my youth about Graham Lear flood back to my memory, as well as seeing him play with Santana in the mid 1980s.

So Graham Lear of Santana and REO Speedwagon and , currently, of Paul Anka, sat in with us for about 30 minutes. We had a blast! Graham and Ernesto Pediangco were rockin some exact percussion quotes from the Santana recordings.

Graham is a superb musician and a very nice guy to boot!


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