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Wayne Cochran's CC Riders - reunion 2009


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
If you've never heard of the CC Riders, you're in the majority, but you're also missing one of the greatest Rock & Roll horn bands ever. The band always had 6 to 11 horns, and spawned some of the most influential people in modern popular music, like:

Alan Sylvestri, Guitar with the CC Riders, now one of the top 3 Hollywood movie writers (ForrestGump, The Abyss, etc.)

Jaco Pastorius (my room-mate)

Lee Thornberg, trumpet with the Tonight Show starring Jay Leno. He's the one who removes Wayne's cape in the video linked below.

Dick Oatts, Top clinician, recording artist

To go on, it gets nuts. Anyway, I got to play with old friends, and break out my rare 1921 slide saxophone. For a video of the band live on TV (Maybe Merv Griffin) in 1976, about a year after I left, fasten your seatbelt and check out:

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Staff member
I sub in a band here in Chicago with Phil DiMaio, one of Wayne's drummers way back when. Six horns, and a lot of cool tunes.

I can't tell if that is Phil in the video.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Phil was at the reunion, and I think he's the drummer in the video. He's the first drummer I saw with the band, before I joined.

The first time I saw the band, I was in the house band at the Diamond Club in Dayton Ohio, a rough roadhouse. The CC Riders came in for 3 nights, a long stay for the band, but they were popular in Dayton. Across the back of the stage were big plastic squares of diamonds and clubs, backlighted by Christmas tree lights - very tacky.

At the climax of the show, Wayne grabbed liquor bottles from behind the bar, filled the glass of every customer in the crowd, and threw the empties though the ceiling. Then he took full bottles of beer and wiped out all the diamond and club backlights, two of which were on either side of Phil DiMaio's head. Phil didn't even blink as the bottles sailed past his head about a foot away. Wayne did this stuff every night.


Old King Log
Staff member
The glamourous life of the professional musician, in a nutshell.

I have found that my guys and gals (who all love playing music, and some of whom who actually work at performing and entertaining) do just fine for one engagement. However, if asked to do two engagements a day (for six to eight total hours of play time), their enthusiasm wanes quickly. On the one occasion when we stacked up three similar engagements, I had guys (and gals) saying that they just couldn't keep up the pace.

It takes "guts, skill and determination" (to quote Professor Harold Hill) to "do" four hours a night, six nights a week. Even in a settled environment like a show pit orchestra, working the "eight shows a week, two matinee" (with apologies to the chorus of Evita this time) is too much for some. Add to that hauling your kit onto and off of the bus each and every night and you begin to see what the problem is.

(One of the good things about this is that the cruise line work is rotated through so many musicians. If it was as wonderful as it seems, jobs on the boats would never open up at all.)

If I could just walk in, sit down, and start playing, all the while being able to not play if I didn't want to on a given occasion, it would be pure fun. Since I have to play at the behest of others, it's work, pure and simple. Fun work, perhaps, but still work...
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Banned :(
Wasnt there a film of that name featuring guys on motorbikes? I remember a biker friend telling me about it when I was working at a hotel with him years ago.
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