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Jimmy DeGrasso
Black Star Riders
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Born in the small town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, world-renowned Rock drummer Jimmy DeGrasso began playing drums at a very early age and landed his first gig at age 7.  He played weddings, private parties and joined local bands all through high school.  His hardcore dedication and work ethic eventually led him to move to Los Angeles with hopes of bettering his music career.  Having no connections or work lined up, Jimmy relocated with nothing but natural talent and a positive attitude and, as he remembers: “…hoping that someone like Ozzy would be looking for a drummer!” Ironically, soon after he arrived he landed a gig playing on Ozzy’s Ultimate Sin album, giving him his first big break. 

After his work with Ozzy, Jimmy’s career exploded.  He joined Y & T for 3 years and played with White Lion and also teamed up with Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, during his days with Suicidal Tendencies.  Together, they released Suicidal for Life and toured with them, opening for both Guns N’ Roses and Metallica on their world tours, while also simultaneously filling in with Alice in Chains.  In 1995, DeGrasso joined Alice Cooper’s Band and began a long time relationship that’s still alive today.  Jimmy appeared on Cooper’s live album Fistful of Alice and continues to occasionally work on and off with him.  It was becoming evident in the drum industry that Jimmy could handle pretty much any Rock gig that came his way. 

Perhaps best known for his work with Megadeth, DeGrasso was asked to permanently join the band in 1998, after playing on Dave Mustaine’s side project band - MD.45.  He continued to work with the band until 2002 and then began getting calls to perform at a number of drum festivals including the prestigious Modern Drummer Festival, the Ultimate Drummers Weekend in Australia and Drummer Live in the UK.  Always experimenting with new sounds and developing new techniques, DeGrasso became well known as a quick-study, being ‘the guy’ who would not only get the job done, but perform the music like he’d been part of whatever band hired him, for years.  An immediate, comfortable fit.  His technical skills, powerful style, solid groove and ability to learn quickly have caused his phone to ring continually. 

Jimmy DeGrasso has also worked with Stonesour, Marty Friedman, Ronnie Montrose, Lita Ford, David Lee Roth, as well as recent appearances with Ratt & Dokken.  In December of 2012, Jimmy joined Black Star Riders, a band that features most of the original members from Thin Lizzy.  Black Star Riders released their first album in May of 2013, receiving both critical and popular acclaim and charted well in over 17 countries.   Plans are set for a second album with Def Leppard’s lead vocalist Joe Elliott as producer.  

After already having such a long and fulfilling career, Jimmy Degrasso is right where he wants to be.  He states: "I'm really happy with this Black Star Riders situation.  I've always been a huge Thin Lizzy fan and I like to be creative and make music.  Our album, All Hell Breaks Loose, is so good.  It's such a great gig because it's a creative outlet and, at the same time, we have the entire Thin Lizzy catalogue.  I look down during the night at the set-list, at those Thin Lizzy songs and laugh…I can't believe I get to play all these great songs!  Right now, I'm in the best situation I've been in a long time.  It's really exciting right now."

Jimmy DeGrasso
Photo courtesy of Jane Smith

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