"With all the varied projects Simon has been involved in, not just recently but throughout his career, he's a perfect candidate to discuss a diverse list of drummers." (Robyn Flans)

Phillips is reflecting on the influences, techniques and characters of drummers like Buddy Rich ("He was a huge influence"), Billy Cobham ("He played exactly the way I wanted to hear drums"), Tony Williams ("Now I look to Tony for inspiration"), Dennis Chambers ("He developed that strong funk feel with P-funk"), Terry Bozzio ("He is making the drums a valid solo orchestral instrument"), Keith Moon ("Talk about anarchy at his highest! He would do stuff that nobody would dare do") and of course Jeff Porcaro...

"I was always amazed at the maturity in Jeff's playing. We were very close in age. When you hear yourself playing, you obviously hear yourself in a very different way from how other people hear you. When I heard Jeff play, his drumming was so much more mature than mine, so much more mature than his years."

"We had similar careers - he did a lot of sessions in Los Angeles and I did a lot of sessions in London, both when we were very young. And, ironically, now I'm playing in Toto, a band that he formed and helped to make a success."

"Jeff seemed to instinctively know exactly what to play in whatever situation. Of course everybody knows how wonderful his groove was. But a lot of people don't know that he had excellent technique. Steve Lukather has told me how he would turn up at a rehearsal and Jeff would be wailing away on the drumkit. Steve would say to him, 'You should take a solo during the show.' And Jeff would say, 'No, no, no, that's not me.'"

"I only met Jeff a couple of times. But, even though he's been gone, I've gotten to know him a lot in these last seven years, because Jeff is always talked about. He has a very strong presence."



Modern Drummer, June 2000