Career of Britain's greatest Session Drummer who had his start in the fabulous 2I's Coffeee Bar.

 

Clem Cattini on Drums backing Terry Dene in 1957.

Clem Cattini was born Clemente Anselmo Arturo Cattini on 28 August 1937, Stoke Newington, North London, England, he was a War Baby. He is one of the most prolific drummers in UK recording history, appearing on hundreds of recordings by artists as diverse as Engelbert Humperdinck and Lou Reed, and has featured on a record 44 different UK number one singles. His Father being Italian was interned for the Duration on the Isle Of Man. Clem's first introduction to Music was Latin American rythyms. In particular "Edmundo Ros"....he gave him the itch to start drumming. In his teens he became an Ice Hockey player but received too many injuries, so decided to whack something himself, "DRUMS" thank god!

 Clem has become the most prolific recording Drummer in the UK.His style is brilliant, technically unflawed, and plays with an awesome economy.Though he can let rip if he so chooses. His Father wanted him to go into the Catering trade as he had a Restuarant,but Clem was already hanging around the Cafes of Soho,where all the budding musicians to grace our Dansettes were trying out. Hank Marvin, Terry Dene, Wee Willie Harris, Johnny Kidd etc. Clem could actually have joined the burgeoning Shadows but it did not work out that way. Clems first big role was in the film "The Golden Disc" as a Drummer in Terry Dene's backing band. Clem then joined Terry's Band. Before that his first band had been with Terry Kennedy who went on to become a Producer,his big success being with the Ivy league. Where once again Clem was involved as Drummer for "Division Two", "Ivy Leagues" Backing Band. However way back in the alleys of Soho, Clem was to team up with a much more important figure "Alan Caddy" they were joined by "Brian Gregg" and they started playing around in the Cafes. One imparticular run by Chas McDevitt.

   

Clem Cattini (left standing), Johnny Kidd (laying down), Brian Gregg (standing looking down), Alan Caddy (leaning over), and Johnny Irvin (the Rhodie) jokingly reading the last rites.

In the Basement, joined by Johnny Kidd they concocted "Shaking All Over" a No.1 hit, and the seminal Rock'n'Roll record from the era. Clem's Paradiddle at the start of, Joe Moretti's lead break went on the inspire many a future Drummer.

It was around this time Clem was asked by Larry Parnes to form a group to back Billy Fury on Tour along with all his other acts including Dickie Pride and Vince Eager. 


'Billy Fury with two members of the then 'Beat Boys', Brian Gregg and Clem Cattini.

The Band were known as The Beat Boys and consisted of Kenny Packwood on Lead Guitar,Georgie Fame Piano,Brian Gregg Bass and Clem Drums this was way before the Tornados. Around 1958, Clem then went to Italy to back Colin Hicks as The Cabin Boys.That failed. 

 The Joe Meek Era 


Clem was now out of work and replied to an advert in some Music Mag. The rendezvous turned out to be at an address in Holloway Road 304.To Clems amazement in this ordinary looking tenement with a shop below was another home and, a recording studio.Clem walked up the stairs, he was often to run down if he had a row with Joe. Like everyone else Joe argued with people.... Clem was accepted by Joe. The idea being Joe wanted to put a session band together to replace the Outlaws.One Musician? had already been selected or earmarked. Heinz Burt, who had auditioned with his band the Falcons. Joe was not impressed but thought Heinz might make the pop scene. Alan Caddy was recommended as a Guitarist by Michael Cox after Joe had auditioned many.Alan was taken on Board, and these three were joined by a one George Bellamy. Who turned up with his Jumbo Gibson to impress Joe. It obviously worked.George was the fourth member and that was it.No keyboards at this stage.You must bear in mind they were hired as a session band to back acts on record. They also went out on tour as the Charles Blackwell Orchestra supplemented by Pete Newman and Pete Cotton on Saxophone's.... The first ever recording they did, they were not yet called the Tornados, but as session men with a number called 'Swinging Beefeater'.

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Joe Meek was the toying with the idea of challenging the Shadows. The Lads biggest break came when they were chosen by "Larry Parnes" to become "Billy Fury's" backing band....However Billy wanted a keyboard player...Heinz recommended A "Norman Hale" from his group the Falcons. Norman was called up. At this juncture they did put down their first track "Love & Fury" with Norman Hale on Keyboards. On this track only, The B: side "Popeye Twist" had only the four on.The A; side was a tribute to their boss Billy.This track was a brilliant piece of Meek production with great driving drums by Clem.It bombed.The next one didn't it exploded TELSTAR The making and breaking of The Tornados.

   

'The Tornados' 1 January 1962 L-R Alan Caddy, Roger Lavern, Clem Cattini, Heinz Burt and George Bellamy. 

Clem Cattini - The Session Man 

In 1965 clem he joined The Ivy League, and then started work as a session musician. Clem Cattini has played on at least 44 UK number 1 singles, including "Telstar", Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual", and "(Is This The Way To) Amarillo" by Tony Christie and Peter Kay. He also played in the orchestra for BBC TV's Top of the Pops, and toured with Cliff Richard, Roy Orbison and many others. He was considered for Led Zeppelin on a couple of occasions - he was initially on Jimmy Page's shortlist of drummers when forming the band before they settled on John Bonham, and was asked to join for a brief spell in 1975 but turned down the offer. He had earlier played alongside John Paul Jones on Donovan's hit single "The Hurdy Gurdy Man". In the 1990s he reactivated 'The Tornados' name for tours. He recorded the drums for the track No Tears Left To Cry from Paul Weller's new album Wake Up The Nation. 

More recently, he has teamed up with other old 2I's stars and has done sessions at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, Central London. 

The International Edwardian Teddy Boy Association also engaged Clem with Dave Sampson and other session musicians led by Cliff of 'Cliff & the Cavaliers' to form a session band called 'The 2i's Boys' held at the Pavilion Pub in Battersea after Teds in Town 2 on 31st July 2010.

   

Clem Cattini at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, Central London 31.01.2010 

UK No. 1 singles featuring Clem Cattini 

"Shakin' All Over" - Johnny Kidd and the Pirates 

"Well I Ask You" - Eden Kane "Come Outside" - Mike Sarne with Wendy Richard 

"Telstar" - The Tornados 

"Diane" - The Bachelors 

"It's Not Unusual" - Tom Jones 

"Make It Easy on Yourself" - The Walker Brothers 

"Tears" - Ken Dodd "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" - The Walker Brothers

 "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" - Dusty Springfield 

"Out of Time" - Chris Farlowe 

"Green, Green Grass of Home" - Tom Jones 

"Release Me" - Engelbert Humperdinck 

"The Last Waltz" - Engelbert Humperdinck 

"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" - Georgie Fame 

"Everlasting Love" - Love Affair 

"Cinderella Rockefella" - Esther and Abi Ofarim 

"I Pretend" - Des O'Connor

 "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" - Peter Sarstedt 

"Something in the Air" - Thunderclap Newman 

"Two Little Boys" - Rolf Harris 

"Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" - Edison Lighthouse 

"Yellow River" - Christie 

"Hot Love" - T. Rex

 "Grandad" - Clive Dunn 

"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" - Middle of the Road 

"Get It On" - T. Rex 

"Ernie (the Fastest Milkman in the West)" - Benny Hill

 "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" - The New Seekers 

"Telegram Sam" - T. Rex

 "Son of My Father" - Chicory Tip

 "Welcome Home" - Peters and Lee 

"Jealous Mind" - Alvin Stardust 

"Kung Fu Fighting" - Carl Douglas 

"When Will I See You Again" - The Three Degrees

 "Whispering Grass" - Windsor Davies & Don Estelle

 "Give A Little Love" - Bay City Rollers 

"Barbados" - Typically Tropical 

"No Charge" - J.J. Barrie 

"So You Win Again" - Hot Chocolate 

"Angelo" - Brotherhood of Man 

"Figaro" - Brotherhood of Man 

"Save Your Love" - Rene and Renato 

"Is This the Way to Amarillo" - Tony Christie & Peter Kay