Prairie Prince

Prairie Prince's Biography

~ Early years ~
Prairie Prince was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, with two older sisters, who gave him a constant source of musical influences, including swing, jazz, blues, and early rock and roll. Both parents were music lovers and his father played drums. His mother was an artist and encouraged pursuing music and art during Prairie’s entire childhood, which he did and still does. During High School, Prairie started a band with his friend Roger Steen. The band was named “The Mouth”, later becoming “The Red, White and Blues Band”, which in turn, evolved into “The Tubes”.

Prairie moved to San Francisco after acceptance to the San Francisco Art Institute on scholarship. There he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in painting and conceived The Art Rock Group The Tubes with his friend and colleague, Michael Cotton. Prairie continues to share a partnership with Michael in a number of branches of art, including set and stage design for some of the world’s biggest touring acts: Michael Jackson, Shania Twain, Bonnie Raitt, Gloria Estefan, The Tubes, and Todd Rundgren.

Some of Prairie’s earliest drummer influences were Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich in swing jazz, Stevie Wonder and Clyde Stubblefield in funk and soul, Sandy Nelson and Dick Dale in Surf Music, and Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, Ginger Baker, and John Bonham in The British Invasion of Rock. Later John French, Billy Cobham, Lenny White, and Jack Dejohnette were inspirational in fusion and more avante gard styles of drumming.

In 1976, Mr. Hagiwara introduced Prairie to his new Yamaha drums, which he has endorsed and played with pride ever since.

~ 1970 – 2000 ~
During the course of the last 30 years, while continuing to record, perform and tour the world with The Tubes (15 Albums and world tours), Prairie also performed and recorded with many of his heroes and fellow artists alike. Prairie has fulfilled his desire to execute many various drum techniques in a wide variety of musical styles.

In the early 70’s Prairie worked with the legendary pianist, the late Nicky Hopkins, recording two albums with musicians such as George Harrison, Mick Taylor, Ron Wood, Ray Cooper, and Klas Voorman, among others. He started the band Journey with Neal Schon and Greg Rolly shortly after, recorded demos that got them their first contract, but Prairie opted for his dedication to The Tubes.

After session work with Tommy Bolin, Brewer and Shipley and others in the 70s, the 80s brought work with Chris Isaak and Prairie played drums on his first four albums. Prairie was honored to record with Brian Eno and David Byrne. With Todd Rundgren, he recorded 7 albums and toured the world several times.

He played drums on XTCs Skylarking LP in the mid 80s, then again on their latest 2 CDs Apple-Venus Vol 1; Waspstar Vol 2 in the Last Part of This Century. Also in the 80s, Prairie recorded with Glen Frey, David Pack, 3 albums for Richard Marx, and did a Showtime special with John Fogerty.

The 90s brought performances with Tom Waits, 3 CDs and classic resurface performances with the legendary “King of the Surf Guitar”, Dick Dale, and the reformed “Jefferson Starship”, with original members, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Jack Casady, and Papa John Creach. After 4 CDs and several world tours, Prairie continues as their drummer.

In the last several years, studio work with renowned producer Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame, brought records by Bizou Phillips and Noella Hutton, both young innovative female artists. Also performances and a double/live CD with Grateful Dead Bassist, Phil Lesh, and a CD with longtime friend and former Tubes and Grateful Dead member, Vince Welnick (Missing Man Formation), brought acclaim from a unique base of music fans.

Prairie Prince's Gear
Prairie Prince

Gear List

Absolute MapleASD-0145 14"x5.5"SD-4103 14"x3.5"ABD-1122 22"x16"ATT-1108J 8"x7"ATT-1110J 10"x7.5"ATT-1112J 12"x8"AFT-1116 16"x16"AFT-1118 18"x 16"