Ben Smith

Ben Smith's Biography

I fell in love with drumming at age five, after seeing my dad's best friend "Uncle Frank" play with a community Scottish Pipe and Drum band in the San Francisco area. I was convinced from then on that I was a drummer! I took lessons a bit as a kid with some talented teachers, but it wasn't until I got to high school that I really caught the passion for playing music together with other musicians. I attended Garfield High School in Seattle, and the music program there was under the direction of a great guy named Clarence Acox. The day I walked into the band room, where my brother played trumpet with the marching band, I was adopted by the drum section guys, who encouraged me to get involved.

Through my new pal Scotty Olson, I was introduced to Ann and Nancy Wilson and their band Lovemongers, which included Sue Ennis, Frank Cox, and Paula Stentz. The first time we met we did a recording at Nancy's house for a project called "Home Alive", a compilation CD in support of organizations fighting violence against women, partly in response to the shocking murder of guitarist Mia Zapata. From that day on, Scotty and I stayed in touch, and I was honored to be involved in further Lovemongers shows and recordings, while still working with many different artists from Seattle, the New York area and Los Angeles. We did a tour in the late 90's as Lovemongers, with Elaine Summers opening the shows supported by a very solid band around her, including me on drums.

The next year or so I continued with Lovemongers and other artists, and then Ann Wilson called to ask me to play with Heart. We did some shows featuring Ann, (as Nancy was starting a family), then Nancy joined us again in 2002 to tour, and we have been playing together ever since, producing three studio releases, three or four live DVD and CD releases, plenty of TV shows, hundreds (thousands?) of concerts.

Nancy composed and produced music for Cameron Crowe's films in the late 90's and early 2000's, and she brought me onboard for "Almost Famous", "Vanilla Sky", and "Elizabethtown", in which I feel honored to have been involved.

Ben Smith's Gear
Ben Smith

Gear List

CLUB CUSTOM ABSOLUTE HYBRID MAPLE 13x9 tt 16x15 ft 18x16 ft 24x15 bd 22x16 bd
HEXRACK II SS-950 HS-1200T DFP-9500C