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Simon Phillips (born 6 February 1957) is an English jazz, pop, and rock drummer[1] and record producer. He worked with rock bands during the 1970s and 1980s and was the drummer for the band Toto from 1992 to 2014.

Simon Phillips
Simon Tint.jpg
Phillips in 2001
Background information
Born (1957-02-06) 6 February 1957 (age 62)
London, England
GenresPop, rock, jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, record producer
Years active1969–present
Associated actsProtocol, Toto, Hiromi Trio

Phillips started to play professionally at the age of twelve in his father's dixieland band for four years. Phillips was the drummer on the 1976 album 801 Live with Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno. He worked as a session drummer for Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden, Mike Oldfield, Judas Priest, Tears for Fears, and The Who. He was the drummer for The Who during the band's American reunion tour in 1989. He became the drummer for the band Toto in 1992 after the death of Jeff Porcaro.



Phillips began to play professionally at the age of twelve in a dixieland band led by his father, Sid Phillips.[1] After his father's death, he started playing pop and rock and found work in a production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.[1] He worked as a session musician for cast members, and this led to other session work.[1] Beginning in the 1970s, he worked with Jeff Beck, Gil Evans, Stanley Clarke, Peter Gabriel, Pete Townshend, and Frank Zappa.[1]

Phillips was the drummer in the Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno supergroup 801 on their 1976 album 801 Live. He replaced Judas Priest drummer Alan Moore on the band's Sin After Sin album (1977) and went on to record Michael Schenker's 1980 debut album The Michael Schenker Group. In the early 1980s, Phillips formed part of RMS with session musicians Mo Foster and Ray Russell. He was the drummer for The Who on their 1989 American reunion tour and appeared on solo recordings by band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.

In 1989 he recorded his debut album in the band Protocol.[1] He moved to America in 1992 and was invited to become the drummer for the band Toto.[2] Five years later he led a jazz band that performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival.[2] In 2002 he recorded a jazz album, Vantage Point, with trumpeter Walt Fowler, saxophonist Brandon Fields, and pianist Jeff Babko.[1] He has co-produced and engineered albums by Mike Oldfield, Derek Sherinian, and Toto.[2] After leaving Toto, he became a member of a trio with Hiromi Uehara and bassist Anthony Jackson.[3] Phillips has also worked with Big Country, Jack Bruce, David Gilmour, Steve Lukather, Big Jim Sullivan, and Whitesnake.[4]

In 2009, Phillips joined with keyboardist Philippe Saisse and bassist Pino Palladino in forming an instrumental jazz/funk rock trio: Phillips Saisse Palladino, PSP, which toured in Europe in 2009 and 2010. Phillips also performed on Joe Satriani's album Super Colossal, appearing on multiple tracks. Phillips appears in Alan Parsons' Art & Science of Sound Recording educational video series, as well as the program's single "All Our Yesterdays". He played in the Michael Schenker Group album In the Midst of Beauty and took part to the band's 30th Anniversary world tour in 2010. Phillips is featured on Hiromi Uehara's 2011 album, Voice. He also toured with Hiromi and bassist Anthony Jackson as part of the Hiromi Trio Project.[5]

Phillips playing in PSP in Rome, 2009

In 2019 Phillips was featured on the album Origin of Species. In addition to playing drums and keyboards, he engineered, mixed, and helped produce.[6]

Phillips cites Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Ian Paice, Tommy Aldridge and Bernard Purdie as his main influences.[7]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • In 2015 at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards, Phillips was the winner in the Jazz Instrumental Album category for Protocol II.
  • In 2003, he was inducted into the Modern Drummer magazine Hall of Fame.[8]


As leaderEdit

  • Protocol (Food for Thought, 1988)
  • Simon Phillips (Manhattan, 1992)
  • Force Majeure with Ray Russell, Anthony Jackson, Tony Roberts (B&W, 1993)
  • Symbiosis (Lipstick, 1995)
  • Another Lifetime (Lipstick, 1997)
  • Out of the Blue (Victor, 1999)
  • Vantage Point with Jeff Babko (Jazzline, 2000)
  • Empty Time (Coffee Coaster, 2012)
  • Protocol II with Andy Timmons, Steve Weingart, Ernest Tibbs (Phantom, 2013)
  • Protocol III with Andy Timmons, Steve Weingart, Ernest Tibbs (In-akustik, 2015)
  • Protocol 4 with Greg Howe, Dennis Hamm, Ernest Tibbs (Phantom, 2017)

As sidemanEdit

With 801

With Jon Anderson

With Asia

With Jack Bruce

With Steve Hackett

  • Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (WHD 2011)
  • At the Edge of Light (2019)

With Hiromi

  • Voice (Telarc, 2011)
  • Move (Telarc, 2012)
  • Alive (Telarc, 2014)
  • Move: Live in Tokyo (Telarc, 2014)
  • Spark (Telarc, 2016)

With Nik Kershaw

With Steve Lukather

With Gary Moore

With Mike Oldfield

With Ph.D.

With Joe Satriani

With Michael Schenker

With Derek Sherinian

With Toto

With Pete Townshend

With Toyah

With The Who

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Phares, Heather. "Simon Phillips". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Simon Phillips". Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  3. ^ Haid, Mike. "Simon Phillips". Modern Drummer Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  4. ^ Thodoris, Arno (16 August 2014). "Interview:Simon Phillips". Hit Channel. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Hiromi: The Trio Project feat. Anthony Jackson & Simon Phillips". Blue Note Jazz Festival. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  6. ^ "DarWin Releases Debut Concept Album "Origin Of Species" Internationally Featuring Drum Legend Simon Phillips". Music News Net. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  7. ^ Marinescu, Patricia; Bâscă, Dragoş (2016). "Interview – Simon Phillips: I have a distinctive sound". Twin Arts. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Modern Drummer's Readers Poll Archive, 1979–2014". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 10 August 2015.

External linksEdit