I was saddened to learn this morning of the death of Chuck Ruff, drummer for the Edgar Winter Group. Chuck hailed from Reno, Nevada and joined the band, Sawbuck at age 17. It was in 1972 that he became a founding member of the Edgar Winter Group, where he gained fame.
In 1973, they came out with an album that is considered one of hard rock’s greatest, They Only Come Out at Night (shown below). This album reached #3 in the Billboard charts and produced two great singles, Frankenstein (reached #1) and Free Ride (reached #14). It was Ruff who named their #1 hit, Frankenstein. The song by its nature induced jam sessions during the recording sessions. The only way to produce it into a song fit for release was to make massive cuts and edit the pieces together, hence the name “Frankenstein.”
Chuck Ruff went on to record four more albums with the Edgar Winter Group, including one with rocker Rick Derringer and another with Edgar’s brother, Johnny Winter. In 1977, he became the drummer for Sammy Hagar. He played with other bands and eventually formed his own band, the Chuck Ruff Group, based out of Reno.
Tonight I’ll play the following three songs as a mini set tribute to Chuck Ruff:
Frankenstein, Edgar Winter Group, 1973
Bad Reputation, Sammy Hagar, 1978
Free Ride, Edgar Winter Group, 1973