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Nicky Hopkins: The Legendary Session Pianist Who Played With Rock Royalty
Nicky Hopkins was one of the most in-demand session pianists of his generation, who performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in rock music from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was a key contributor to the sound and success of many classic albums by artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, Jefferson Airplane, Rod Stewart, and many more. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest studio pianists in the history of popular rock music.
Early Life and Career
Nicky Hopkins was born on February 24, 1944, in Perivale, Middlesex, England. He began playing the piano at the age of three and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London when he was a teenager. He left school at 16 to join Screaming Lord Sutch's Savages, a rock and roll band that also featured future session stars Carlo Little and Jimmy Page. In 1962, he became part of Cyril Davies's All Stars, a blues band that also included Long John Baldry and Mick Jagger. He played on Davies's influential single \"Country Line Special\", which is considered one of the first British blues recordings.
However, Hopkins's career was interrupted by his poor health. He suffered from Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract, which required several surgeries and long periods of recovery. He decided to focus on working as a session musician instead of joining bands, as he found it easier to manage his condition.
Hopkins quickly became one of the most sought-after session pianists in London, thanks to his versatility, creativity, and professionalism. He worked with a wide range of artists across different genres, adding his distinctive touch to their songs. Some of his notable sessions include:
The Who: He played on their singles \"Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere\" and \"My Generation\", as well as their albums The Who Sell Out and Who's Next.
The Kinks: He played on their singles \"Sunny Afternoon\", \"Waterloo Sunset\", \"Days\", and \"Lola\", as well as their albums Face to Face, Something Else by The Kinks, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, and Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire).
The Rolling Stones: He played on their albums Between the Buttons, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., Goats Head Soup, It's Only Rock 'n Roll, Black and Blue, Tattoo You, and Steel Wheels. He also played on their singles \"We Love You\", \"She's a Rainbow\", \"Sympathy for the Devil\", \"You Can't Always Get What You Want\", \"Angie\", \"Waiting on a Friend\", and many more. He also appeared with them on stage on several occasions.
The Beatles: He played on their albums Abbey Road and Let It Be, as well as their singles \"Revolution\" and \"Hey Jude\". He also worked with each of the Beatles individually on their solo projects.
Jefferson Airplane: He played on their albums Volunteers, Bark, Long John Silver, and Thirty Seconds Over Winterland.
Rod Stewart: He played on his albums Every Picture Tells a Story, Never a Dull Moment, Smiler, Atlantic Crossing, A Night on the Town, Foot Loose & Fancy Free, Blondes Have More Fun, Foolish Behaviour, Tonight I'm Yours,
and Body Wishes.
Other artists: He also worked with artists such as Donovan,
Steve Miller Band,
Quicksilver Messenger Service,
and many more.
In addition to his session work,
Hopkins also released some solo albums of his own.
he released The Revolutionary Piano of Nicky Hopkins,
a collection of instrumental piano pieces produced by Shel Talmy.
he released The aa16f39245