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Corky Laing
Corky Laing – Markthalle Hamburg 2016 06.jpg
Laing; February, 2016, Hamburg
Background information
Birth name Laurence Gordon Laing
Born January 26, 1948 (1948-01-26) (age 73)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments
Years active 1965–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Mountain
  • West, Bruce and Laing
  • Cork
  • Energy

Laurence Gordon "Corky" Laing (born January 26, 1948) is a Canadian rock drummer, best known as a longtime member of pioneering American hard rock band Mountain.

Biography

Laing is Jewish. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Laing was the youngest in a family of five children. His eldest sister Carol was followed by triplet brothers, Jeffrey, Leslie, and Stephen, and then by Corky. According to Corky, his brothers called him "Gorky" because they could not pronounce his given name "Gordon". "Gorky" eventually morphed into Corky, a moniker which has remained with him throughout his career.

Getting his break playing drums for vocal group The Ink Spots in 1961, he later played in a group called Energy, who was produced by Cream collaborator and Laing's future bandmate Felix Pappalardi. Laing left Energy in 1969 to replace drummer N.D. Smart in a hard rock outfit and heavy metal forerunner Mountain, who, with Laing at the drum kit, released three albums and the classic song "Mississippi Queen" between 1970 and 1971.

Corky Laing
Laing, with West, Bruce and Laing, Musikhalle Hamburg, April 1973

After the band's first breakup the following year, Laing and Mountain bandmate Leslie West went on to form blues-rock power trio West, Bruce and Laing with former Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce. West, Bruce and Laing produced two studio albums and a live release before Mountain reformed without Laing in 1974 and released two more albums, Avalanche (with Laing) and the live Twin Peaks (without Laing), only to break up again shortly after. The band would once again reconvene with Laing in 1985 upon the release of Go For Your Life, and Laing has continued with them to this day, most recently working on the band's 2007 Bob Dylan cover album Masters of War.

In late 1977, he recorded an album with John Cale (former Velvet Underground member), Ian Hunter (from Mott the Hoople) and Mick Ronson. This album was not released.

In addition to Mountain, he has recorded as the group Cork, with Spin Doctors guitarist/vocalist Eric Schenkman and Noel Redding, formerly bass guitarist of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In late 1975, he played congas on several tracks on Bo Diddley's all-star album The 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll.

In 1991, he was featured on Men Without Hats's cover version of The Beatles's song "I Am the Walrus" on drums. This is available on the Sideways album.

2000s

In 2003, Laing and Leslie West authored Nantucket Sleighride and Other Mountain on-the-Road Stories, a chronicle of their time with Mountain in its heyday and their careers in the years following.

Laing lives in Toronto's historic Liberty Village and was interviewed for the 2006 documentary film, Liberty Village - Somewhere in Heaven. He contributed the music for the film from recordings of his band Cork.

In 2007, Laing recorded Stick It!, the audio version of his memoirs with Cory Bruyea in Oakville, Ontario. Laing's interest in education led him to attend the KoSA Music Camp in Vermont for the summer of 2012.

In 2019, he released his autobiography, Letters to Sarah.

Collaborations

Discography

With Mountain

Studio albums

  • Climbing! (1970)
  • Nantucket Sleighride (1971)
  • Flowers of Evil (1971; partially live)
  • Avalanche (1974)
  • Go for Your Life (1985)
  • Man's World (1996)
  • Mystic Fire (2002)
  • Masters of War (2007)

Live albums

  • Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On (1972)
  • Eruption (2004)

Compilation albums

  • The Best of Mountain (1973)
  • Over the Top (2001)

With West, Bruce and Laing

  • 1972 – Why Dontcha
  • 1973 – Whatever Turns You On
  • 1974 – Live 'n' Kickin'

With Leslie West & Leslie West Band

  • 1975 – The Great Fatsby
  • 1976 – The Leslie West Band
  • 2005 – Guitarded

With Bartholomew plus III

  • 1965 – "She's Mine" / "You're Not There"
  • 1967 – "When I Fall in Love"

With Corn

  • 1999 – Speed of THought
  • 2003 – Out There

As Corky Laing

  • 1977 – Making It On The Streets
  • 2019 – Toledo Sessions

With Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and Felix Pappalardi

  • 1999 – The Secret Sessions

With The Mix

  • 1980 – American Glue

With Corky Laing and the Perfect Child

  • 2013 – Playing God

As Corky Laing's Mountain

  • 2017 – Live in Melle
  • 2019 - Live At Howard's Club H

Guest appearances

  • 1969 – David Rea – Maverick Child, drums
  • 1971 – David Rea – By the Grace of God, drums
  • 1972 – Bobby KeysBobby Keys, drums
  • 1976 – Bo DiddleyThe 20th Anniversary of Rock N' Roll, congas
  • 1987 – Charlie Karp & the Name Droppers – Charlie Karp & the Name Droppers, percussion
  • 1991 – Men Without Hats – Sideways, on "I Am the Walrus", drums

Other

  • 2004: Jason Hartless Jr. – First Division
  • 2012: Corky Laing and The Memory Thieves – House of Thieves
  • 2018: Pompeii – The Secret Sessions
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