Jay Lane (born December 5, 1964) is an American drummer from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a founding member of Furthur, as well as the Golden Gate Wingmen with John Kadlecik, Jeff Chimenti, and Reed Mathis. He also plays with Primus, Bob Weir's Rat...
Jay Lane (born December 5, 1964) is an American drummer from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a founding member of Furthur, as well as the Golden Gate Wingmen with John Kadlecik, Jeff Chimenti, and Reed Mathis. He also plays with Primus, Bob Weir's RatDog, Scaring the Children with Weir and Rob Wasserman, and the hip hop/jazz fusion group Alphabet Soup, as well as Jay's Happy Sunshine Burger Joint.
In 2002, Lane was named "drummer of the year" by the California Music Awards. He currently lives in the Bay Area.
Lane began learning to play the drums at age nine, and continued to take lessons for 2 years. At sixteen, he took a summer job at a music camp in Cazadero, where he met saxophonist/drummer Dave Ellis and future Spearhead guitarist Dave Shul.
In 1982, Lane played with Dave Shul in the band Ice Age. In 1983, he joined Bay Area ska punk band The Uptones when their saxophonist left, prompting drummer Dave Ellis to switch instruments. They released an album, K.U.S.A., before Lane left in 1985 to join the Freaky Executives. After four years of gigging the Executives landed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. It was during this time that Lane met Primus bassist Les Claypool in the bands' shared rehearsal space, and the two became friends as Claypool volunteered to act as a roadie for the Freaky Executives.
In 1988, Lane had become so frustrated with Warner's handling of the Executives' contract that when Claypool asked him to recommend a replacement for Primus' recently departed drummer Tim "Curveball" Wright, Lane accepted the position himself. Claypool, Lane, and guitarist Todd Huth played together as Primus for about eight months, and recorded a demo tape named Sausage. At the end of 1988, the Freaky Executives' deal looked to be taking a turn for the better, and as Claypool was ready for Primus to start touring, Lane decided he no longer had time for both projects and chose to leave Primus, and also left the Freaky Executives after their record deal was shelved.
In the early '90s, Lane began playing in a trio with double bass player Rob Wasserman and Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, who had previously been playing as a duo for "six or eight years" before inviting Lane to join them. In 1992, Lane was reunited with Dave Ellis when he joined jazz combo the Charlie Hunter Trio, and co-founded the hip hop/jazz fusion group Alphabet Soup. The Charlie Hunter Trio released their debut album, Charlie Hunter Trio, in 1993.
Lane later reunited with Claypool and Huth as the band Sausage, named in recognition of the Primus demo they recorded together six years prior. They recorded a single album, 1994's Riddles Are Abound Tonight, followed by a short tour in support of Helmet and Rollins Band. In 1995, Lane released his last album with the Charlie Hunter Trio, Bing, Bing, Bing!, as well as Alphabet Soup's debut, Layin' Low in the Cut, and following the death of Jerry Garcia, the trio of Lane, Weir and Wasserman became the basis for the band RatDog. In 1996, Alphabet Soup released their second album, Strivin', and Lane guested on Claypool's debut solo album Highball with the Devil. In 1997, Lane guested on Christión's debut album, Ghetto Cyrano, playing keyboards.
Throughout the 2000s, Lane continued to tour with RatDog, playing hometown shows with Alphabet Soup whenever they had a break in the schedule. In 2000, RatDog released their own debut album, Evening Moods, followed by Live at Roseland in 2001. Also in 2001, Lane appeared once more alongside Claypool and Huth, plus others, on the Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade albums Live Frogs Set 1 and Live Frogs Set 2, the latter of which is a complete performance of Pink Floyd's Animals. In 2002, Lane guested on the Frog Brigade's studio album, Purple Onion, and was named "drummer of the year" by the California Music Awards.
In 2005, Claypool released his retrospective DVD 5 Gallons of Diesel, featuring many projects that included Lane, and Lane toured with him as part of his Fancy Band. In 2006, many members of Alphabet Soup branched out to form the hip hop/reggae fusion group Band of Brotherz, and Lane joined shortly after. They released their debut album Deadbeats and Murderous Melodys in 2009, featuring covers of Grateful Dead songs, supported by a tour of the East Coast of the United States and a number of dates nationwide with special guests, including the trio of Lane, Weir and Wasserman reunited under the name Scaring the Children. At the end of 2009, Weir put RatDog on hiatus in order to dedicate his time to forming the supergroup Furthur with Phil Lesh, and Lane joined them as a charter member.
In 2010, Lane left both Furthur and Band of Brotherz to rejoin Primus with Claypool and long-standing guitarist Larry LaLonde, and they released the free June 2010 Rehearsal digital EP, followed in 2011 by a new album, titled Green Naugahyde. As of 2012, Lane's official site still credited him as an active member of RatDog despite the hiatus, as well as Alphabet Soup, and Scaring the Children. In September 2013, it was revealed that Lane had left Primus to rejoin RatDog, who were ending their hiatus.