- 14 Apr 16
He was one of the greatest drummers ever to whack a snare in Ireland and in his distinguished career played with some of the country’s best outfits including Philip Lynott’s Grand Slam, Auto Da Fé, Scullion, Hotfoot, The Fleadh Cowboys and loads more – including Hot Press & The Silent Knights...
Hot Press is saddened to learn of the death of former Skid Row and Stepaside drummer, Robbie Brennan (second from left in Stepaside, pictured above).
Robbie was heavily involved in Irish music from the 1960s. He first came to widespread attention as a member of Skid Row. Robbie gradually cemented his reputation as one of Ireland’s finest ever rock drummers. He also played with The Chosen Few, where he worked with some of the musicians who went on to form Stepaside – who were among the stalwarts of the scene herd in the 1970s.
Robbie also featured in the critically acclaimed Auto Da Fé, led by the wonderful Gay Woods and he later joined Philip Lynott’s ill-starred post-Thin Lizzy outfit, Grand Slam.
He enjoyed a close working relationship with Hot Press, featuring on the two Christmas singles released under the Hot Press & the Silent Knights moniker. He was also the drummer on the album released by Niall Stokes and Dermot Stokes, who joined forces with Garry O’Briain as The Brothers, for the release of Torch, in 1991.
“I loved Robbie Brennan’s playing,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said today. “Musically, he could handle every style and genre, but ultimately he was a great rock drummer. It was never about ego with Robbie. He was rock solid and very powerful, but everything he did was in service to the song or the piece of music. The Brothers' album just wouldn’t have been the same without him.
“In my experience, he was also a fantastic, positive presence in the studio. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him to attack. He was both completely whole-hearted and fantastically good-humoured in his approach. He loved being a drummer and that sense of joy came through in his playing. It was a total pleasure, and a privilege, to work with him."
Among those who worked closely with Robbie, at different stages was Terry O’Neill – who was manager of Thin Lizzy in the early days.
"The great Robbie Brennan has sadly passed away,” Terry posted on his Facebook page earlier today. "A brilliant person and a world class drummer. Here he is in an early Skid Row photograph from Hitsville Magazine in 1968 with Brush, Phil, Gary and Robbie on the right. He also played with many other bands including The Chosen Few, Stepaside, Hotfoot, Auto Da Fe, Phil's solo band, Grand Slam, Elemental, Johnny Duhan's Band, The Fleadh Cowboys, Scullion, Jerry Lee Lewis and many other great Irish musicians. I was lucky to have worked with him on and off for nearly 50 years and we had some great times together. Very sad.”