At 78 years old, Aynsley Dunbar has this physical status:
Aynsley Thomas Dunbar (born 10 January 1946) is an English drummer.
He has worked with Nils Lofgren, Eric Burdon, John Mayall, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis, Ian Hunter, Lou Reed, Jefferson Starship, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Whitesnake, Pat Travers, Sammy Hagar, Michael Schenker, UFO, Flo & Eddie, Michael Chapman, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, Kathi McDonald, Keith Emerson, Mike Onesko, Herbie Mann, and Journey.
Dunbar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey in 2017.
Dunbar's youngest son Dash was diagnosed with cancer in June 1999 and died on 9 May 2000.
Aynsley Thomas Dunbar was born in Liverpool, England. In 1963, he began his career in Derry Wilkie and the Pressmen. He joined the Mojos, a Merseybeat band formed in December 1964, with original members Stu James and guitarist Nick Crouch, and bass player Lewis Collins (later an actor in The Professionals). This line-up didn't appear until 1966. Dunbar then auditioned for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Hendrix had a difficult time deciding between Dunbar and Mitch Mitchell – the latter winning Hendrix's coin flip. Dunbar was then joined by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers after replacing Hughie Flint. He stayed with Mayall until the spring of 1967 (playing on the A Hard Road album) and was replaced by Mick Fleetwood.
Dunbar founded the 'Aynsley Dunbar Retribution,' after a brief stint in the Jeff Beck Company, so named to discipline Mayall, who had fired him. During their existence, they released four albums. "Warning" was written by Dunbar (later Black Sabbath on their first album). The Dunbar single version appeared on the Blue Horizon label in 1967, well before his band's first album release, The Aynsley Dunbar Retribution (1968).
Dunbar's short-lived progressive rock band, Blue Whale, debuted in January 1970 during a tour of Scandinavia. Dunbar unsuccessfully tried to recruit Robert Fripp as the Blue Whale's guitarist following King Crimson's demise. Fripp unsuccessfully tried to recruit Dunbar as King Crimson's new drummer. Paul Williams (vocals), Ivan Zagni (guitar), Roger Sutton (guitar), Tommy Eyre (from Retribution, keys), and Peter Friedberg (bass).
Dunbar was later known as Frank Zappa's drummer, appeared on the solo albums Apostrophe (') and Waka/Jawaka, and the Mothers' albums. The Grand Wazoo and Filmore East was released in 1971, as well as the film 200 Motels. After an angry British "fan" pushed Zappa off the Rainbow stage in 1971, he filled in for Flo and Eddie as they left the Zappa group. He appeared on the soundtrack of Dirty Duck, Charles Swenson's adult animated film. In the mid-1970s, Dunbar played drums for former Grin leader Nils Lofgren before joining Journey for their first four albums. For three albums, he appeared on Jefferson Starship. He appeared at Winterland in San Francisco on December 28, 1978, with the Tubes. Dunbar joined Whitesnake in 1985 and appeared on their 1987 album, Whitesnake. He also spent time with Pat Travers, Eric Burdon, UFO, Michael Schenker, Mogg/Way, and the Animals.
Since 2003, he has been the drummer for the World Classic Rockers. He drummed on Jake E. Lee's solo Retraced album in 2005.
Dunbar produced an album of Direct Music with Mickey Thomas of Starship and other artists, including Jake E. Lee, Ozzy Osbourne's former guitarist. Complete recordings of Dunbar's drumming with Frank Zappa at Carnegie Hall in October 1971 were released just 40 years after the event was in a four-CD set.
Mickey Thomas' album The Bluesmasters was released in 2009, starring Dunbar on drums, Tim Tucker on guitar, and Danny Miranda on bass, as well as guest stars such as Magic Slim on guitar and vocals.
Dunbar was voted the first drummer to perform in such a large number of popular bands and artists by Drummerworld. In 2017 Aynsley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey. Dunbar was ranked as the 27th best drummer of all time by Rolling Stone.