This section includes any live appearances by Claypool, Lalonde or Alexander during any time period, whether Primus was active or not. Since Brain has done a lot of both studio and drummer for hire live work, we will cover any appearances he made only during his Aug 1996-Apr 2000 stint with Primus.

This section covers only times when any of the members of Primus were guests on someone else's stage at a given event. This section does not include any side project bands or one-off bands. Although all of the members of Primus have guested with other bands and musicians, Claypool has clearly been the standout here (especially following the Primus hiatus, the formation of multiple side projects and his acceptance into the jam band community), although as a caveat there may be some sampling bias as he has maintained a higher profile than his Primus bandmates.

Technical Notes:

FORMAT: Date - Band: Song(s) (credits), Primus guest(s)
All songwriting credits are in parenthetical notation ( ), if known.
Improvisational events are denoted as such, and do not have credits.
All guests are playing usual instruments unless otherwise noted, including vocals only.
Guests from other bands are noted as well.


Primus performed during a benefit concert (see Primus Special Shows section) for deceased percussionist Calder Spanier (Charlie Hunter Quartet, Spearhead). All of Primus also performed on two Spearhead songs with rappers Michael Franti and Pollywog, plus DJ Disk and percussionist Scott Amendola.


1. Nature Boy - Ultrafly (Rochester, NY area band)

2. Riddles Are Abound Tonight - Disco Biscuits.
Played 3 times in summer 2000, first time at JAMMY's with Les.

3. Sgt. Baker - Matt Stone.
Co-creator of South Park TV series and Primus fan, Stone commissioned Primus to write the South Park Theme Song and produced Natural Joe on the Antipop album. His own band plays a poppier version of this Primus song.


Les introduced the electric upright in late 1991-early 1992, and most of his releases since have included several songs performed on this instrument. The electric upright was featured in almost all shows from 1992-8. Les decided not to take the instrument with him on any of the Antipop shows for logistics reasons. The upright has been a live staple with Claypool's other musical outings as well, with most side project bands playing several such numbers in the middle of their sets, providing a change in sound and tempo from the more frenetic electric material.

C2B3: Calling Kyle, Elephant Ghost, various improvisations
Claypool solo: A Shot In the Dark, Calling Kyle,  Duchess (one time only on 02/29/08), Hendershot, Long In the Tooth, One Step Beyond, Precipitation, Red State Girl, Vernon the Company Man, What Would Sir George Martin Do 
Fancy Band:
A Shot In the Dark, Backpack, Calling Kyle, David Makalaster II, Hendershot, Long In the Tooth, One Step Beyond, Precipitation, Tomorrow Never Knows (7/16/05), Twins, Vernon the Company Man, White Rabbit
Frog Brigade: 16 Shells From A 30-06, Calling Kyle, D's Diner (12/31/02), David Makalaster II, Hendershot, Kashmir, Long In the Tooth (except 5/2/03 version), Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon, Precipitation
Holy Mackerel: Calling Kyle, Hendershot, Precipitation
Oysterhead: Wield the Spade
Primus: Air Is Getting Slippery, Bed's Too Big Without You, Coddingtown, De Anza Jig, Glass Sandwich, Jaws Theme Song, Kashmir (and occasionally on regular bass, but with a bow), Mr. Krinkle, Over the Falls, Pork Soda, Sathington Willoughby, Seas Of Cheese, Smoke On the Water (although much more often on regular bass), Too Many Puppies (12/31/94 and Rhinoplasty version for Snocore 1998)

Not used for any formal recordings (perhaps Les' appearances on Waits albums notwithstanding), Les does own a nondescript upright jazz bass that he used at Primus' rare alter-ego Bob Cock and the Yellow Sock performances.

Primus (Bob Cock & Yellow Sock): A Shot In the Dark, Another One Bites the Dust, Disco Jam, Groundhog's Day, Hey Joe, Immigrant Song, In the Flesh?, Jerry Was A Racecar Driver, John the Fisherman, Money, Shiny Happy People, Tommy the Cat

A gift from some Burlington, VT instrument smiths, Les unveiled both the instrument and song of the same name at the 2/14/01 Frog Brigade show. The Whamola is a custom made, one string, upright-type instrument with a movable headstock that can change the pitch of the note. Les plays it by hitting the string with a drum stick. Les is quite enamored of this new toy, and has included it in all of his recent musical outings, albeit in a limited fashion. Outside of the actual songs Whamola and Mushroom Men, the instrument has been used only in band jams at early C2B3 shows, and within the context of drum solos and/or drum/percussion duets that have been a staple of all Claypool projects since 2002.

C2B3: various band improvisations, Drum/Whamola Jam 
Claypool solo: Drum/Whamola Jam, Mushroom Men 
Fancy Band:
Drum/Whamola Jam, Whamola
Frog Brigade:
Drum/Whamola Jam, Whamola
Oysterhead: Whamola/Matterhorn Jam
Primus: Drum/Whamola Jam, Here Come the Bastards (7/23/05 - half on regular bass, half on Whamola)

The bass banjo used to record Primus' Captain Shiner and Oysterhead's Birthday Boys, was used live at Primus' 1/9/96 all banjo show, and with various non-Primus bands. With the Fancy Band, Les has been playing solo bass banjo renditions of Iowan Gal, as well as various original material and covers.

C2B3: various improvisations
Claypool solo: American Life, Buzzards, David Makalaster I, Groundhog's Day, Harold, Here Come the Bastards, Iowan Gal, Master of Puppets, Running the Gauntlet, Too Many Puppies, Toys, Tweekers, Up On the Roof
Fancy Band: American Life, Black Dog, Burning Man, Frizzle Fry, George E Porge, Groundhog's Day, Harold Of the Rocks, Here Come the Bastards, Iowan Gal, John the Fisherman, Pudding Time, Running the Gauntlet, Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers, Too Many Puppies, Toys Go Winding Down
Frog Brigade: Groundhog's Day
Oysterhead: Birthday Boys, Immigrant Song
Primus: Dueling Banjos, Groundhog's Day, Hello Skinny, Here Come the Bastards, John the Fisherman, Sweet Home Alabama, Thank You, Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers, To Defy the Laws Of Tradition, Tommy the Cat, Wynona's Big Brown Beaver (all from 1/9/96 show)


Claypool solo: Booneville Stomp


The aim of this section is to highlight the drummers associated with Primus and Claypool's various side projects. Claypool (and Lalonde) have played with a number of amazing, interesting drummers and percussionists of different styles and in various bands. This section will summarize their accomplishments and take stock of their live solo performances.

While musicians that play instruments primarily concerned with melody and harmony (guitarists/bassists, keyboardists and horn players) frequently get the opportunity to solo over a rhythmic bed provided by the drummer (and other musicians), as the timekeepers drummer are more restrained in their selection of solo spots. Since it is less common and feasible for melodic instruments to hold the rhythm (i.e. play a repeating vamp, riff, ostinato) so that the drummer can improvise, most frequently drum solos are exactly that - true solos, unaccompanied by other musical instrumentation. The other band members may even leave the stage entirely, making the drum solo somewhat more of a standout musical, or at least theatrical event. It is for the same reason that drum solos are separately noted on the companion set list/database page, whereas guitar, bass or sax solos are not. So whether you happen to like drum solos or not, here is a brief description of the drumming prowess of Primus' and Claypool's finest:


With Primus, Alexander established his reputation as a drummer with a unique sound, great chops and interesting compositional ideas in the tradition of prog masters such as Bill Bruford and Neil Peart. His musical use of odd time meters and double bass, coupled with his choice of orchestration (e.g. octobans and multiple splash cymbals incorporated into an ever growing drum kit) made him a household name in the rock drumming world. Surprisingly, during his first stint in Primus, Tim took only rare, short solos (not counting the semi-composed solo drum parts such as the intro to Eleven and the coda of Nature Boy).

After Tim left Primus, he presumably soloed more routinely in Laundry (since it was his own band) and especially in Blue Man Group, a veritable percussion ensemble. His drum kits also evolved over time; his 1995-6 Laundry setup was a much smaller white kit; while his Blue Man set resembled his larger Primus setups.

Tim reunited with Les in the summer 2002 lineup of the Frog Brigade, again playing a smaller kit (single bass drum with a double pedal, fewer cymbals and just one rack tom). During that tour, he continued a tradition of nightly drum duets that began when percussionist Mike Dillon joined the Frog Brigade in the spring of 2002.  These duets showcased his sizable chops within an exciting but somewhat predictable format of drum and percussion call and response segments.

When Primus reunited in 2003-4, fans were treated to nightly drum/Whamola duets, played on a larger drumset. These solos frequently pushed the 15 minute mark and showed Alexander's ability to solo at length while maintaining a sense of dynamics and variety. During the Tour de Fromage, these solos segued into Eleven, while serving as the intro to Spegetti Western on the summer 2004 tour. These solos also marked Tim's use of various reverb and delay effects, adding a variety of programmed sounds to his traditional traps. He also played a marimba type instrument on the Tour de Fromage during the midsection of Rapscallion. In contrast, the fall 2006 greatest hits tour again saw him using a smaller kit (single bass drum, and the first tour since 1991 without Octobans) with only a handful of feature solos.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 488
(includes all Primus shows 1989-05/96, FB 06/18-07/13/02 and Primus 2003-8; exact number of early Primus shows will likely never be known)


Best known as the drummer in Deadweight, a band that opened for FB on the 11/02 shows, Paulo sat in for the 2002 Frog Out as the sole drummer, and officially joined FB in 2003. He played on the spring and summer 2003 tours, the few 2004-05 gigs, and then rejoined as the drummer in the Fancy Band in the summer of 2006. He has continued as Les' drummer of choice in his various 2008-08 projects. He has engaged in nightly drum duets with Mike Dillon. Baldi's kit includes contrasting stylistic elements, with a large bass drum and rack toms a la Bonham, but tight snare tuning and Octobans more in the style of Copeland.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 148


Best known for his landmark work with the Police, Copeland has been a member of Oysterhead. He is famous for his aversion to drum solos. Within Oysterhead, Copeland played a large drumkit (minus the Octobans for which he was justly famous in the early 80s, but on the other hand including his first ever use of double bass using a double pedal - apparently inspired by Joey Jordison of Slipknot), as well as a sizable stand up percussion outfit with bells, chimes and tuned toms.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 22


A member of Critters Buggin' and various other projects with Skerik, Dillon has been a regular member of the Frog Brigade since 2002. Mike has been involved in the nightly drum duets with various Frog Brigade, Fancy Band and other solo project drummers ever since, bringing to bear his arsenal of percussion, including tablas, xylophone and marimbas (including reverb and delay effects via foot pedal on the vibes). Unlike the drummers, Dillon also regularly plays melodic solos on the vibes during Frog Brigade and Fancy Band jams. 

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 245


Best known as the drummer in Fishbone, a band with whom Primus has had a long history of collaboration and touring, Fisher played the West Coast dates of the fall 2002 Frog Brigade tour.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 14


A Bay Area drummer, Dean book-ended the 2002 tours, playing the first half of the spring/summer shows and the latter/East Coast half of the fall tour. Using his sizable set, Johnson began the tradition of lengthy drum solos/percussion battles that has permeated all subsequent Claypool projects.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 30


A collaborator of Claypool's since his time in Primus in 1988, Lane has since been involved in Sausage, the 2000 and winter 2001 Frog Brigade, and the summer and fall 2005 Fancy Band tours. He soloed sporadically in the early version of FB, but in 2005 engaged in the now standard drum/percussion battles. One of Claypool's more groove oriented rhythm mates, Lane has traditionally used a modest sized set, although it expanded from the four piece Ringo kit used in
 the Sausage days to a larger one with the Frog Brigade/Fancy Band.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 99
(number of 80s era Primus appearances and 1994 Sausage shows not known)


A drummer with a long historical association with all things Primus and Claypool, Brain has shared the stage with Les during a brief stint in Primus circa 1987, as a fill in for Jay Lane on certain summer 1994 Sausage shows, in the 1996 Holy Mackerel tour, as a member of Primus from late 1996-2000 and in C2B3. He has also played with Lalonde in his CaCa and No Forcefield projects; and has recorded a drum duet with Alexander entitled Shut Up And Play Your Drums (a reference to the classic Zappa album with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums) for the Drum Nation compilation CD. 

During the Holy Mackerel tour, Brain played a very Bonham-esque drumset, featured on a nightly solo during Rancor which Les dubbed "27 seconds of Brain" (although it wasn't necessarily of that length) - a given version of Rancor could have up to three of these mini-solos.

Within Primus, Brain used a modestly larger kit with a tighter, less bombastic tuning. He played a nightly solo during nearly all 1997-8 performances of Tommy. The fall 1997 versions all had basically the same solo (with some theme and variation), while in 1998 Brain got to solo and/or trade bars/accompany DJ Disk. The live Tommy from Rhinoplasty provides a good rendition of a typical 1997 Brain solo, while the Videoplasty version shows an above average example of a Brain/DJ Disk duet. Of note, the earliest solos from 1997 Tommys were sometimes also dubbed "27 seconds of Brain"; a few versions included the drum beat to Restin' Bones. Brain also worked in a mini-solo (over a Les/Ler vamp, as opposed to the 'true' unaccompanied solos of Tommy) during 1997-99 versions of Duchess.

While Brain learned a number of Alexander era Primus songs during his stint in that band, the following is a list of Primus songs that Brain never played live:

American Life, DMV, Del Davis, Fish On, Glass Sandwich, Hamburger Train, Hellbound 17 1/2, Is It Luck?, Jellikit, Mr. Krinkle, Mrs. Blaileen , Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon, On the Tweek Again, Over the Electric Grapevine, Pork Soda, Pressman, Professor Nutbutter's House of Treats, Sathingtown Waltz, Spegetti Western, Toys Go Winding Down, Year Of the Parrot

In C2B3's more jam oriented format, Brain has engaged in nightly drum/Whamola duets.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 307
(number of 80s era Primus appearances and 1994 Sausage fill-ins not known)


The summer 2001 Frog Brigade drummer, Svena soloed rarely on a modest sized kit.

Total # Shows Played with Claypool: 24


Claypool and bandmates have been tremendously busy over the years. Claypool's array of tours and musical companions in particular, has become even harder to follow since the 2000-3 Primus hiatus and the formation of his many jam bands. This section will provide a simple timeline, organized by year, of Claypool and other Primus members' activities, including albums, tours key shows, and an estimate of total shows played by Les per year.





(this is the first year about which enough is known to even guess with some certainty)





(Sausage segment is definitely missing show dates)














  NOTE: For those of you who were counting, based on current knowledge Les probably hit the 500 live show mark by the end of 1997, and the 1000 live show mark by end of 2005!! Of course, this tally is likely an understatement as early shows are poorly catalogued.