Bobby Elliott

Robert Hartley Elliott (born 8 December 1941)[1] is an English rock drummer, best known for playing with The Hollies. He has been described as "one of the very finest drummers in all of pop/rock".[2]

Bobby Elliott
Background information
Birth nameRobert Hartley Elliott
Born (1941-12-08) 8 December 1941 Burnley, Lancashire, England
Years active1950s–present
Associated actsShane Fenton and the Fentones
The Hollies

Early life

Elliott discovered jazz music when he was 10 or 11 and wanted to become a drummer.[3] He attended Nelson Grammar School, but is a self-taught drummer, who learnt to drum with home-made brushes and sticks, on tins and other household items, by copying Chico Hamilton of the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and Gene Krupa of the Benny Goodman Orchestra.[3]

Elliott was an original member of Johnny Theakston and The Tremeloes, who formed in 1959. Fronted by the vocalist Johnny Theakston, Elliott drummed alongside guitarists Jerry Wilcox and Mick Hay, and bassist William "Bonny" Oliver.[4] In late 1960 they sent a demo tape to BBC Radio's Saturday Club, calling themselves Shane Fenton & The Fentones, but Theakston died before they received a reply. Having been offered an audition, the band's roadie Bernard Jewry (later known as Alvin Stardust), stepped in as vocalist, adopting the stage name Shane Fenton at Theakston's mother's request.[4]

Tommy Sanderson became their manager, and negotiated a record deal with EMI who released "I'm a Moody Guy", which reached 19 on the UK singles chart. The next three singles failed to chart, "Cindy's Birthday" was then a minor hit, before the following three singles also flopped, and the band broke up in April 1963.[4]

Elliott also played in Ricky Shaw and the Dolphins, a Manchester band led by guitarist Tony Hicks who left to join The Hollies in April 1963. Shortly after, the Hollies drummer Don Rathbone left and Elliott also joined the Hollies, whilst Jewry and Sanderson became the band's joint managers.[2]

As of 2013 Elliott still plays with the Hollies, and has recorded with almost no other band since 1963.[5]

Prominent drummers who were influenced by Elliott include Gilson Lavis, Ric Lee, Cozy Powell and Ian Paice.[6]

Personal life

Elliott had a long relationship with Maureen Hicks. Thanks to this relationship Elliott would meet Maureen's brother, Tony Hicks.[7]


  • Toms:- 8"x10", 9"x12", 11"x14", 13"x16" Birch wood & laminate shells, made by Drum Workshop of Oxnard, California
  • Bass:- 18"x22" with DW 9000 double bass drum pedals
  • Snare:- 6.5" x 14" Ludwig hammered metal SD.
  • Cymbals:- Zildjian 12" Splash, 14" hi hats, 17" & 18" Custom K Dark Crash, 19" K Thin Dark Crash, 20" Medium Ride
  • Timbales:- LP 'Tito Puente' 12" & 13"[3]


  1. "Bobby Elliott". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  2. Unterberger, Ritchie. "Biography of The Hollies". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. "Band profile of Bobby Elliott". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  4. Thompson, Dave. "Biography of Shane Fenton and the Fentones". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  5. "Recording Credits for Bobby Elliott". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  6. "Mike Dolbear DRUMS". Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  7. "The Audiophile Man - Featuring Hi-Fi and Music news, reviews, features and interviews". The Audiophile Man. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
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