Willie Leacox, the former drummer for the rock band America, died yesterday at the age of 74. He died at his home in Stockton, California, and the cause of death is unknown.
America published the following message on social media:
“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of our brother and beloved drummer of 41 years, Willie Leacox.” Willie was an important member of the America family, and we treasure the time we spent with him on this insane adventure.”
The article also encouraged anybody who wants to make a gift in Willie’s memory to do so to the Leacox Family Music Education Scholarship.
The life and career of Willie Leacox
He was born into a musical family of drummers and was given the name William Robert Leacox. His uncle, father, brother, and three cousins all grew up drumming. Willie had an interest in playing the drums at an early age. When he was in elementary and high school, he was a member of many bands.
In 1970, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, where he majored in piano and drummed in various undergraduate bands. Leacox continued to perform in bands to supplement his income, and he was a member of the band Jerms. Willie moved to Southern California after college to work in the music business and with local artists, in addition to performing some free dancing work. He then met David Joloff, an actor and singer, who advised him to join America. Joloff’s flat was close to Gerry Beckley’s, Dewey Bunnell’s, and Dan Peek’s homes in America, and he heard that they were planning an audition to locate a new drummer.
Willie impressed America’s members at the audition, and he was employed right away. The holiday was the first LP he worked on, and he had fond recollections of working on it with Sir George Martin. He then played drums on all of Martin’s recordings, including a live LP recorded at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. He also recommended Ludwig drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, RhythmTech percussion, MAY E.A. internal mic systems, and GonBops congas.
Netizens offer their respects to Willie Leacox.
I am shocked😢Will, I’m going to miss you.✌️ pic.twitter.com/GtSkPDcuok
— axel (@axel_berlin_) February 2, 2022
Willie’s name was well-known in the music world as a well-known and competent drummer. As word spread of his passing, Twitter was inundated with tributes. When America published a statement on Leacox’s passing, it was filled with fan accolades, including actor John Stamos, who stated he admired his drumming. Others referred to him as a gifted musician and a superb drummer.