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  1. #1
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    Who was “Chet Forest”?

    Does anybody have any info about Chet Forest, drummer on “What’s Going On”? This is what I have so far:-
    Real name: Chester Filozof
    Born 6th March 1936, Hamtramck MI
    Died: 20th March, 1990, Las Vegas.

    By all accounts, he was a big band, jazz drummer. He was in the Air Force [SAC], and played percussion in Air Force bands in the late 50s and early 60s. It seems like he was playing locally in Detroit when he was recruited by Marvin Gaye [via David Van De Pitte]. Does anybody know which bands? What else did he play on at Motown? And what became of him afterwards?


    Any anecdotes would be much appreciated, or, hope of hopes, a photo!


    Many thanks,
    Simon J.
    Drummer and author, researching unsung session players in 60s-70s soul
    Last edited by Bassline101; 03-17-2021 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    I know he's also credited as drummer [[along with Uriel & Pistol) on the Gordon Staples String Thing album on the CD Re-release. I hope that helps! I'd also love to learn more.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewschultz88 View Post
    I know he's also credited as drummer [[along with Uriel & Pistol) on the Gordon Staples String Thing album on the CD Re-release. I hope that helps! I'd also love to learn more.
    Yes, I see he goes by "Chet Forester" on that one:-

    https://www.discogs.com/Gordon-Stapl...elease/3533335

    I found the family info here:-

    https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/f/i/l/.../UHP-0111.html

    Many thanks,

    SJ

  4. #4
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    Chet was a good drummer who played local clubs in Detroit and did some touring, did get a call to do Marvin's album. I believe may have worked with Van DePitte and Johnny Trudell in the Roostertail house band... After Motown, along with Earl and Robert, worked for my brother touring with Paul Anka for a while... Won't get into too much else...What a lot of people don't know is that on the WGO project...Marvin did much of the heavy lifting himself. Dave Van DePitte [[this is no secret), complained that he was largely reduced to doing takedowns on that project [[merely copying and transcribing what Marvin was telling him to arrange) and Marvin was even playing many of the drum parts...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 03-17-2021 at 03:44 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for this StuBass, much appreciated. The Roostertail seems to be a key link. I sense there are some stories about Mr Forest…but, obviously, there’s only so much that can be said in an open forum. Did you ever meet the guy?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassline101 View Post
    Thanks for this StuBass, much appreciated. The Roostertail seems to be a key link. I sense there are some stories about Mr Forest…but, obviously, there’s only so much that can be said in an open forum. Did you ever meet the guy?
    I recall meeting him in Chicago when he was touring... Truth about open forum comment... A lot of guys played in the Roostertail house band. That's actually where my brother met Anka and was asked to tour with him as his guitarist, later to become his music director. Speaking of the Roostertail and another cool Roostertail story is the fact that the Four Seasons had a song that was essentially slated to be a throw away or buried in an album and couldn't get the song on the rotation at the powerhouse AM station CKLW... They convinced the CKLW PD, Paul Drew to come to their show at the Roostertail that night to hear the song live, crowd went nuts, Drew added it to his playlist, and the rest is history... The song, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You became Frankie Valli's swansong... Frankie STILL pulling mucho bank on that one... https://photos.app.goo.gl/n599T6RPZ5E9pNTD6
    Last edited by StuBass1; 03-18-2021 at 01:57 PM.

  7. #7
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    Chet was a hell of a drummer that could really drive a big band! Yes on staff at the Roostertail with my dad Don Palmer, John Trudell, Chuck Robinette, Terry Harrington and more great Detroit musicians. A hell of a band! When the incoming acts had their own pianists and bassists my dad would put down the bass and Chuck would leave the piano and they would play their violins in the string section. Ha! It was a great time in the Motor City! And Chet eventually moved to Las Vegas where he was the "relief drummer". Meaning he played the house band's off-nights of all the shows at the major hotels and casinos. So he had to play everyone's different shows and charts every night. And he was terrific. I believe the Marvin Gaye album was the only Motown gig he ever played.

  8. #8
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    Hey there FC...Hope all is well... Yes, I'm unaware of any other Motown projects Chet worked on. Obviously brought into the WGO project at VanDePitte's recommend, as Dave too had played trombone in the Roostertail ensemble...Seems like most of Motowns top arrangers played trombone...

  9. #9
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    Most of the world's great arrangers play trumpet or trombone. They think in counterpoint. That's a big deal.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_olhsson View Post
    Most of the world's great arrangers play trumpet or trombone. They think in counterpoint. That's a big deal.
    True that trumpeters and trombonists represent a somewhat disproportionate share of arrangers, particularly in popular music where rhythm arrangements are often worked out by the players, songwriters or producers and arrangers specialize in sweetening tracks with horns and strings. That said, the majority of known arrangers tend to have some experience on piano as their primary, or at least a working understanding of the instrument which makes imparting harmonics and chord structure much easier to work through... Interesting article... Best Music Arrangers: 20 Artists You’ve Heard But Not Seen | uDiscover [[udiscovermusic.com)

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