Ramon “Tiki” Fulwood, and his heavy funkadelic style

“You need talent, you need an innovative mind, and above all, you need muscles, if you must play rock drums.” That is what Ramon “Tiki” Fulwood always said when he was talking to emerging drummers. And that is exactly he approached drums.

Ramon Tiki Fulwood
Ramon Tiki Fulwood

Grady Thomas once recognized Ramon “Tiki” Fulwood as “the most hardest foot drummer…” he had ever heard. Thomas, from George Clinton’s doo-wop crew, the Parliaments always had something positive to say about Ramon.

When he took the drum sticks in his hands, every sound he produced was made with such precision and energy that it made everyone join into the action without realizing it. He always had a smile on his face while performing, something that always told those around that he was enjoying every part of the action.

Ramon started drumming when he was still young. And by the time he was 17 years only, he would sneak into clubs to perform. Clinton eventually noticed that teenager’s talent and begged his mother to let him go take Ramon on tour. It was the beginning of the drummer’s journey into drumming, one that would shape his future for good.

He approached drums using a heavy style that would combine with Eddie Hazel’s free-wheeling guitar. This combination created the most appealing sounds of his time, always presenting him one of the most sorts after drummer. 

Ramon brought to an end, the culture of the band wearing suits, and instead of taking on a psychedelic potpourri that becomes instrumental in shaping the world of rock music. He had a certain magnet around him that seem to pull everyone to his side. It was perhaps his charismatic personality and needed to make the music industry better.

Photo Of Funkadelic
Photo Of Funkadelic

But it was his innovativeness and a nose for new ideas that really shaped his career. He knew when to create something new with the pieces he worked on and how to incorporate them into his drumming styles.

For this reason, every music he produced become a success within a short period. The teams he worked with almost found it hard working without him because of his charisma.

There are many drugged-out anthems, like “Maggot Brain,” that came with unique heavy-handed takes, which came from the drummer.

He would perform with rapturous, extroverted execution, which has today become a sample-folder for hip-hop producers. His efforts changed the traditional approach to the genre, making it livelier with more meat. When it came to showtime, Tiki was there to take on the stage as no one else would.

He seemed to get into the minds of his audience and understood what they needed.

Ramon Tiki Fulwood Drumming
Ramon Tiki Fulwood Drumming

“He was playing the drums like all kinds of bombs was going off back there,” said Hazel’s mom, Grace. There was so much energy and life in how he handled drums that it was hard to notice his presence, which happens with many drummers.

Every time he was performing in-studio, he would take a very short time to start playing as though he had practiced the song for many years.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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One Comment

  1. Thats what make Funkadelic (the original 5) really special. They learned the traditional rules of music only to break them to create something special of their own. Learning about Tiki is extremely important when it comes to drums. Fulwood also had a great range in tempo as well as loudness. A lot of stuff people know Bonham for now Tiki had already done it, kick-snare triplets etc. He passed away much too young, he did with his drums to me what Hazel did with his guitar. Absolutely slayed as a drummer. RIP tiki fulwood

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