Mel George Gaynor (born 29 May 1960 in Balham, London, England) is an English musician. He is best known as the longtime drummer for the rock band Simple Minds. Gaynor was born to a Jamaican father and an Afro-Brazilian mother.
After leaving Samson, Gaynor joined Simple Minds in 1982 as a session drummer for the New Gold Dream album (as a recommendation by record producer Pete Walsh), playing on six of the nine tracks. He later joined the band permanently for the New Gold Dream tour, as a replacement for Mike Ogletree. Except for a period (1992–97) away from the band after the Real Life tour of 1991–92, he has been the band’s drummer to the present day.
Gaynor began drumming at age 11 and had his first professional engagement at age 14.
In addition to drumming, he is active as a songwriter and a record producer and from now on also as a singer.
In addition to Simple Minds, he has played alongside other acts such as: Elton John, Lou Reed, Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Samson, Mango, The Associates, Orange Juice, Peter Gabriel, The Pretenders, Prljavo kazalište, Gary Moore, Jackson Browne, Little Steven, Brian May, The Nolans, Goldie, Robert Palmer and Joan Armatrading, Light of the World.
In 2007 Gaynor has kicked off his solo project with a version of play that funky music and is currently working on his new solo album in Germany due for release April 2017.
Gaynor was also a member of Birmingham-based Muscles, a funk-oriented covers band that had minor chart success with “If it Relaxes Your Mind” and “I’m a Girlwatcher”.
Gaynor has played a variety of drum sets over the years, including Yamaha and currently Dixon drums. He also uses Promark sticks. He has played a variety of cymbals as well, including at first Zildjian during the first years of Simple Minds, but then switched to Paiste in the early 1980s, which he played for much of the duration of his career. He has also endorsed Anatolian and UFIP cymbals, but in 2011, Paiste announced him as an official endorser again, and has remained so to this day.
Photo by: Viktoriya Pintyak