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Aynsley Thomas Dunbar (born 10 January 1946) is an English drummer. He has worked with some of the top names in rock, including John Mayall, Frank Zappa, Ian Hunter, Lou Reed, Jefferson Starship, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Whitesnake, Sammy Hagar, UFO, and Journey. Dunbar is ranked by Rolling Stone as the twenty-seventh greatest drummer of all time.
Dunbar was born in Liverpool, England. He auditioned for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Hendrix had difficulty deciding between Dunbar and Mitch Mitchell - the latter won Hendrix's coin flip.
Dunbar led the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation which issued a number of albums. Dunbar co-wrote "Warning," recorded by Black Sabbath on their first album. The Dunbar version was recorded in 1967 for his solo release The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation.
Subsequently, Dunbar founded a short-lived progressive rock band called Blue Whale, which debuted with a tour of Scandinavia in January 1970. Following the recent collapse of the original lineup of King Crimson, Dunbar unsuccessfully tried to recruit Robert Fripp as Blue Whale's guitarist. Fripp, in turn, unsuccessfully tried to recruit Dunbar as King Crimson's new drummer.
Dunbar was later the drummer for Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, featuring on albums such as Waka/Jawaka, and The Grand Wazoo, as well as the film 200 Motels. In 1974 he played on the soundtrack for "Dirty Duck", a Chuck Swenson adult animated movie. In the mid 1970s, Dunbar played drums for former Grin leader, Nils Lofgren, before joining Journey for their first four albums; he left and joined Jefferson Starship for three albums. In 1985, Dunbar joined Whitesnake, and drummed on their 1987 album, Whitesnake. He also spent some time working with Eric Burdon and The Animals.
More recently, in 2005, he drummed on Jake E. Lee's solo Retraced album.
He has been the drummer for the World Classic Rockers since 2003.
Currently, Dunbar is recording a new album of material for Direct Music with Mickey Thomas of Starship, and musicians such as Jake E. Lee, former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne.