Nicky Hopkins

I’ve never been a keyboard player…but when I think of keyboardists this man comes to mind. He was one of the busiest session men in the business.

Nicky Hopkins started with Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages, which also included Jimmy Page… He played with the Cyril Davies All-Stars, one of the first British rhythm & blues bands. Because of illnesses, he started to play on studio sessions. In the studio, he played with the Beatles, Who, Kinks, Rolling Stones and just about everyone else of that era.

He later joined the Jeff Beck Group and was a full member of the Quicksilver Messenger Service.

I’ve read about Nicky from other artists books when I was younger but didn’t know until the internet how many great recordings he played on…Also that he sometimes toured with bands like the Stones on perhaps their greatest tour…the 1972 tour. The first I heard of him was reading he played piano on Revolution by the Beatles.

Here are some other artists talking about Nicky.

Ray Davies: Nicky, unlike lesser musicians, didn’t try to show off; he would only play when necessary. But he had the ability to turn an ordinary track into a gem – slotting in the right chord at the right time or dropping a set of triplets around the back beat, just enough to make you want to dance. On a ballad, he could sense which notes to wrap around the song without being obtrusive. He managed to give “Days,” for instance, a mysterious religious quality without being sentimental or pious.

Pete Townshend: “Nicky was a great talent…He is gone but his wonderful playing will live on and I’m proud that so much of his work will be heard as part of my own. Nicky is a big part of my work and I think of him often.”

Joe Walsh: “We just said, “Hey, we’re not going to tell you what to play! You can play anything you want, dude and it’ll be just fine with us.” Nicky was at his absolute best. He was just playing fantastic and coming up with these parts that just were so special.”

Keith Richards: “What I liked about Nicky is you’d give him a song and he’d develop it, with a couple of passes, into something, almost immediately. He was so easy to work with and he could hang; we’d do sessions for fifteen hours, sometimes two days
and he’d still be there, you know.”

Nicky died in Nashville Tn in 1994 from complications of surgery from Crohn’s Disease.

Below I copied a highlight of his discography.

It’s from the Nicky Hopkins website…It reads like a who’s who in music. These are just some of the albums and singles Nicky played on.



THE WHO, My Generation, Brunswick/Decca USA
THE KINKS, The Kinks Kontroversy, Pye/Reprise
NICKY HOPKINS, The Revolutionary Piano Of…, CBS
THE KINKS, Face To Face, Pye / Reprise
ROLLING STONES, Between The Buttons, Decca/London
ROLLING STONES, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Decca/London
ROLLING STONES, Beggar’s Banquet, Decca/London
KINKS, Village Green Preservation Society, Pye/Reprise
JEFF BECK GROUP, Truth, Columbia/Epic
THE KINKS, Something Else By The Kinks, Pye/Reprise
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, Dusty…Definitely, Philips
ROLLING STONES, Let It Bleed, Decca/London
JEFF BECK GROUP, Beck-Ola, Columbia / Epic
STEVE MILLER BAND, Brave New World, Capitol
STEVE MILLER BAND, Your Saving Grace, Capitol
FAMILY, Entertainment, Reprise
ROY HARPER, Folkjokeopus, Liberty
ELLA FITZGERALD, Ella, Warner Brothers
THE MOVE, The Move, Cube
BILLY NICHOLLS, Would You Believe, Immediate


STEVE MILLER BAND, Number 5, Capitol
VARIOUS, Woodstock, Atlantic
ROLLING STONES, Sticky Fingers, Rolling Stones Records
THE WHO, Who’s Next, Track
NICKY HOPKINS, Jamming With Edward, Rolling Stones Records
JOHN LENNON, Imagine, Apple
ROLLING STONES, Exile On Main Street, Rolling Stones Records
HARRY NILSSON, Son Of Schmilsson, RCA Victor
CARLY SIMON, No Secrets, Elektra
NICKY HOPKINS, The Tin Man Was A Dreamer, CBS
GEORGE HARRISON, Living In The Material World, Apple
RINGO STARR, Ringo, Apple
ROLLING STONES, Goat’s Head Soup, Rolling Stones Records
JOHN LENNON, Walls & Bridges, Apple
ROLLING STONES, It’s Only Rock’n’Roll, Rolling Stones Records
JOE COCKER, I Can Stand A Little Rain, Fly
PETER FRAMPTON, Something’s Happening, A & M
RINGO STARR, Goodnight Vienna, Apple
NICKY HOPKINS, No More Changes, Mercury (US)
ROLLING STONES, Black & Blue, Rolling Stones Records
JERRY GARCIA, Reflections, United Artists
ROD STEWART, Footloose And Fancy Free, Warner Brothers
JENNIFER WARNES, Jennifer Warnes, Arista
ROD STEWART, Blondes Have More Fun, Riva
LOWELL GEORGE, Thanks I’ll Eat It Here, Warner Brothers
POINTER SISTERS, Priority, Planet


ROLLING STONES, Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stones Records
TIM HARDIN, Unforgiven, Arc International
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR, The Up Escalator, Stiff
ROLLING STONES, Tattoo You, Rolling Stones Records
NILS LOFGREN, Night Fades Away, MCA/Backstreets
MEATLOAF, Dead Ringer, Cleveland/Epic
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, White Heat, Mercury/Casablanca
KING OF COMEDY, Soundtrack, Warner Brothers
CARL WILSON, Youngblood, Caribou
JULIO IGLESIAS, 1100 Bel Air Place, CBS
ROD STEWART, Rod Stewart/Every Beat Of My Heart, Warner Brothers
PAUL MCCARTNEY, Flowers In The Dirt,Capitol
JACK BRUCE, A Question Of Time, Epic


ROGER CHAPMAN, Hybrid & Lowdown, Polydor
GARY MOORE, Still Got The Blues, Virgin
NICKY HOPKINS, The Fugitive (Soundtrack), Toshiba-EMI
NICKY HOPKINS, Patio (Soundtrack), Toshiba-EMI
JAYHAWKS, Hollywood Town Hall, Columbia
JOE SATRIANI, Extremist, Legacy Recordings
SPINAL TAP, Break Like The Wind, MCA
MATTHEW SWEET, Altered Beast, Zoo/BMG
JOE WALSH, Robocop Soundtrack, Rhino/Pyramid
GENE CLARK, Under The Silvery Moon, Delta De Luxe
FRANKIE MILLER, Long Way Home, Jerkin’ Crocus


SCREAMING LORD SUTCH, Jack The Ripper/Don’t You Just Know It, Decca
THE WHO, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere , Brunswick
THE KINKS, Till The End Of The Day, Pye/Reprise
CYRIL DAVIES R & B ALL STARS, Country Line Special/Chicago Calling, Pye International/Dot
CLIFF BENNETT & REBEL ROUSERS, My Old Standby (B-Side), Parlophone
RITCHIE BLACKMORE ORCHESTRA, Little Brown Jug/Getaway, Oriole
VASHTI, Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind ,Decca
DAVY JONES & THE LOWER THIRD, You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving, Parlophone
PRETTY THINGS, Midnight To Six Man, Fontana
THE KINKS, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, Pye/Reprise
THE KINKS, Sunny Afternoon, Pye/Reprise
DAVID BOWIE, Can’t Help Thinking About Myself, Pye
TWICE AS MUCH, Sittin’ On A Fence/Baby I Want You, Immediate
CAT STEVENS, Matthew And Son/Granny, Deram
ROLLING STONES, We Love You, Decca/London
ROLLING STONES, 2000 Light Years/She’s A Rainbow, Decca/London
NICKY HOPKINS, Mr. Pleasant, Polydor/Decca
THE KINKS, Autumn Almanac, Pye (UK)
DAVE DAVIES, Death Of A Clown, Pye/Reprise
JEFF BECK, Beck’s Bolero, Columbia/Epic
YARDBIRDS, Little Games, Columbia
MARC BOLAN, Jasper C. Debussy, Track
PP ARNOLD, The First Cut Is The Deepest, Immediate
BEATLES, Hey Jude/Revolution (B-side), Apple
ROLLING STONES, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Decca/London
THE KINKS, Days, Pye/Reprise
DONOVAN, Goo Goo Barabajagal, Epic
SCAFFOLD, Lily The Pink, Parlophone
FATS DOMINO, Have You Seen My Baby, Reprise
JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND, Happy Christmas/War Is Over, Apple
THE WHO, Let’s See Action, Track
ROLLING STONES, Tumbling Dice, Rolling Stones
HARRY NILSSON, Remember Christmas, RCA
ROLLING STONES, Angie, Rolling Stones
GEORGE HARRISON, Give Me Love, Apple
RINGO STARR, Photograph, Apple
RINGO STARR, You’re Sixteen, Apple
JOE COCKER, You Are So Beautiful, A & M
ART GARFUNKEL, I Only Have Eyes For You, Columbia
JULIO IGLESIAS / WILLIE NELSON, To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before, CBS
JOE WALSH / STEVE EARLE, Honey Don’t (Beverley Hillbillies), Fox Records
JOE WALSH / FRANKIE MILLER, Guilty Of The Crime, Pyramid
PAUL MCCARTNEY, Beautiful Night/Same Love, Oobu-Joobu 6












Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

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