Friday, November 12, 2010

A tribute to Aram Schefrin

Aram Schefrin of the group, Ten Wheel Drive, passed away this week. He was a Harvard Law School graduate who spent most of his life practicing law out of Rhode Island. However, before donning a suite and tie he was the guitarist and lyricist for the seminal horn/rock band Ten Wheel Drive. Schefrin formed the group with writing partner Michael Zager in 1968. The band was fronted by female rock & roll pioneer Genya Ravan. Ten Wheel Drive recorded 4 albums, three of which featured Ravan as the vocalist. The group survived and at times thrived despite an ever-changing line-up and relentless comparisons to Blood, Sweat, & Tears and Chicago, but eventually disbanded in 1974.

In recent years, Ten Wheel Drive has been heard in rap music samples such as Jay-Z’s, ‘1-900-Hustler’ and 50 Cent's, 'I Am A Rider'. After the collapse of Ten Wheel Drive, Schefrin worked extensively on solo projects for Ravan as well as producing albums for the bands, Sunshine & Egg Cream. He also produced disco classics from DC LaRue, such as Overture & Cathedrals. He left the music business sometime in the early 80’s to practice law. Schefrin is also the author of four novels. He was 68. -JP