Home  |  About Us  |  Play Dates  |  What Our Fans Say  |  Hear Us  | Image Gallery  | Contact | Marketing

  The Drive is a four piece dance party band based in Phoenix, Arizona. Rarely seen in bars and restaurants, The Drive primarily play for private parties, corporate events and public festivals. The four members of The
Drive are Greg Waddington on guitar, harmonica and vocals, Tony Smith on guitar, bass and vocals, Rick LaChance on bass, guitar and vocals and last but not least Mike Geise on drums and vocals. The Drive's members in one form or another have been playing together for over 15 years.

  There is a reason that The Drive has lasted for years in the music circuit today. Their music is clever, fun, extremely polished; their performances are entertaining, professional and engaging and finally their three and four part harmonies remind us of the days when music was a major part of the culture. Tony and Rick take turns wowing the crowd with their myriad of guitar styles. The seamless, efficiency of Mikes' drum play and his ability to find the harmony in any song is extraordinary and Greg's smooth vocals, harmonica work and proficiency on the 12 string guitar bring a fullness to the overall sound of the band. But it's ultimately the harmonies that leave a lasting memory to all who have had the pleasure of hearing The Drive. Due to all of these skills they have often been described as "a musician's band".



   Greg Waddington grew up in England as a child. His love of music came from watching Britain's #1 music show Top of the Pops including acts like the Kinks, T Rex and Rod Stewart running around on stage with a microphone stand in his hands. At the age of eleven Greg took advantage of his older brother's need for pub money and bought his 1st guitar for five pounds. Greg didn't pick up the guitar again until he was twenty playing songs from his main influences; Neil Young and James Taylor.

  One year later Greg began playing professionally in duo's, trio's and as a soloist around the Philadelphia area. In 1986 he moved to the Valley of the Sun and continued his duo and solo performing along Mill Avenue, old town Scottsdale and throughout the valley. Greg met Tony
Smith in the early1990's. After they played a number of duo venues they eventually formed a country/rock band called the Dallas Clayton Band. Great music and crazy on-stage antics kept the band in high demand for several years.

  The Drive started as an experiment filled with jam sessions and laughter and blossomed into a high quality product. Greg says, "I think the success of The Drive stems from our great friendship, a common passion for fun music and our ability to take the music seriously but not ourselves." Greg continues to perform as a soloist in the Phoenix area at prominent restaurants and private parties.



   Mike Geise was born in a little railroad town called Willard, Ohio. Later moved to Arizona in 1966 with five other siblings. Both his brother Jim and father Chuck played the drums which lead Mike to start playing at the age of nine. He would sit at his brothers 1966 Ludwig, white-pearl drum set and play to Beatle records learning every drum piece, just like the record.

   In the mid 1970's Mike decided to diversify his musical skills and learned to play guitar. He formed a band with long-time school mates, playing guitar and drums. In 1980, fresh out of High School Mike and his school buddies formed the group 'Hired Help', playing at local clubs in Scottsdale. In 1982 a new neighbor, now a long time friend and current band mate 'Rick La Chance', invited him over to jam, which led to a long term friendship and many long nights strumming acoustic guitars together. Rick invited Mike to play a few gig's which gave him a chance to play other styles and gain more experience.

  Mike played in various Christian bands around the valley in the 1990's developing different drumming styles. Mike finds The Drive to be the most rewarding band yet saying, "we all feel like brothers and work together so well. Our talents seem to compliment each other's."



   Rick LaChance was born into a musical family in Farmington Missouri. Country music was a strong influence on Rick's love for music listening to the likes of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. The Beatles and The Ventures got Rick into rock 'n roll. His Dad played fiddle and his Mom played piano. His Dad taught him his first chords but his biggest inspiration was his big brother Bill. Rick & Bill played the old country classics and rock songs on his vintage Harmony Vibrojet guitar thru an old tube amp. Rick says, "Man, that rocked!" In 1974 Rick & Bill formed their first country rock band called The Wheelers with Rick on lead guitar. Eventually Rick evolved into the bass guitarist in the band. After hearing Rick on bass, the band quickly insisted at buy a $35 bass they found in the local newspaper and I rest as they say is
history. Bass has been his primary instrument since.

  In 1977 Tony Smith joined The Wheelers as lead guitarist with Rick on bass and a new and lifelong friendship was born. The Wheelers quickly became one of the hottest country rock bands in the valley. In 1982 Rick moved to Scottsdale, across the street from a young upcoming musician named Mike Geise. Another lifelong friendship was born. In the early 90's Rick, through Tony met Greg the first time and another  lifelong friendship was forged. Rick says, "The Drive is a collection of fine musicians and even finer friends."



  Tony Smith born in Alabama and reared in Texas. (In Texas people rear children and raise cattle.) When the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show February 1964 Tony's life was forever changed. He had to play music! So it began with a hand me down classical guitar to the current compendium of nine "top of the line" instruments. Tony played in bands through high school and college (where he flunked out resulting from a broken heart caused by his high school sweetheart and incessant studies of Paul Simon's finger picking technique.) During and after his second college career Tony played professionally six nights a week, five sets a night. This experience raised the bar for his musical career and growth providing the foundation that results in expertise in the styles of Mark Knopfler, Paul Simon and Eric Clapton.
  Tony shares duties with his buddy Rick interchanging on bass and lead/rhythm guitar. Tony is largely the producer for The Drive. He designs each band member instrumental contribution, assigns each vocal harmony and constructs each song like a musical architect.

  © Copyright The Drive                                                                                                                                                                Web Design RadiantArts.com