The Drummer for Paul McCartney – Abe Laboriel Jr.

Abe Laboriel Jr. is not just any drummer; he’s the drummer for Paul McCartney. When you think of the iconic beats backing up McCartney’s legendary tracks, that’s Abe’s magic you’re hearing.

Abe and Paul have been a dynamic duo for years. They’ve toured the world together, lighting up stages from New York to Tokyo. If you’ve ever jammed out to albums like “Driving Rain” or “Memory Almost Full,” you’ve been grooving to Abe’s beats. 

But Paul isn’t the only superstar Abe has collaborated with. Over the years, he’s played alongside artists like Sting, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Wonder.

In the drumming community, Abe is known for his versatility and unique style. He doesn’t just keep a beat; he tells a story with every stroke. Whether it’s a soft ballad or a rock anthem, Abe knows how to make the drums sing.

So, ready to dive deeper into the world of Abe Laboriel Jr.? Let’s start!

Drummer for Paul McCartney

Early Life

Abe Laboriel Jr. was born with rhythm in his veins. Born in 1971, he’s the son of the renowned bassist Abraham Laboriel Sr., a name many in the music world instantly recognize.

Growing up in a musical household, Abe was surrounded by beats, melodies, and harmonies from day one. His father’s influence was undeniable. By watching and learning from one of the best, Abe quickly developed a passion for percussion.

By the age of four, he was already showcasing his talents. Little Abe would often be found drumming away on anything he could get his hands on. It wasn’t just child’s play; it was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with music.

School years were transformative for Abe. He attended the Berklee College of Music, a prestigious institution known for churning out some of the world’s best musicians. Here, he honed his skills, learned the intricacies of his craft, and began to make a name for himself.

In the blink of an eye, the young boy who drummed on kitchen pots was on his way to becoming one of the most sought-after drummers of his generation.


Abe Laboriel Jr. – a name that resonates with rhythm and passion in the drumming world. Born into a musical family, it was almost destiny that Abe would pick up the sticks.

Early Days:

His journey began in Los Angeles. Young Abe was surrounded by music, thanks to his bass-playing father, Abe Laboriel Sr. By the time he was in his teens, he was already making waves in local bands.

The McCartney Connection:

Then came the big break. He became a drummer for Paul Mcartney in the early 2000s was a game-changer. Albums like “Driving Rain” and “Memory Almost Full” showcased his impeccable timing and flair.

Collaborations Galore:

But McCartney wasn’t his only gig. Abe’s talent caught the eyes of many. He’s shared the stage with legends like Sting, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Wonder. Each collaboration added a new feather to his already illustrious cap.

A Drummer’s Drummer:

In the drumming community, Abe’s not just another drummer. He’s a trendsetter. His unique style, blending rock with jazz undertones, has inspired countless budding drummers.

Today and Beyond:

Abe continues to tour, record, and inspire. Whether it’s a sold-out stadium or an intimate jazz club, his beats remain unforgettable. And as for what’s next? With Abe, the rhythm never stops.

Notable Performances

The Super Bowl Halftime Show (2005):

Abe Laboriel Jr. behind the drum kit, Paul McCartney center stage, and millions watching worldwide. This performance was electric! Abe’s drumming was the heartbeat of classics like “Live and Let Die.”

The “One on One” World Tour (2016-2017):

Traveling across four continents, Abe showcased his impeccable timing and rhythm. Every night, he breathed life into songs, making them feel fresh and vibrant.

“Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” Album (2005):

This wasn’t just a studio recording; it was a masterpiece. Abe’s drumming on tracks like “Fine Line” and “Jenny Wren” is nothing short of poetic.

Collaboration with Eric Clapton on “Crossroads” (2004):

When two legends come together, magic happens. Abe’s drumming alongside Clapton’s guitar was a match made in musical heaven.

GRAMMY Awards Performance with Paul McCartney (2012):

A stage shared with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Joe Walsh. Abe’s drumming was the glue that held this star-studded performance together.

Each of these moments is a testament to Abe Laboriel Jr.’s prowess. Whether it’s a stadium filled with fans or an intimate studio session, Abe knows how to leave a mark.

Notable Collaborations


Abe’s collaboration with Sting is nothing short of legendary. Their synergy on stage? Electric. It’s a partnership that brought a fresh rhythm to Sting’s classics.

Eric Clapton:

When Abe teamed up with Clapton, magic happened. Their sessions produced some unforgettable beats. It’s a blend of rock and rhythm that only these two could pull off.

Stevie Wonder:

Abe and Stevie? A match made in musical heaven. Their combined talents gave birth to rhythms that resonated with souls worldwide. It’s a collaboration that’s etched in the annals of music history.

Paul McCartney:

Of course, we can’t forget Paul. Abe’s work with McCartney is iconic. From world tours to chart-topping albums, their partnership is a testament to Abe’s unparalleled drumming prowess.


Abe’s talent doesn’t stop there. He’s shared the stage with the likes of Johnny Hallyday, k.d. lang, and many more. Each collaboration showcases a new facet of his drumming genius.

Dive deeper, and you’ll find that Abe’s collaborations are a masterclass in drumming versatility. Every artist, every song, brings something unique to the table. And that’s the mark of a true drumming legend.

Abe Laboriel Jr. – Drummer For Paul McCartney Drum Kit


  • Collector’s Series Maple Shells
  • Gray Stain over Ebony Ivory Exotic
  • with Black Nickel Hardware
  • 20×28″ Bass Drum*
  • 8×14″ Striaght VLT (no hoops) Snare Drum
  • 12×15″(VLT w/3ply hoops) Rack Tom
  • 16×18″(X w/3ply hoops) Floor Tom
  • 16×20″(VLX w/3ply hoops) Floor Tom*

Pedals and Hardware

  • 5002AD4 Accelerator Double Pedal
  • 5500TD 2-leg Delta Hi-Hat Stand
  • 9300 Snare Drum Stand (x2)
  • 9710 Low Straight/Boom Cymbal Stand (x4)
  • DWSM912 1/2×18″ Cymbal Arm
  • DWSM9212 1/2×18″ C-Hat Arm w/MG-3
  • 9120AL Tractor AirLift Drum Throne



Abe plays his signature model made by Vic Firth.

Drummer for Paul McCartney drum kit


In one of his interviews, Abe mentions Jeff (likely referring to Jeff Porcaro) and his laid-back style that always seemed on the verge of slowing down but never did. 

He also mentions Gadd (Steve Gadd) and his consistent backbeats. Both these drummers, among others, have influenced Abe’s approach to drumming.


Abe Laboriel Jr. has a drumming style that’s both distinctive and versatile. It’s a blend of raw energy, intricate patterns, and deep musicality.

Big Drums, Big Sound. Abe’s preference for larger drums isn’t just about the visual appeal. Those big drums bring a low rumble, a sonic depth that sets him apart. When he hits that 26 or 28 drum, you’re not just hearing it; you’re feeling it.

The Art of the Backbeat. Think of Jeff Porcaro’s laid-back style or Steve Gadd’s consistent backbeats. Abe has taken inspiration from these legends, but he’s carved out his niche. His backbeats have a lush, deep quality, always on the verge of being laid-back but never losing momentum.

Playing to the Song. Above all, Abe’s style is about serving the music. Whether it’s a McCartney ballad or a rock anthem, he knows how to make the drums sing without overshadowing the song.

In essence, Abe’s drumming is a masterclass in balance: power with finesse, tradition with innovation. Every beat tells a story, and with Abe, it’s always a compelling one.


Abe Laboriel Jr. – Paul Mccartney’s drummer has graced the albums of many renowned artists with his drumming prowess. Here’s a quick overview of some of the biggest names he’s collaborated with:

  • Paul McCartney: Abe’s collaboration with Sir Paul is extensive. Notable albums include “Driving Rain” (2001), “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” (2005), “Memory Almost Full” (2007), “New” (2013), and “Egypt Station” (2018), among others.
  • Mylène Farmer: Abe has been a part of several of Farmer’s projects, including “Innamoramento” (1999), “Mylenium Tour” (2000), and “Best of Les Mots” (2002).
  • k.d. lang: He’s contributed to albums like “Drag” (1997) and “Invincible Summer” (2000).
  • Duran Duran: Abe played drums on their “Thank You” album in 1995.
  • Hanson: He was the drummer for their “Middle of Nowhere” album in 1997.
  • Ringo Starr: Abe provided drum samples for Starr’s “Got the Feeling” in 1997.
  • Shakira: He played drums on her “Laundry Service” album in 2001.
  • Kelly Clarkson: Abe was on the drums for Clarkson’s “Thankful” album in 2003.
  • Ashlee Simpson: He contributed to her “Autobiography” album in 2004.
  • Sheryl Crow: Abe played drums on Crow’s “Wildflower” album in 2005.
  • Eric Clapton & JJ Cale: He was part of “The Road to Escondido” album in 2006.

Personal Life

In terms of his relationships, as of 2023, Abe is single. While he’s had at least one known relationship in the past, he has not been previously engaged and does not have any children. 

Like many celebrities, Abe tends to keep his personal and love life away from the public eye, ensuring a level of privacy amidst his fame.

Beyond his relationships and musical journey, Abe is also a member of the music collective, Chocolate Genius, Inc. 

As he approaches his 53rd birthday, fans and followers continue to be intrigued by his life, both behind the drum kit and beyond.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Drum That