Hugo Burnham was born on 25 March 1956, London. He is the drummer for the English rock group Gang of Four. Creem magazine's Dave DiMartino said in 1980 "Witness Hugo Burnham, a close-cropped, thickset out-and-out scary drummer who looks like his idea of fun might be pushing young American faces into old American brick walls." He continued, "watching the Gang Of Four perform at Bookie's Club 870 and realizing that as great as the records are, the band in live performance is even better. There's rhythm, always rhythm, provided by Burnham's steady drums and Dave Allen's absolutely superb funk basswork. Rolling Stone critic Greil Marcus wrote, "Hugo Burnham play(s) in an economical and precise yet propulsive style, giving the rhythm a piston-like drive." Burnham and Allen's rhythm section playing has been likened to a freight train, among other things.
After leaving the band in 1983, Hugo joined Illustrated Man, then worked as an occasional session drummer with Wall of Voodoo's Stan Ridgway, ABC, PiL, Nikki Sudden, and Samantha Fox, before joining his former G4 bandmate Dave Allen with Shriekback, serving as that band's manager from 1985 until 1988, when he moved from London, UK to New York City in the United States, to open an office for his company Huge & Jolly Management.
He subsequently worked as an A&R executive with Island Records in New York, Imago Records in New York and Los Angeles, Qwest Records in Los Angeles, and finally EMI Music Publishing in Los Angeles. He reunited briefly with G4's bassist Allen to play on The Call leader Michael Been's solo album "On The Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough". After leaving EMI Music, he returned to artist management with Deathray (featuring former members of rock group Cake, Victor Damiani and Greg Brown), then left Los Angeles for Gloucester, Massachusetts at the end of 1998, adding Little Red Rocket (see Azure Ray), and Boston rock group C60, (whose album he produced with engineer Matthew Ellard) to the Huge & Jolly Management roster.
Gang of Four's original line-up reunited in 2005, with Burnham telling Rolling Stone "It would be folly to go out and try to foist new music on people... What resonates is the old stuff, and we need to go out and do that. After all, the crux of it is the four of us onstage playing, making loud rude noises and running around furiously." He also told the New York Times' Jon Pareles, "I knew we could do it, when I saw we all still had our hair."
He spent much of 2005 and 2006 making such loud rude noises and won (with the band) Mojo magazine's " Inspiration to Music" & the U "LifeTime achievement in Music" awards.
Hugo completed his Masters degree in Education from Cambridge College in 2006. He is an Associate Professor at the New England Institute of Art in Boston, and is to teach as an adjunct faculty member at Endicott College in Massachusetts.
Web site: His Gang days are behind him. The Boston Globe. 2008-10-24.