Floyd Sneed, the Canadian drummer who powered a string of 1970s chart-makers with the band Three Dog Night and provided back-up vocals for one of its biggest hits, died Jan. 27. He was 80.
His death was announced on the band’s Facebook page. A cause of death was not specified.
“Three Dog Night is saddened to learn of the passing of Floyd Sneed,” the band statement reads. “Floyd was an absolutely wonderful human being, a complete original and a sweetheart of a man. He was also an extraordinarily unique drummer who brought so much to Three Dog Night’s sound. Floyd broke many barriers both musically and culturally; he also influenced countless other drummers with his amazing technique. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the band and the many musicians, artists and others he inspired throughout his life. Rest in Peace Floyd.”
Born in Alberta, Canada, Sneed took up drumming at an early age, eventually playing in local bands with friend and then-brother-in-law Tommy Chong. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1966, and two years later joined vocalists Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron and Cory Wells in the new band Three Dog Night. He remained with the band until the mid-1970s during its first and most successful incarnation. He rejoined the group briefly in the early 1980s.
Among the band’s hits during Sneed’s first tenure were “Easy To Be Hard” and “Eli’s Coming” (both 1969), “An Old Fashioned Love Song” and “Never Been to Spain” (1971) and “Shambala” (1973). In addition to drumming, Sneed provided back-up vocals on the band’s signature song, 1971’s “Joy To The World.”
Information on survivors was not immediately available.