|Who is it?||Drummer|
|Birth Day||July 15, 1948|
|Birth Place||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Age||72 YEARS OLD|
|Birth name||Thomas Delmer Pyle|
|Associated acts||Lynyrd Skynyrd, Artimus Pyle Band|
Pyle was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of homemaker Mildred "Midge" Pyle (née Williams; 1925-2008) and Clarence "Del" Pyle (1921-1971), a construction superintendent who was awarded a Purple Heart after being shot in the leg while serving with the U.S. Marines in the South Pacific during World War Two. Both his parents had roots in the Jamestown, Tennessee area, and he is a distant cousin of World War One hero Alvin York. Through his maternal grandmother, he can trace his ancestry to Claus Koger (1572-1630), a bailiff who lived in the German town of Weil am Rhein. Pyle had a younger sister, Marilyn (1953-2016). Known as “Tommy” throughout his childhood, Pyle graduated from Eastmoor High School, in Columbus, Ohio, in 1966, and studied for a year at Tennessee Technological University where classmates dubbed him "Artimus" on account of his boyish face. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968. He was named platoon and series honorman and promoted to private first class following completion of boot camp in San Diego. Eyeing a career in civil aviation, Pyle worked as an avionics mechanic at various military bases, including Millington, Tennessee, and Beaufort, South Carolina, ultimately rising to the rank of sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1971, after his father was killed  in a mid-air collision with a U.S. Air Force B-57 weather reconnaissance bomber over New Mexico.
Pyle joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1974, initially playing alongside—and then replacing—original Drummer Bob Burns. He made his recording debut in August of that year on "Saturday Night Special", which became the first single from the band's third album, Nuthin' Fancy. Pyle said he was crying as he pounded the drums because he had just settled his family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration earlier that day. In addition to Nuthin' Fancy, Pyle also played on the albums Gimme Back My Bullets, One More from the Road, and Street Survivors.
He survived the 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant, Guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie Gaines, who was one of the backing vocalists, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, and the two pilots. Pyle suffered a torn chest cartilage, but he and two other survivors managed to stumble several hundred yards through a creek and a freshly plowed field to a farmhouse to get help. The appearance of Pyle and his companions alarmed the farmer, Johnny Mote, who fired a warning shot over Pyle's head, according to Pyle. A bullet fragment lodged in Pyle's shoulder (the farmer has denied shooting at Pyle). The misunderstanding was quickly cleared up after Pyle shouted that there had been a plane crash, and the farmer helped him inside his house. About the same time, local rescuers, who had just completed a Civil Defense drill, converged on the scene and Pyle directed them to the crash site where the dead and the injured were located.
On January 13, 1979, the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for Charlie Daniels’ fifth annual Volunteer Jam concert in Nashville. They played an instrumental version of “Free Bird”. (Bassist Leon Wilkeson watched from the wings because he was still unable to play.)
In 1982, Pyle began recording and touring with the Artimus Pyle Band (A.P.B.), including Darryl Otis Smith, John Boerstler, Steve Brewington, and Steve Lockhart. A.P.B.'s albums include A.P.B. (1981), Nightcaller (1983) and Live from Planet Earth (2000).
Pyle took part in the Skynyrd Tribute tour and joined the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd in recording Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 before departing the band during a show in Toronto on August 2, 1991. In a radio interview with Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax on The FOX in Denver, Colorado on the 20th anniversary of the crash, Pyle said, "I left the band in 1991 basically because there was a Problem with drugs and alcohol and I felt as though we should have put all that stuff behind us years and years ago."
In 1993, Pyle was charged with alleged attempted capital sexual battery and lewd assault on two girls. He strongly denied the charges, and claimed the girls had been abused by people connected to babysitters in a Jacksonville mobile home park who held a grudge against him. Moreover, he claimed the allegations were an attempt to extort money from the Lynyrd Skynyrd organization. During extensive legal depositions, Pyle's attorneys showed that various law enforcement and welfare workers in Jacksonville had misreported the allegations and were unqualified to ascertain child abuse. Under cross-examination, the girls' mother admitted that she had not seen Pyle abuse the girls. In one instance, it emerged that the girls had been influenced by self-help books and tapes about abusive fathers. With time and money running out weeks before the trial was due to start in January 1994, Pyle reluctantly pleaded no contest rather than risk a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment if found guilty in a jury trial. He was sentenced to probation and required to register as a sex offender. In 2007, Pyle was arrested for alleged failure to register as a sex offender in St. Johns County, Florida, after officials lost the change-of-address form he had sent them when he and his young family moved to North Carolina. He rejected a plea bargain offer, and was acquitted by a jury in 2009.
In 2004, Pyle recorded four studio tracks on Southern Rock band Rambler's album First Things First with vocalist Pat Terranova, Guitarist Mitch Farber, Bassist Willy Lussier and acoustic Guitarist and vocalist Rikki Cuccia. In 2007, he toured with the band Deep South, whose lineup also included Wet Willie vocalist Jimmy Hall and former Atlanta Rhythm Section members Robert Nix and Dean Daughtry.
In 2007, Pyle released the album Artimus Venomus on Storm Dog Records Group/Cleopatra Records. Several of the tunes referenced his personal tribulations, including “Blood Sucking Weasel Attorneys” and “Dead Rock Stars, Widows, Gigolos, Pocket Money.” Guests included Ed King and former Lynyrd Skynyrd backing Singers Jo Jo Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins.
In 2014, Pyle was a guest performer on Eli Cook's album, Primitive Son.
In October 2017 Pyle was going to publish his memoir, "Street Survivor: Keeping the Beat in Lynyrd Skynyrd", cowritten with Journalist Dean Goodman, through Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard. However, the above lawsuit has kept the book from being published indefinitely.
Pyle plays in several bands in the Asheville, North Carolina area. He also tours the United States with a new incarnation of the Artimus Pyle Band that plays Lynyrd Skynyrd tunes note-for-note faithful to the recorded versions. Former Lynyrd Skynyrd member Ed King has instructed Pyle’s bandmates on the original chords and tunings.