From Grand Prix to Grand Piano

7/17/2009 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Yamaha Provides the Backline for MotoGP Circuit Racer James Toseland and His Band Crash at Laguna Seca Raceway

James Toseland & Crash Perform at Laguna Seca
Crash drummer pounds on an Oak Custom kit.
BUENA PARK, Calif.—For his day job, MotoGP racer James Toseland pushes his Yamaha YZR-M1 bike to speeds up to 200 mph. To unwind, the classically trained pianist likes to let loose on the keys and enjoys performing with his pop-rock cover band Crash.

Toseland races for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team on the MotoGP circuit, the pinnacle of motorcycle road racing, which features the world's top racers and fastest bikes in 17 Grand Prix contests held in 16 countries from March to October.

In addition to competing at the Red Bull U. S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca, Calif. over the July 4th weekend, Toseland and Crash performed in front of around a thousand music fans. Yamaha's Pro Audio & Combo division provided a full backline of pro-quality instruments, including an SBG2000 electric guitar, a CPX900 acoustic-electric guitar, a Billy Sheehan Signature bass guitar, a set of Oak Custom drums and Paiste cymbals and a CP33 stage piano, played by Toseland.

James Toseland & Crash Perform at Laguna Seca
Toseland leads the band on a pleasant evening.
Yamaha also set up a hands-on booth where Yamaha's Pro Audio & Combo division set up several instruments for race-goers to play including a DTXPRESS IV Special and a DTXTREME III Special electronic drum kits.

The Yamaha Corporation is, of course, the only motorcycle manufacturer that also produces a complete line of musical instruments. In fact, the company's logo - consisting of three interlocking tuning forks - pays homage to the company's early roots, which stretch back to the 1880's, when founder Torakusu Yamaha developed the first reed organ in Asia. By 1904, the company produced award-winning pianos. Yamaha first developing motorcycles in the 1950's and began selling its motorcycles through dealers in the United States beginning in 1960.

The Yamaha Corporation, based in Hamamatsu, Japan, owns several subsidiaries in the United States, including Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A, which carries an ever-expanding line of motorcycles, outboard motors, ATVs, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, boats, outdoor power equipment, race kart engines, accessories and apparel; the Yamaha Corporation of America, which carries a full line of musical instruments and sound reinforcement products; Yamaha Electronics Corporation, U.S.A., which sells home audio and video products; and Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc., which sells commercial audio equipment in the United States.

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