Ramon “Tiki” Fulwood (May 23, 1944 – October 29, 1979) was an American musician. He was the drummer for the funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic, as well as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Tiki was known for his loud, hard hitting and raw drumming, and his versatility in tempo.
Fulwood was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1944. He worked a paper route as a youth and when becoming seriously interested in the drums, he found inspiration in the legendary Motown drummer, Richard Pistol Allen. In the late 1960s, Fulwood was the house drummer for the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia when he met guitarist Eddie Hazel. Hazel and bassist Billy Bass Nelsonwere on tour as musical support for the doo wop vocal group The Parliaments. Hazel and Nelson convinced group leader George Clinton to add Fulwood to the group, where he replaced drummer Harvey McGee. Fulwood, Hazel, and Nelson formed the core of The Parliaments musical backing group, which later became known as Funkadelic. Fulwood first quit Funkadelic in 1971 following a pay dispute with Clinton, but played with Parliament-Funkadelic sporadically thereafter.
He alongside his Funkadelic cohorts contributed heavily to Ruth Copeland’s first two albums, Self Portrait and I Am What I Am. It is believed Hazel asked him to return full time in 1973. Besides Tyrone Lampkin, a fellow P-Funk drummer, Fulwood returned as the main drummer from 1974-1975. Jerome Brailey replaced Fulwood after he had gotten into a serious altercation with Clinton over compensation. Despite no longer being the premier drummer, Tiki however was featured on Parliament-Funkadelic related side projects, such as Brides of Funkenstien, Bootsy’s Rubberbandand Eddie Hazel. Tiki also drummed on tracks by Jeannie Reynolds, Brother Robert and CJ and Co.
Fulwood also played drums in the Tyrone Davis band and the Chairmen of the Board between stints with P-Funk, and later was briefly employed by Miles Davis. He moved to Washington, D.C to form his own band with the help of his neighbor Wilbur Harris, whom he was mentoring. Around 1977 or so, they recorded much material that is still unreleased to this day. Fulwood died of stomach cancer in late 1979 at age 35 after a year’s diagnosis. His parents had also succumbed to this family ailment in the early 1970’s. In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked Fulwood at no. 39 in its 100 greatest drummers of all time, and in 2013 Spin named ranked him at no. 76 in its 100 greatest drummers of alternative music. When the P-Funk collective was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, Tiki’s daughter accepted his award in memory of him.