Top 5 Rock Drummers
I’ve always said that rock and roll is about kick drum and bass. Rhythm, after all, is the key definer of style. So it’s fitting that the first list I post is comprised of my favorite drummers from my world of rock.
1. Ringo Starr
My first obsession was with the Beatles. I started out a Paul fan, then switched to John and finally decided George is the guy. But I appreciate that Ringo was laying the groundwork for a generation of drummers to follow. His trademark end-of-phrase crash is a comfort and an inspiration to air drummers everywhere.
2. Stewart Copeland
In February of 1979, when Sky Daniels on Detroit’s W4 played “Roxanne” for the first time I dug it the most. What still strikes me about The Police is the prevalent hi-hat in their mixes. Stewart’s innovative use of the hi-hat defines this great band for me.
3. Bruce Gary
That’s right… from The Knack. I loved this band from the says go and I still do. Bruce’s tom-tom sound is unmistakable to me. I heard a “lost track” the other day and in the intro I knew it was The Knack from the first signature tom run.
4. Terry Chambers
Straying further onto the punk and New Wave paths, a friend turned me on to XTC. Terry’s eccentric takes on established power-pop rhythms, with extensive use of off-beat hits, still gets me counting and thigh-slapping. He is also amazingly flexible, effortlessly navigating the band’s many stylistic moods.
5. George Hurley
Bands like Minutemen defined what became known in the early 90s as “alternative.” George was a pioneer in the angular rhythm style that is a hallmark of 90s rock. Minutemen didn’t use a lot of odd time signatures, but George expertly makes it sound like they did.
So, there you go. To offer some perspective, I grew up in Detroit and was raised on AM pop music. As a tween in the early 70s, I gravitated to the album-oriented rock stations in our market. At 10-years old I received my first record as a gift – Donovan’s Greatest Hits. On my first trip to the record store on my bike at age 12, I picked up copies of Bob Seger’s Live Bullet and Steve Miller Band’s Fly Like an Eagle. I’ve gone on to trod a fairly diverse musical path, but rock is still my touchstone. That’s where I’m coming from.
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