Greatest rock 'n roll drummers...
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markl

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These guys just shred. And what red-blooded American male doesn't love the sound of drums?

In no particular order off the top of my head:

John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. I mean, "duh"! This is a no brainer.

Keith Moon of the Who. Un-frickin' believable. Pete Townshend referred to Moon as our "lead drummer". It's rumored that a Keith Moon movie is in the works (he was an outrageous character who died much too young.)

Pete Thomas of the Attractions, Elvis Costello's backing band on his best recordings. The opening 5 seconds of "I don't want to go to Chelsea" are some of the best rock 'n roll drumming of all time.

Mark Brzezicki of Big Country. this is a "sleeper" candidate, but check out Big Country's first disc, The Crossing in all it's digitally remastered glory. Damn, this guy can play! He also played on some of The Cult's best recordings and was Pete Townshend's drummer for his solo material (standing in for Keith Moon!).

Phil Rudd of AC/DC. Who says you need to be flashy to be good? Juicy beats, played with heart.

Max Weiberg of Bruce Springstein's E-Steet band. He hits hard and crisp, and has an unmistakeable style.

There are more, let's hear from you.

Mark
 
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markl

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Doh! I forgot... Dave Grohl of Nirvana and lately playing drums for Queens of the Stone Age. Why oh why isn't he behind the drum kit in Foo Fighters? After playing drums live for QOTSA recently, he said he remembered he was "put on this earth to play drums". Let's hope he means it!

Mark
 
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markl

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Right on! How could I forget? Damn.., so many to choose from!!

Mark
 
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kerelybonto

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Neil Peart, definitely. Amazing what he can/could do.

I'm not real big on Bonzo for some reason. Zeppelin's my favorite band of all time, and Bonham put in some solid work and his style went real well with what the other three guys were doing -- but I don't think if you took him out of the band he'd be up at the top among rock drummers. I think my opinion might come from his solos -- I don't like them as much as some other drummers' stuff ... just not as fast and sharp, more of a power drummer. Of course, he did basically define what a rock drummer was for the next few decades. And he did some really diverse things behind his set. Okay, nevermind, he was a great drummer.

Dave Grohl did all the studio instrumentals on the Foo Fighters' first and best album, Foo Fighters, including the percussion. (Foo Fighters wasn't actually a band until they started touring -- it was just Dave.) He's just an amazing muscian all around, but he's also definitely a great drummer. It's just that it's kind of hard to be the lead singer in a rock band when you're pounding away at the back of the stage. Let's hope he keeps putting out music -- he's said for a long time that once he makes his stash, he's through.

kerely
 
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kerelybonto

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Oh, and how 'bout Ginger Baker. Had his Cream days in addition to the jazz and other stuff, so I guess he counts as a rock drummer. Put a lot of weird tempo and stuff in there. Fun to listen to, definitely.

kerely
 
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scottpaul_iu

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Cozy Powell - listen to Rainbow Rising and you will understand
Charlie Watts
Zak Starkey (Ringo's son) check out his playing with the Who.
Mick Fleetwood
Ian Paice - purple's drummer
 
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markl

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Charlie Watts-- Yes!!!! Simple, but oh so good!

Mark
 
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acs236

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I've been insanely impressed with Phil Collins drum playing... 70s Genesis era, of course.
 
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markl

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One could laugh at Phil Collins except for the totally *AWESOME* drum break in the middle of "In the Air Tonight". For that, we'll let you slide...


Mark
 
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tehpressman

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two of the best from the 90s were both of Primus' drummers
Tim "Herb" Alexander
Brian "Brain" Mantia (also did tons of work with Buckethead and other groups)

listen to Primus' earlier cds (Frizzle Fry, Suck On This)... Herb is amazing.
 
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neil

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Well, coming from a drummer, one of the greatest rock drummers has to be Neil Peart from Rush. Often people tend to overlook Peart because they say he's over-rated -- just turn on your best source, pop in your favorite Rush CD, warm up your amp, and your favorite Head-Fi-grade headphones and listen closely.. the man has incredible skill, the finest touch, and a style that has inspired many drummers because frankly most of his stuff was far ahead of its time (in pop-rock drumming terms). This, of course, is not taking anything away from other great rock drummers, such as Zeppelin's..

Smashing Pumpkins Jimmy Chamberlin - fantastic. Also has great touch, speed -- not nearly the tempo precision of Peart; however, I'm inclined to believe that they weren't playing to any sequenced/click tracks/metronome.


Tool Danny Carey - this guy made a deal with the devil. He's so damn good, that if you haven't heard the entire Lateralus yet, and you're into rock drumming, you're a very very deprived individual.
 
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Daemoth

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I think Danny Carey from Tool would be in the running. He has a very unique style that has definitely been a big part of Tool's sound.
 
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KR...

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Well, as far as Metal goes, which is a type of rock n' roll, Jan Axel Von Blomberg (aka Hellhammer) is the best drummer right now in extreme metal.

Also Martin Lopez from Opeth is also an amazing drummer.
 
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stymie miasma

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Mick Harris (Napalm Death) seems to get a lot of recognition as one of the founding fathers of the "blast beat". I haven't paid that much attention to Napalm Death, but his work on the Painkiller (Bill Laswell, John Zorn and Mick Harris) albums is impressive.

I'll also mention Mac McNeilly from the Jesus Lizard and Todd Trainer from Shellac. They probably won't go down in history books as 'greatest drummers', but I really like their style.

On the local (Melbourne/Australia) front, Cameron Potts (Peach Fuzz, Sandro, Crank, 99, Baseball amongst about 100 other bands) is a joy to watch and listen to behind the kit. I found this little piece from a review of a 99 gig:

"...as always, Cameron Potts was the man. Arms flailing, more bizarre facial expressions than a Jim Carrey movie, some shambolic but effective drum work."
 
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