The drums. The spine and pulse of a band. A bad drummer can lose an audience complete. A good drummer can keep the flow going and keep the band together. A great drummer completely owns the music and the stage.
Recently Rolling Stone Magazine did a poll of their readers to pick the Top 10 Drummers of All Time. Again this is strictly according to readers...but I gotta say... I pretty much agree with them. This is a badass list. Complete with their commentary. Good job Rolling Stone.
10. Michael Shrieve
"The musical highlight of the original Woodstock concert in 1969 may as well be Santana's 10-minute performance of "Soul Sacrifice". Drummer Michael Shrieve holds the whole thing togogether, and Santana was never quiet the same after he left in 1974. Since then he has worked with Sammy Hagar, Todd Rundgren and many others-but he will remain best known for Santana. Fans long for his return to the group, but earlier this year Santana married his current drummer Cindy Blackman, making Shrieve's return even more unlikely then before."
9. Ginger Baker
"Before John Bonham and Neil Peart there was Ginger Baker, Creams legendary drummer who practically invented the rock drum solo. Since Cream broke up in 1968 he became deeply interested in world music, but in 2005 he returned with Cream for concerts in London and New York. Many had written him off for dead before those shows, but as he demonstrated with his famous "Toad" solo every night, he still had the goods-even if time had slowed him down a bit."
my personal favorite
"At this point there are few famous musicians that Roots drummer Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson hasn't performed with. From jamming with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo to his stint as the band leader of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he's had more chances to play with the greats than nearly anybody else in the business. For one of the countless amazing things he's done, check him out filling in the big shoes of Max Weinberg on "Because the Night" with Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt last year. "
7. Stewart Copeland
"Stewart Copeland has been more influenced by jazz drummers than rock drummers, even though he's the drummer in one of the most successful rock groups of all time. He is powerful but has a subtle genius to him, The Police have benefited from this their entire career. "
6. Buddy Rich
"Widely considered one of the greatest jazz drummer of all time, Buddy Rich played with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. He continued to play until shortly before his death in 1987, and his skills were fully intact until the end."
5. Ringo Starr
"Ringo wasn't a flashy drummer, and he saved his only drum solo in The Beatles for the final song on their final album. Here's the audio from Ringo's big moment in "The End" from Abbey Road."
4. Dave Grohl
"Before joining Nirvana Dave Grohl played drums in local bands Freak Baby and Scream. The Foo Fighters have taken much of his time in the past 15 years, but he's made time to get back behind the kit in Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. Here are some cool Grohl-central clips from Nirvana's final years to remind you. "
3. Neil Peart
"To Rush's army of fans any name at the top of this list other than Neil's is surely sacrilegious, though it's likely that Peart himself would be more than happy to see his name at Number Three. Of course, no Rush concert is complete without a Peart drum solo. "
2. Keith Moon
"Keith Moon's wild-man drum style was part of The Who's DNA, ad they haven't sounded the same since he died in 1978. To get an idea of how amazing he was in The Who's early days, check out this live performance of "So Sad About Us" from 1967."
1. John Bonham
"Last weekend we asked our readers to name the greatest drummers of all time. Everybody from Eric Carr to Animal from The Muppets got votes, but Led Zeppelin's John Bonham led the list by a significant margin. Here's his legendary "Moby Dick" drum solo from The Song Remains The Same."