Ringo, Graham Lear, Jeff Porcaro, Hal Blaine, John Bonham
...may as well chime in for the Rockabilly drummers.
The XTC drummers
The drummer on “Dawn” by the Four Seasons.
Being rhythmically disabled, I hardly feel qualified to judge, but most of the choices which come to mind have already been nonimated.
Of highly famous fellers, I do think nutty Bill Bruford should be mentioned, not least because he's the only musician I've heard of who received a writing credit for having the taste NOT to play during an improv that ended up on an album.
And Terry Bozzio might get a mention.
I've been very fortunate to have played almost always with really musical drummers throughout my non-career - guys who listen and play interactively with the band. (And I know not all drummers do that, because I've played with some of those too.)
So shoutouts here not only to Sammy Drumhead Tubwompus Hooff, but Keith Haystacks Burgess, Rick Hanby, my son Nathan, and Bob Howard. A steady groove is undoubtedly front-and-center important, but I'll forgive a little wander now and again if it comes along with that mysterious combination of dynamics and taste so often missing in mediocre drummers - and with creativity. Every one of these guys lives up to those criteria - and if any of them might wander (Sam doesn't), they do it musically and with the band.
Also, I'm sorry, but apropos of nothing, I've come back around to having not only nostalgic affection but genuine respect for Ron Bushy. Some of us of a certain age may have been introduced to the notion of a drum solo by "In A Gadda Da Vida." Yes, it was overplayed - then mocked as clichéd - and it stayed seriously unhip for decades.
But durned if it doesn't still seem to me a brilliantly effective and musically evocative interlude in that still surprisingly entertaining 17:05 excursion. It is a jam by not-particularly-technically-gifted and mostly very young players - but it's a good jam, it goes somewhere, and both the main theme and the shifting moods of the solo sections work as music.
Or maybe you had to be there at that party.
Nonetheless, more than one young drummer wanna-be, now in his 60s or older, took a lot of inspiration from Ron Bushy's methodically structured solo (plodding though it may be by higher-toned standards of sophistication and development).
My humble thanks to all of you who were so charitable as to mention me. You guys so rock.
BTW the drummer on “Dawn” by The Four Seasons was Buddy Saltzman.
In no particular order
Ringo - highly underrated by so many.
Ronnie Tutt- Kept Elvis in the groove from 68 til the end
Hal Blaine- so many songs, so little credit. A true Wrecking Crew stalwart.
Floyd Sneed- Three Dog Night's live shows included Floyd and some incredible showmanship, if you were into that sort of thing (as I was at the time)
Mel Taylor- Ventures influenced me to become both a guitar player AND a drummer by turns, so Mel's on my list.
My son, Sean
Ginger baker, Keith Moon,Mitch Mitchell, Philthy Animal Taylor, Spencer Dryden.
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