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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It all starts with the drums. This much I have learned.

When I first got hooked on Rock and Roll, my favorite drummer was this guy:

Peter Criss as he appeared on his 1978 solo album

When I listen Kiss now, I wonder how Ace, Gene and Paul put up with Peter's playing, about the only thing he did well was play solos, and I hate drum solos.

A few years later I got turned on to a record called '2112' by a Canadian trio called Rush, and this guy:

Neil Peart

Now, Neil is 'The Professor', and he is the undisputed king of Rock drumming, but he's a bit busy for my taste, though his style fits perfectly with his band, I'd be more inclined to jam with this guy:


Charlie is the king of the 'on beat'. No flash, no frills, just hitting the skins, always in time. You can count on Charlie, as Keith has for forty years.

In my 'Metal Years' I was a big fan of this guy:


Clive Burr (Iron Maiden 79-83) was very creative, and keeping up w/ Steve Harris (Bass) was a job in itself. I liked Clive's approach and distictive style. Unfortunatley he had to bail on Maiden due to illness.

Then there was Les Binks (far right):

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Les was the best drummer Judas Priest ever had. He played on their best three records: 'Stained Class', 'Hell Bent For Leather', and 'Unleashed In The East', and then they sacked him!

"...Even as great as Les was, after those few albums, we wanted to go after something a little more simple and harder,..”
- Rob Halford, EDGE magazine, May 2003

"I think he went into a vegetarian clinic in New Mexico. We haven't seen him since. The only way that you can find out is sometimes large areas of bean plantations have been attacked in the night, and we think that that's Les."
- Glenn Tipton, Goldmine magazine, June 5, 1998

I always thought they should have stuck with Les, but given what Priest would become in the mid eighties, maybe judgment wasn't a strong suit for Halford and company.

I'd say my third all-time favorite drummer is this guy (again, far right):

Dallas 'Digger' Royall, late of Rose Tattoo, and the earth. Dallas was as tight as the day was long. When I listen to the Tatts, I can't help but zero in on Digger's kick. Dallas was truly a groove engine.

Number Two(Far left):


Brian Downey is the most under-rated drummer (at least on this side of the pond) that I can think of. His work with Thin Lizzy is a testament to groove. He has great chops ('Bad Reputation') and great feel ('Fight Or Fall'), he's the complete package.

And.....my # 1 drummer of all time is.........

Brain Shivers own Rob Machold. Cross Peart with Downey, you get Machold.

And the guy knows science like nobody else I've been told...
Bob Lefsetz thinks drummers are no long necessary since his beloved Apple computer can keep better time and besides, the MAC can sound just like real drums. No sense "whining" about it. Drummers need to embrace the new technology and get over it. Maybe they can all get work programming drums instead of playing them.
Bob also said that he used to be really into live drumming, but there's just no use for it now.
I'm really pleased that you included Brian Downey. Otherwise all that groovin in Bruxelles kitchen would have been for nought.
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