1. Keith Moon – The Who
In just a few short years Keith Moon managed to leave a huge impression on rock music. In frantic, face paced and unrestrained style gave The Who their signature undisciplined sound. He was a drummer who had truly mastered the art of the fill, flying across his ever expanding kit at inhuman speeds. Sadly he passed away far too early (he was only 32) leaving a drum kit shaped void in rock music.
2. John Henry Bonham – Led Zeppelin
This list has not been complied in any particular order, but if it had, John Bonham may very well have been in the top position. The legendary drummer of Led Zeppelin is recognised as one of the greatest drummers to grace the earth. His real strength as a drummer was in his rhythm. He could manage the fancy stuff too, with ease in fact, but no one can lay down a steady yet brilliant beat like Bonham. Just listen to the beginning of When the Levee Breaks and tell me that’s not one hell of a beat:
3. Daniel Edwin Carey – Tool
Prog rock drummer Daniel Carey undoubtedly owes a lot to the aforementioned Keith Moon. Moon started the trend for progressive rock drummers to adopt gigantic kits featuring everything and anything you can hit with a drum stick. Carey can typically be seen playing a kit that includes a dizzying array of cymbals, two bass drums and more. A dedicated drummer Carey is constantly seeking new techniques and styles of drummer.
4. Travis Barker – Blink 182
After achieving mainstream success with Blink 182 Barker said “I can finally buy a dog and afford to feed him”. A humble goal for a man who has become one of the most respected drummers of his genre. Starting out with high-tempo pop-punk beats, Barker graduated to hip-hop later in his career. His drumming is fast, intense and has inspired a generation.
5. Terry John Bozzio – Frank Zappa
Another drummer with a massive drum kit, only Terry’s might well be the biggest! Best known for his innovative jazz-fusion drumming with Frank Zappa, with whom he has released 26 albums, Bozzio is a wizard behind a drum kit. Below is a video of Terry performing at the Guitar Centre in L.A. The video shows you all you need to know:
6.Neil Peart – Rush
NeilPeart is the drummer for progressive rock band Rush. He drew most of his inspiration from drummers such as Keith Moon and John Bonham, players who were at the forefront of the British hard rock scene. As time passed, he began to emulate jazz and big band musicians Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.
7. Dave Lombardo – Slayer
Lombardo is probably the fastest of many extremely fast drummers. His double bass drum kick is unbeaten in its rapidity. He has been described as the most influential metal drummer to come to prominence during the last 30 years and has proven his speed and versatility time and again while playing with Slayer.
8. Dave Grohl – Nirvana – Foo Fighters
We best know Dave for being the pragmatic front man of the Foo Fighters but Dave’s claim to fame is for being the bombastic drummer for Nirvana. Grohls hard hitting crazy Keith Moon styled drumming helped make Nirvana one of the biggest rock bands ever.
9. Stewart Copeland – The Police
Stewart was the drummer for the British rock band the Police. With his uniqueness of style and distinct drum sound he is one of the most popular drummers to ever get behind a drumset. Copeland has also produced film and video game soundtracks and written various pieces of music for ballet, opera and orchestra. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Police in 2003, the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013.
10. Josh Freese – The Vandals – NIN
Formerly the live drummer for Nine Inch Nails, Josh Freese is a permanent member of the Californian punk rock band The Vandals and the band Devo. He keeps a simple set up when it comes to his drum kit, though it depends for whom he is playing. He has been named the Bruce Lee of Drums, why exactly is unclear to me – perhaps someone out there can enlighten me? Nevertheless, he’s an awesome drummer….watch…