Video: The greatest performance in rock history?

posted at 4:40 pm on June 5, 2010 by Allahpundit

Dude: John Bonham, Keith Moon, and this guy.

How long have you played drums, and how did you hone your style?
I started when I was about six years old and pretty much what happened, I was always into guys like Keith Moon and Gene Krupa and that sort of player, the visual kind of players. But it didn’t do me any good — even though I could play drums I was totally unable to access any of that. Until I first saw Tommy Lee with Mötley Crüe — he’s a great drummer, don’t get me wrong, but he did spins and twirls that I could do. I couldn’t do them as good as Tommy Lee and I still can’t, but as far as making an attempt at it, it was like, I could do that! So I watched a lot of Tommy Lee and then went out on a gig one day and when I finally worked it up I twirled my drumstick and a bunch of people in the audience pointed at me. So at the age of 12 or 13, whatever it was, I literally just went, “Ah ok, I get it!” And I started doing silly things, things that weren’t necessarily difficult — like if you lift your foot in the air or make a funny face, that’s not technically challenging but it would make people point. So a quote I’ve used for the last 20 or 30 years, “People hear with their eyes.” They really do.

Here’s his website. Somewhere, Chris Farley is smiling.

Breaking on Hot Air



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Krupa, Rich, Blakey, DeJohnette…
lexhamfox on June 6, 2010 at 6:59 PM

I agree. Rock drummers can’t hold a candle to Jazz and “Fusion” drummers.

It’s not how hard or fast that counts. It’s the ability to improvise on the fly and make the total listening experience soar by skillfully accenting.

Last year I seen RTF with Lenny White, now 60 years old, on drums. He still has the same “chops” he had when I seen him over 30 years ago with the same band, Return To Forever. But you can notice minor changes in his style because of age and I think arthritis. But if you closed your eyes it sounded like the vinyl’s I have from the 70’s.

lexhamfox on June 6, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Just as with movies I can’t pick a fav drummer. But the drummers you mentioned are in my top 50 list.

Bill Blizzard on June 6, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Blizzard – holy crap! No one ever talks about RTF anymore, but when I saw them at the Auditorium in Chicago (1980?), it was Chick, Stanley Clark, Al D, and Lenny White, and White was astonishing.

But I like all of the finesse fusion and rock drummers. Tattooed clowns like Lee and the rock noisemakers do nothing for the art. Give me Dennis Bradford from the 1970s Jeff Lorber Fusion any day.

Steely Dan played Chicago last fall with Keith Carlock doing the songs that several different studio players originally recorded for the band — Steve Gadd, Jeff Porcaro, Jim Hodder, Bernie Purdy, Rick Marotta. Carlock has played for Sting and John Mayer, but don’t hold that against him – he’s a phenomenal drummer.

Jaibones on June 7, 2010 at 12:20 AM

And a drummer who is musical as hell, and subtle~ as well as cymballically surreal.

Micheal Giles.

profitsbeard on June 7, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Bob Crane played the drums pretty well.

AaronGuzman on June 7, 2010 at 1:16 AM

You must play lead guitar, lead guitarists don’t like to have their spotlight stolen…

Liberty or Death on June 5, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Nope. I’m a working drummer who understands that you make more money if you don’t stomp all over the other dudes when it’s their turn. It’s just rude. It’s like the singer going and dancing around right in front of the pianist during his solo. Or like the time Charlie Daniels’ drummer started his sound check WHILE WE WERE STILL PLAYING THE LAST TUNE IN OUR SET. If it hadn’t been a last minute gig 500 miles away from my own equipment, I would have had an extra stick to hurl into his eye socket. What a jerk.

Mephistefales on June 7, 2010 at 3:29 AM

One more vote for Mike Portnoy. From the LTE stuff to the Dream Theater stuff to the myriad side projects he’s done – it’s all super fitting. Some players take drum solos – but when you’re MP, you don’t need to, because most everything is on that level.

As for the whole “you can’t rock if you’re technically proficient” debate; get a life. Seriously. If you’ve never moved on from 4/4, you have some growing to do…

Free Indeed on June 7, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Moon was the greatest live rock drummer ever. No one even comes close. Listen to “Live and Leeds” – greatest live rock album hands down.

WillT on June 5, 2010 at 7:07 PM

I have the Who Live at the Isle of Wight Festival and love it. I would kill to have been able to see them live back then. Keith Moon is my favorite rock drummer, and Daltry has, in my opinion, one of the best voices in Rock.

Dork B. on June 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM

The greatest performance in rock history?


Confederate on June 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM

my vote for best “live” drumming album. All The Worlds A Stage”. Balls out supersonic youthful Peart unloading trips and quads in perfect time throughout. In my view, the best drum solo ever recorded too. It was like a fireworks display, with a sonic grand finale. But, there will always be those who simply dont like Rush music. I believe its because they cant comprehend the technical foundations of it, as there is no much “groove”, or dancy beat, ie, truly full of “mystic rhythems” that arent easily appreciated. Simple people like simple things. Back to original subject, this drummer puts on a great show, what he is doing is difficult as far as aspects of spinning, twirling, coordination and not missing a beat, or even dropping a stick. Musically, or should I say from a percussion perspective, its a very simpple, almost boring song to play, so I givbe him Kudos for spicing it up and as a drummer, I absolutely envy his skills as far as stick tricks go. He deserves credit for that.

CriticalUpdate on June 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM

This was great performance art that incidentally was darned good drumming.

theCork on June 7, 2010 at 4:41 PM

This guy is also a great drummer.

Conservative Samizdat on June 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM