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Not Every Drummer Needs To Be Keith Moon...

Published: Thu October 02, 2008  News Feed

Of course, the story rock'n'roll is full of drummers who turned drumming into a whole spectacle on its own: Keith Moon, John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Neil Peart...but here's a look at some cool rock'n'roll drummers who you'd never expect a ten minute drum solo from...

The crazy, wacky, multi-limbed drummer has become almost a rock'n'roll cliché. But not everyone likes drum solos and not everyone wants to be a Keith Moon...so here's a look at some drummers who achieved success going the opposite direction!

If you think you don't have what it takes to be a drummer...think again. Someone once said "Anyone Can Play Guitar". Well, maybe anyone can play drums, too...

1) Ringo Starr

Ringo was an essential part of the Beatles. Despite the well-known quote that "Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in The Beatles", his character was perhaps the gel that glued the Beatles, and he is well-known as a drummer of impeccable timing and subtlety. Furthermore, he inspired thousands of kids to pick up the drumsticks instead of the guitar. Many great drummers who came after him would mention him as an inspiration.

2) Charlie Watts

The perpetually bored-looking jazz drummer is the heart of The Rolling Stones. The Greatest Rock'N'Roll Band Of All Time wouldn't be the same without his classy, precise drumming. Once, according the legend, Watts punched Mick Jagger for calling him "his drummer". Watts reportedly shouted: "you're the singer in my band!". He is cool...

3) Mo Tucker

Velvet Underground was one of the most revolutionary bands of the sixties, with their dark lyrics, use of noise and, in Mo Tucker, found their perfect drummer:  raw and basic, stripped of any unnecessary sound and adding more menace and originality to the songs. Listen to any VU live recording after she left the band, when they turned to a "proper" drummer, and the songs simply don't sound as good. A proof that less sometimes is more!

4) Bobby Gillespie

Before finding fame as the lead singer in Primal Scream, Bobby Gillespie was the drummer of The Jesus And Mary Chain, and recorded with them their classic debut album "Psychocandy". Picking up from where Mo Tucker left, Gillespie was arguably the coolest member of JAMC, playing drums standing up with his face covered in hair. His simple drumming style was definitely one of the key features in the Jesus And Mary Chain sound, who, like Velvet Underground, never sounded as good once they hired a better drummer!

5) Meg White

The White Stripes simply wouldn't be the same without her. The White Stripes are Jack & Meg, after all, and thus, her very basic drumming is as important as Jack White's many talents. She gives an edginess to their sound, and more space for Jack White's guitar. Listen to any White Stripes song, and try to imagine them with better drumming - it wouldn't work. Their beauty lies in their powerful simplicity.

6) Caroline McKay

Glasvegas are currently one of the top-selling acts in Britain, described by the NME as "the UK's Best Loved Indie Band". And drummer Caroline McKay, a Velvet Underground fan, takes her cue from, yes, Mo Tucker again, and adds a simplicity that only helps to highlight this band's powerful lyrics and melodies.

Check out Drums & Percussion at Dolphin Music.

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