My Favorite Drummers

This is my top ten favorite drummers…I’m sure I’m going to leave some great ones out. Like guitarists, I like drummers with feel more than technique. Anyone who has read this blog knows who my number 1 is without question…

1…Keith Moon, The Who – It’s hard if not impossible to copy this man’s drumming style. He changed the Who completely and was their engine. I’m not a drummer so I really never cared like some drummers do if he played by the rules in drumming…Was he disciplined? No, but it worked well for him and for the songs. Songs like Bargain and Goin’ Mobile are great examples of Keith.

Related image

2…John Bonham, Led Zeppelin – Without Bonham, there is no Led Zeppelin as we know them. He was the ultimate groove drummer. He was a bricklayer and had hard hands and hit the drums incredibly hard but with a light touch also.

Related image

3…Levon Helm, The Band – Not only was he a great drummer but also a soulful singer. He brought something many drummers didn’t… a bit of the old south.

Related image

4…Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones – Charlie and Ringo made their respective groups swing. Charlie can play blues, rock, big band, and jazz. Charlie and his rhythm section partner Bill Wyman were overlooked being in the same band with Mick and Keith. On top of his drumming skills…Charlie grounds the band much like Ringo did for the Beatles.

Related image

5…Ringo Starr, The Beatles – He was not Moon or Bonham in flash but he played exactly what was needed…He could have gone overboard and the songs would have suffered. He played for the song. Some have called him the human metronome. I cannot imagine any other drummer for The Beatles. His tom tom work on Sgt Pepper alone is excellent.

Image result for ringo starr drumming 1968

6…Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix Experience – Any holes left in Jimi’s music would be quickly filled in by Mitch. He was a jazz drummer who fused it into rock.

Image result for mitch mitchell

7…Ginger Baker, Cream – If this was a list of “likable people” Ginger would not be in the top 1000 but his drumming was some of the best of the sixties and I’m sure he would say “ever”… He was as big of part of Cream’s sound as Clapton or Bruce.

Image result for ginger baker

8…Bobby Elliot, Hollies – Drummer from the Hollies that other drummers have admired. He hit the drums hard and his fills were great… He is often overlooked but he is always spot on.

Image result for bobby elliott drumming

9…Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Nirvana – He can play anything… He fuels those Nirvana songs…and is really great at whatever instrument he plays.

Image result for dave grohl drumming

10…Clem Burke, Blondie – An exciting drummer that was heavily influenced by number 1 on this list. He has played with Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie.

Image result for Clem Burke


Honorable Mention

Gene Krupa, Buddy Miles, Mick Fleetwood, Max Weinberg, “D.J.” Fontana, Benny Benjamin, Stewart Copeland, and Hal Blaine.

Yes, I know… No Neil Peart…yes he is a great drummer…just not my style of music.




Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

42 thoughts on “My Favorite Drummers”

    1. Oh Palmer is great. I don’t listen a lot to ELP…that is the only reason he is not on my list here. He plays more of progressive rock….and all of those guys in that band are great…. It’s like Rush and YES…they are great musicians.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Enjoyed the list. #1 is my sentimental fave, tied with Ringo. I’m also gaining a soft spot for Ginger Baker, thanks to his Facebook page. Charlie Watts is amazing for staying consistent and avoiding the drama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to check out Ginger Baker’s page. I’ve heard horror stories about him on top of “Beware of Mr. Baker”… Great drummer though.


      1. When he shoved that cane…I lost it lol.
        I just don’t understand why he hated Jack so much. I loved the documentary.


      2. I just saw his facebook page…it was pretty cool thanks for telling me.

        I know why Eric wanted out…being between those two. It really is a shame.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes just not my kind of music either…what was the old classic they did a few years ago? I am thinking it was a Chuck Berry cover or something on that order- if they had said this was a group from Neptune covering Chuck I would have believed it- a terrible cover. Just not their style.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are just not very adaptable. They are who they are with Lee’s voice. I cannot for the life of me remember what the song was..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You know that would be perfect because tomorrow I’m doing bass players the following day singers and Tuesday I will do that If you are not planning to.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No that would be awesome. I was in the car earlier today thinking of your guitarist list and thought- I wonder what his songwriter list would look like!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for your help…that will the best one… I’m already thinking about it… would you separate Lennon and McCartney after you list them as a team? Or for that case any other team?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t see why they couldn’t be listed separately- as in their solo careers. sure. same with any other team.. I just listened to Rush covering Not Fade Away… oh my.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good list…tough to argue against any of them. I would get Peart in there, & Fleetwood whom you mentioned. Grohl is my fave ‘modern’ one, i liked Don Henley’s a lot too, believe it or not-rather understated style for lack of a better word

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Henley is a very good drummer… Shame on me but I think of him so much as a singer… I was telling Hans….I like the individuals of Rush…great guys and the bio of them is great. I just never listen to them much…all great musicians though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Listen to him in Asia. I saw him with Asia, live, in Austin. F****** awesome.

    Clem Burke made my head spin on ‘Dreamin”.

    Wasn’t Moon on the autism spectrum?

    Karen Carpenter. Fred LeBlanc. Rick Allen. Prairie Prince.

    Have you ever seen Steve Moore, The Mad Drummer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Moon was a one off person…he could notbe embarassed. A book about him said he proabably had a borderline personality disorder. His drumming was one of a kind…Very funny person, loved fans and destroyed his share and everyone elses share of hotel rooms…sorry I’m a Moon fanatic.

      Palmer was great…Dang I forgot he was in Asia….All those progressive rocks guys are really good. These lists are hard because they are so subjective…for instance…I know Neil Peart is great technically…

      YES I have seen him in videos…the last one playing Brown Eyed Girl…he is entertaining to say the least.

      Fred LeBlanc is in a modern band isn’t he?

      I always listened to music older than what I was… Discovered the Beatles in 2nd grade and always liked 60s and 70s bands. I was in a band in the 1980s band that didn’t play 80s music lol.

      I remember Praire Prince…he was with the Tubes for a while.


  4. LeBlanc is Cowboy Mouth’s lead singer. Been around since 1990…same age as Pearl Jam.

    Prairie Prince is also Journey’s original drummer.

    I was always listening to my parents’ stuff. The first album I ever bought on my own was a Surf & Drag compilation of music older than I was. Heh.

    Many people love Moon. He was something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love surf music! Jan and Dean, Beach Boys, Dick Dale…I went through a phase where it was all I listened to for a while.

      I have heard of Cowboy Mouth…Jenny Says…we have a station here that will play them…. I didn’t know that about Prairie Prince. When I think of Journey I think of Steve Smith… I did see Greg Rollie their singer before Perry.


  5. Have you heard of The Surfragettes?

    I learned a lot about Journey from a box set & a book that came with it. Aynsley Dunbar predates Smith.

    Robert Fleishman took over for a short time before Perry. He just didn’t have pipes.

    Gina Schock & Debbi Peterson are pretty badass, too. Ditto Sheila E.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just made me a fan… what’s not to like? Cool tones on the guitar and good drumming. I will be listening to them tonight…thank you.
      I liked Greg Rollie’s voice…he also sang for Santana.

      I know all of those drummers. Go-Go’s and Bangles…I’m partial to the Bangles. Sheilia E is awesome.

      While searhing for Sweet Fox on the Run a few months back I ran across The Regrettes… check them out.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: