The drum parts are not at all complicated in Nirvana’s groundbreaking 1991 grunge release, but the caveman-like power, thunderous groove, and joyous abandon with which Grohl attacked his kit while playing perfectly for the song stands as some of the most influential rock drumming of the last 20 years.
The 1994 tribute saw the cream of drumming’s crop each perform a song with Buddy Rich’s backing band. The lineup included Morello, Weckl, Gadd, Cobham, Roach, Phillips, Bruford, Aronoff, Sorum, and other bold-faced drummers as well as Neil Peart, who produced it.
Long before he got the Jay-Z gig, you can get a glimpse of a 14-year-old Royster’s burgeoning gospel chops with Dennis Chambers acting as a foil to Royster’s youthful flash from this 1998 video.
The video (with nearly 9 million views) from a festival in Hamburg, Germany, in 2001, heralded the arrival of a new breed of player, sometimes known as the drum jockey. It currently stands as the most viewed drum performance on YouTube.
Olympics opening ceremonies are the go-to venue for pushing the limits of large-scale coordination. We didn’t think anything could beat the 39 snares, 38 basses, 24 tenors, and 40 cymbals doing their thing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, until we saw those thousands of drummer boys working with almost disturbing machine-like precision in Beijing in 2008.
This viral video is not drumming’s finest moment, and yet we couldn’t stop watching. Neither could a million other people. The 72-year-old drummer, Kwon Soon Keun, also inspired an upcoming feature-length film.
Maybe you consider it an affront to the art, but at 21 million–plus views, Steve Moore (aka The Mad Drummer)’s apoplectic performance on his cover band’s rendition of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” proves he knows a thing or two about effective showmanship.
From a 1978 episode, the drum duet starts out with Ed and Buddy mirroring each other and gradually becomes more competitive before returning to a deliciously frenzied synchronicity.