ha ha nice question Andy!!
first one - Peter Criss. KISS is what made me want to be in a band, I already wanted to play drums, but KISS made me want to play in a band, even though Gene was my favorite guy - and still to this day the only one I’ve ever met out of the 4 original members. What did I learn from KISS?? Always make sure you’re an EQUAL member that gets EQUAL rights - publishing,royalties,merch, etc. and I also learned that too many “extra-curricular activities” are an easy way to get fired from your gig! You don’t see Ace and Peter in the band still do ya??
Stewart Copeland - awesome, totally awesome, and I wanted to know every Police song back to front when I was 13. Sadly enough I probably also played it better back then.
Clive Burr/Nicko McBrain - Iron Maiden, nothing else needs to be said
Neil Peart - was, and will always be my main man! I can’t say enough about Neil, really I can’t. From the playing, to the kits, to the lyrics, I loved me some RUSH - and they are still my fav #1 band, and I have even been lucky enough to spend 15 minutes with Neil backstage (thanks Lorne), I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it. He was/is awesome, and will always be “The Professor.”
Simon/Billy - Phillips with Judas Priest/Pete Townsend/Beck it doesn’t matter, it had me going “wow”. Cobham primarily with his Glass Menagerie band, I didn’t get into Mahavishnu till years later.
Lars/Dave/Charlie - Metallica/Anthrax/Slayer this is what primarily made me the player that I am today. I wanted to be a thrash drummer since I was 15, took awhile but I got here eventually, but not without these guys. Heck- I was even in Anthrax for 2 days!! thanks Charlie!
Mark Zonder - this is where my progressive side went further than Rush…........i got a lot of my splashwork from Mark
Pete Sandoval/Derek Roddy/Gene Hoglan/Sean Reinert - these are the guys that pushed me more with the extreme side of drumming
Steve Smith/Gavin Harrison - my two favorite drummers of the last 5 years, hands down. I always loved Steve, but he just gets better and better. and Gavin - needs no explaining too- he’s another master.
and there are many more that Ill think of after I log out!!! but that’s the majority