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Top 10 Unsung Heroes

Posted: July 12, 2010 11:27 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I believe the following drummers never received the level of recognition that they deserved. I know the list includes a couple fairly well-known names, but I think they should have gotten a lot more credit for their contributions to the drumming vocabulary.

1. Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull)
2. Jon Heisman (Colisseum)
3. Skip Prokop (Lighthouse)
4. Bartholomew Smith Frost, a.k.a Frosty (Lee Michaels)
5. Mike Terrana (Masterplan)
6. Rayford Griffin (Jean Luc Ponty)
7. Bobby Columby (Blood Sweat & Tears)
8. Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
9. Kenny Buttrey (Nashville session player)
10. Alphonse Mouzon (Eleventh House)

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: July 12, 2010 12:08 PM

Dave Heim

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Excellent.

I would include Karen Carpenter on such a list.  An amazing singer and drummer.

Posted: July 21, 2010 09:36 PM

sirock

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reni from the stone roses is sadly overlooked alot

Posted: July 24, 2010 02:24 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I would add Joey Waronker to my list. He utterly rocked when I saw him with Beck. I’m sure there will be more.

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: July 24, 2010 07:13 AM

sirock

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Dusty watson from slacktone is a great drummer check him out if you get a chance

Posted: July 25, 2010 10:42 AM

Drumolator

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The list is quite good.  I would like to add Phil Ehart from Kansas.  He is a great prog rock drummer who does not get much credit.  Peace and goodwill.

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Mark Wellman ><>

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Posted: July 25, 2010 12:22 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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How about local heroes? One of my favorite SF Bay Area drummers is Jimmy Sanchez, who played with Kingfish way back in the day, as well as Roy Rogers and Moon Alice most recently (as well as about a million other artists). Jimmy has fully integrated the second-line feel into his style, and has such amazing independence and impeccable technique that he is always a pleasure to watch.

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: July 25, 2010 06:40 PM

Rev.D.

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I would add Phil Rudd from AC/DC.

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A good drummer will sound good on anything. A Bad drummer will sound bad on anything.

Posted: July 26, 2010 04:04 PM

guarilio989

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Definitely Samus L. from Abigail Williams. That dude’s got some chops!

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Hit Hard, Play Fast, Have Fun

Posted: July 30, 2010 07:21 AM

Drumolator

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As far as local heroes goes, I am a three hour drive from New Orleans, so he is not that “local” to me.  But master drummer Johnny Vidacovich deserves more recognition.  Peace and goodwill.

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Mark Wellman ><>

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Posted: September 06, 2010 01:54 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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I have to nominate the enigmatic Michael Stewart whose entire recorded work appears to comprise two albums released by Love in 1967: Da Capo and Forever Changes. I can’t find mention of his work beyond his brief residency with the band, but his drumming was a huge departure from the primitive pounding (which I loved for other reasons) of Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer, who appeared on the band’s self-titled debut album (although I believe it has been confirmed that bandleader Arthur Lee recorded many of the proto-punk album’s drum tracks because of Pfisterer’s shaky studio chops).

I just finished listening to Forever Changes for the billionth time, and remembered how Stewart’s drumming reminds me of John Guerin’s celebrated work with Joni Mitchell in the ’70s — very clean and articulate, right in the pocket, with punchy sounding beats and fills — the opposite of a big Bonham sound — and yet the drums are resonant while relatively high pitched.

Stewart plays plenty of notes without overplaying, often following patterns to add heft to guitar and bass lines. This works perfectly on “A House Is Not A Motel,” which opens with a figure played between two toms and the snare. Stewart steers the song’s tense arrangement with artful dynamics, handling the figure delicately through the song until the four-bar drum break. While he doesn’t stray from the snare/tom drum fill riff by an errant flam, he attacks the pattern with a fresh intensity that propels the song into its final guitar freak out fade. It’s powerful, and yet approached with a light touch.

There are many other great drum performances on both Da Capo and Forever Changes (although I prefer the later release, pictured below). To be honest, Stewart’s sudden appearance in the rock scene was so short-lived, and yet his performance so masterful, that I wonder if we’re really just hearing the omnipresent L.A. session hero Hal Blaine on Forever Changes, who ghost drummed on a dizzying number of L.A. recordings of the day. And in fact, Blaine and a cast of L.A. session musicians were hired to record backing tracks for Forever Changes, but are credited for recording only the songs “Andmoreagain” and “The Daily Planet.”

Stranger things have happened. Hey, Hal rocks too, for that matter.

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: September 16, 2010 09:07 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Drumolator - 30 July 2010 07:21 AM

Johnny Vidacovich deserves more recognition.

Agreed. Johnny is a source.

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: September 20, 2010 11:26 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Here’s another one: Bobby Elliot, the original drummer with The Hollies in the 1960s, who provided a template for power pop drummers who followed him by more than a decade, including Blondie’s Clem Burke and The Knack’s Bruce Gary. With his speedy hands and pushy yet danceable pocket, Elliot was far more than a decade ahead of his time, punching catchy power pop at upbeat tempos, topped by impeccable harmony vocals. If you can forgive the go-go girls, here’s a great example of the band playing live on the American afternoon after-school teen television show, Shindig.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-gfys_IsQc&feature=related

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Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

Posted: September 23, 2010 06:22 AM

Vindrums

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I agree with so many of the choices already posted…especially Ian Paice! I’d like to add Jeff Sipe (jazz is Dead, Aquarium Rescue Unit) to the list as well. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing Jeff play, Google him instantly!!! He is an absolute Groove MASTER!! One of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen was Jazz is Dead with both Jeff and Rod Morgensteen(another slightly underrated genius) double drumming. The first set was so amazing that my friends and I instantly bought tickets for the late show as well!!

Posted: October 01, 2010 09:07 AM

Skulmoski

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One we missed:  Andy Doerschuk

Thanks for your contributions!

GJS

Posted: October 01, 2010 09:14 AM

Andy Doerschuk_1

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Awww ... I’m getting all verklempt! Thanks!

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Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

   
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