Hi all! OK Andy. I can see why you hold that opinion. I agree that The Who is NOT a ‘metal’ band, but yes, his style was what a metal drummer would employ! Let me also say that you pose 1 heck of a question! Talk about a topic that makes you think!
Well, I’m going to throw out a name, but I know that I’ll get a lot of controversey from it! In 1977, Judas Priest released their 1st album, ” Sin After Sin”. The drummer? Simon Phillips! He didn’t do the subsequent tour, but recorded the entire record. I even wrote to Simon about this session in another drumming publication back in 2004 & he responded w/ his setup used & the general ‘jist’ of the session! Because Judas Priest is such a staple in metal, & the album came out in the early days of metal, I consider Simon to be, mabye not THE 1st, but certainly a top pioneer of metal.
Along w/ Moonie, I think that Bonzo was a ‘metal’ drummer because of his particular style, sound, & technique! Although Zeppelin was not a metal band, they were hard rock for sure!
In my opinion, Lars Ulrich is the 1st real ‘heavy metal’ drummer! Metallica set the bar & set it high. But Simon Phillips certainly is one of, if not the 1st drummer to go on record w/ a true metal band in ‘77!