100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Bill Stevenson
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89. Bill Stevenson

Bill Stevenson provided the raging backbeat for two strains of groundbreaking SoCal punk. In 1977, as a pimply 14-year-old, Stevenson co-founded the Descendents, whose heartbreaking proto-emo anthems — tattooed with Stevenson's signature machine-gun snare rolls, and often written and produced by him too — laid the groundwork for the likes of Green Day, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and Weezer. And starting in the early Eighties, he served as the drummer for iconic L.A. punk brutalists Black Flag during the band's arguably most creative phase; as heard on albums such as My War and Slip It In, his steady yet mutable pulse fueled guitarist Greg Ginn's exploration of everything from monolithic art metal to spastic punk-gone-jazz. Stevenson, who maintains a busy touring with Descendents, their offshoot band All and the Black Flag tribute project Flag, attributes the hyperactive character of his playing to an everyday influence: caffeine. "In our band, we would drink a bunch of coffee, or I'd eat 50 Snickers bars, before we played," he said in 2014.

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