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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Carmine Appice
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David Warner Ellis/Redferns/Getty28/100

28. Carmine Appice

A valuable team player as well as a bruising power hitter with an instantly identifiable style, Carmine Appice literally wrote the book on rock drumming: His 1972 text The Realistic Rock Drum Method has been a staple since its release. Appice made his name in the late Sixties with eccentric psych outfit Vanilla Fudge – influencing a young John Bonham with his romping, aggressively funky grooves – before moving on to a heavier blues-rock style with Cactus and Beck, Bogert & Appice. He demonstrated his range in the late-Seventies Rod Stewart band, contributing sassy backbeats and key songwriting assistance on hits such as "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." (Stewart reportedly called Appice "The Dentist" for employing what he termed "too many fill-ins.") More recently, he's kept busy playing "Drum Wars" shows with younger brother and fellow elite hard-rock beatsmith Vinny (Dio, Black Sabbath). According to Appice, some of his key innovations came from the constraints of playing live rock music during his formative years: "All the stuff we all did – the stuff that I am [credited with] starting was just stuff that I did out of necessity," Appice told Drum Magazine in 2011. "I pioneered the use of big drum sets and played with the butt end of the sticks early on. I did that because there were no P.A. systems."

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