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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Dave Garibaldi
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46. Dave Garibaldi

With Tower of Power, David Garibaldi's sleek percolation helped broaden the audience for James Brown's turn-of-the-Seventies rhythmic experiments, and his rhythmic intelligence was a key element in the creation of the Bay Area soul-funk outfit's hit "What Is Hip?" "It was his idea to get Rocko [Prestia] to play those sixteenth notes on the bass," Tower of Power bandleader Emilio Castillo said. "That's what made that song drive." Confirmation that Garibaldi's drum parts were every bit as hooky as Tower of Power's jazzy horn stylings and R&B vocals came when hip-hop began excavating his breaks in the Eighties — he surfaces repeatedly on the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, just for starters. Garibaldi was also a formative influence on Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, who said "his drumming ... took me to another level." "Funky Drummer" Clyde Stubblefield himself once called Garibaldi "my favorite," exclaiming "That guy was funky!"

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