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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68. Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey

In 1975, when George Clinton first heard David Bowie's "Fame" on the radio, he turned to his new drummer and said "Remember that beat for me." Jerome Brailey, the fresh recruit to Parliament-Funkadelic, proceeded to filter the style of JB stickman Jabo Starks through Bowie's hazy cosmic jive on "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)." Brailey would remain aboard the mothership till 1978, driving many of P-Funk's biggest hits with his steady kick drum, shifty hi-hat action and intricately unpredictable snare pattern, before distrust of Clinton's accounting techniques lead him to form Mutiny, a group whose own funk hit hard enough to let you know why they called him Bigfoot. "Doing funk is really simple," Brailey told an interviewer in 2010. "It's about the thrill of the time. Funk is from within. ... I've done shows with Parliament where I was so funky I could feel it inside my bones and that's when the audience can feel it too."

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