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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Michael Shrieve
100
BMI/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty74/100

74. Michael Shrieve

When Santana took the stage on the second day of the Woodstock Festival, sandwiched between Country Joe McDonald and John Sebastian, they faced an ocean of listeners who had never heard a note of their music, since the group's debut LP had yet to hit shelves. But from the opening note of "Waiting," the audience was mesmerized by the band's unique fusion of infectious Latin rhythms and explosive psychedelic rock. Holding it all together was 20-year-old drummer Michael Shrieve, the youngest performer at the entire festival. With conga player Michael Carabello on one side and timbales player Jose "Chepito" Areas on the other, Shrieve laid down a tumbling, jazz-infused solo midway through "Soul Sacrifice" that remains absolutely stunning nearly 50 years on. Santana would shed nearly all of his original bandmates just two years later when he embraced fusion and other non-commercial styles, but Shrieve stuck by his side and even co-produced 1973's Welcome and 1974's Borboletta. The drummer went on to work with everyone from the Pat Travers Band to the Rolling Stones, showcasing his formidable range. "Michael Shrieve turned me onto Miles Davis and John Coltrane," Carlos Santana said in 2013. "He opened a whole new dimension for my heart." (Fittingly, the collaboration continues: Shrieve will appear on Santana IV, out April 15th, which reunites the majority of the lineup last heard on the group's 1971's self-titled LP.)

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