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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Micky Waller
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty78/100

78. Micky Waller

A jazz-trained fixture on the London blues scene, Waller came into his own when he joined the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. His distinctive "Waller wallop" powered much of Beck's Truth, the missing link between hard blues and heavy metal. Waller also drummed on Rod Stewart's earliest solo albums, his finest moment arising from a 1971 session he showed up to sans cymbals. Rod couldn't afford to blow the studio time so he recorded "Maggie May" anyway, with Waller's bashing so fierce and steady that critic Greil Marcus quipped that he deserved the Nobel Prize in physics. "We overdubbed the cymbals later, so you hear them more faintly," Stewart recalled. "Micky forgetting to bring his cymbals actually gave 'Maggie May' a sharper beat."

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