100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

Load Previous
Moe Tucker
100
Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty77/100

77. Moe Tucker

Hers was the off-kilter thump that spawned a million bands. That's how influential the deceptively primitive, artfully sophisticated pocket Maureen "Moe" Tucker brought to the Velvet Underground's classic lineup was, impacting artists ranging from Patti Smith to R.E.M. to Galaxie 500 to Nirvana. Indeed, Tucker held her own with the Velvets leaders Lou Reed and John Cale when it came to Sixties-era avant-garde sonic iconoclasm — standing instead of sitting behind the kit, playing with mallets instead of sticks, avoiding cymbals unless absolutely necessary or unexpected. On VU classics like "Heroin," Tucker seems to dispense with keeping time altogether, swelling and stuttering with the emotional ebb and flow of the song. "I think Maureen Tucker is a genius drummer," Lou Reed said in 2003. "Her style of drumming, that she invented, is amazing."

Back to Top