Rolling Stone Readers Pick Best Drummers of All Time
Watch clips of the winners, including John Bonham, Neil Peart, Keith Moon and more
2. Keith Moon
Keith Moon's wild-man drum style was part of The Who's DNA, and they haven't sounded the same since he died in 1978. To get an idea of how amazing he was in The Who's early days, check out this live performance of "So Sad About Us" from 1967.
3. Neil Peart
To Rush's army of fans any name at the top of this list other than Neil Peart is surely sacrilegious, though it's likely that Peart himself would be more than happy to see his name at Number Three – right beneath Bonham and Moon. Of course, no Rush concert is complete without a Peart drum solo. Here's one from Frankfurt Germany in 2004.
5. Ringo Starr
Ringo wasn't a flashy drummer, and he saved his only drum solo in The Beatles for the final song on their final album. Here's the audio from Ring's big moment in "The End" from Abbey Road.
6. Buddy Rich
Widely considered one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, Buddy Rich played with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. He continued to play until shortly before his death in 1987, and his skills were fully intact until the end – as evidenced by this incredible latter-day drum solo.
7. Stewart Copeland
Stewart Copeland has been more influenced by jazz drummers than rock drummers, even though he's the drummer in one of the most successful rock groups of all time. This clip of Copeland playing "So Lonely" during The Police's heyday provides a great look into his subtle genius, and the power he can bring at the right moments.
At this point there are very few famous musicians that Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson hasn't performed with. From jamming with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo to his stint as the bandleader of the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, he's had more chances to play with the greats than nearly anybody else in the business. For one of the countless amazing things he's done, check out him filling the big shoes of Max Weinberg on "Because The Night" with Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt last year.
9. Ginger Baker
Before John Bonham and Neil Peart there was Ginger Baker, Cream's legendary drummer who practically invented the rock drum solo. Since Cream broke up in 1968 he became deeply interested in world music (long before Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon made it fashionable), but in 2005 he reunited with Cream for concerts in London and New York. Many had written him off for dead before those shows, but as he demonstrated with his famous "Toad" solo every night, he still had the goods – even if time had slowed him down a bit.
10. Michael Shrieve
The musical highlight of the original Woodstock concert in 1969 may well be Santana's 10-minute performance of "Soul Sacrifice." Drummer Michael Shrieve holds the whole thing together, and Santana was never quite the same after he left in 1974. Since then he's worked with Sammy Hagar, Todd Rundgren and many others – but he remains best-known for Santana. Fans long for his return to the group, but earlier this year Carlos Santana married his current drummer Cindy Blackman, making Shrieve's return even more unlikely than before.
4. Dave Grohl
Before joining Nirvana Dave Grohl played drums in local bands Freak Baby and Scream. The Foo Fighters have taken much of his time in the past 15 years, but he's made time to get back behind the kit in Queens Of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. Here are some cool Grohl-centric clips from Nirvana's final years.
1. John Bonham
Last weekend we asked our readers to name the greatest drummers of all time. Everybody from Eric Carr to Animal from The Muppets got votes, but Led Zeppelin's John Bonham led the list by a significant margin. Here's his legendary "Moby Dick" drum solo from The Song Remains The Same.
By Andy Greene