Dave James

Worst Rock Drummers

145 posts in this topic

Maybe I'm missing something, but I always wondered how anyone could even listen to the Beach Boys, let alone find their music interesting.

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I'm kind of in the same boat. They have a handful of songs that I still dig but I find them to be largely a novelty act and it's sort of embarrassing to see these old guys still singing these songs that were "fun, fun, fun" when they were in their teens and twenties.

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the Beach Boys at their best were beautifully and artfully produced - really a studio band, in my opinion. Pet Sounds, of course, by legend, but also the later album with Wind Chimes, can't think of the title. To me they showed how a rotten inspiration (the Four Freshman) could be turned into something great. A real sonics band, all texture - that's what I think is important about them -

unfortunately, sorry Chewy, but Pacific Ocean Blues is AWFUL -

my favorite Beach Boys story - someone asked their mother years later what she remembered about Dennis' friend Charles Manson; she said:

"Charlie? Oh, Charlie, he had such a nice smile..."

Edited by AllenLowe

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the Beach Boys at their best were beautifully and artfully produced - really a studio band, in my opinion. Pet Sounds, of course, by legend, but also the later album with Wind Chimes, can't think of the title. To me they showed how a rotten inspiration (the Four Freshman) could be turned into something great. A real sonics band, all texture - that's what I think is important about them -

unfortunately, sorry Chewy, but Pacific Ocean Blues is AWFUL -

my favorite Beach Boys story - someone asked their mother years later what she remembered about Dennis' friend Charles Manson; she said:

"Charlie? Oh, Charlie, he had such a nice smile..."

What does beautifully produced have to do with anything? Sucky music can be done "just right", but it's still never gonna be more than sucky music. OK? :rolleyes:

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Lars Ulrich, Tommy Lee, Joey Jordison

Tommy Lee?

Is he a drummer?

I thought he was only the guy on that Pam Anderson's private tape... :ph34r:

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Lars Ulrich, Tommy Lee, Joey Jordison

Tommy Lee?

Is he a drummer?

I thought he was only the guy on that Pam Anderson's private tape... :ph34r:

One and the same. He's the drummer for Motley Crue.

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Everybody else gets a pass (up to a point), but if you're white, American, boomer or beyond, suburban, and don't get (not necessarily "like", but definitely get) the Beach Boys, there is still some pretty basic self-examination to be done.

You can run but you can't hide. And you can't move on until you've moved in and lived out. Some people think that innocence, lost or otherwise, is by definition a liability. I beg to differ.

In their own way, the introduction to "California Girls" is as spiritual as A Love Supreme, "Caroline No" as heartbreaking as late Lester Young, and "409" as inane as Carrot Top.

2-out-of-3 ain't bad.

True story - I once had a hip, cynical, cooler than anybody else who ever lived white guy tell me that he didn't dig the Beach Boys because he hates Major 7th chords. And I'm kinda like, ok, if you deny Major 7th chords out of your life, that right there alone is more emotionally fucked up than anything you can accuse the Beach Boys of, so...

White folks can be really funny about "hip" sometimes, that's all I can say.

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No-one has explained to me yet why Phil Collins is a bad drummer.

I'm getting neutotic. All I hear is a drummer. I can't understand why I should dislike his drumming when compared to Nick Mason or Charlie Watts or Ringo Starr.

Someone explain.

[Comments from those who have praised him acknowledge: I'm just interested in why some single him out as bad.]

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Lars Ulrich, Tommy Lee, Joey Jordison

Tommy Lee?

Is he a drummer?

I thought he was only the guy on that Pam Anderson's private tape... :ph34r:

One and the same. He's the drummer for Motley Crue.

Ach so, and does he handle drumsticks in the same way?

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Phil Collins is fine at what he does in his own world, dandy even. I think there's a lot of equating with "I don't like" with "the cat can't play" going on here...

My perennial answer to this question - whoever it was who schlubbed their way through that Steam song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Comically amateurish, not so much inept as just...BAD - fills every second, absolutely "bottom-rung" fills at that, no concept of what, when, or why, & that's why there's tambourine & handclaps front and center on that record...

Hear it now and believe it later:

Neverhteless, the story of the band, and that ong in particular, is one of those "only in the music biz" type things : http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&a...fpfuxqr5ldke~T1

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I agree about Mo Tucker. An amateur.

Yeah. In this case, it's much like when one of those French New Wave directors used a non-actor for a supporting role in a film. The movie still works, but it would probably have been a bit better with an actor.

Strongly disagree w/ the French New Wave analogy.

They actually did replace her temporarily only to have disastrous results. Have you ever heard the VU album,"Live at Max's Kansas City"?? Mo was replaced for the weekend run of shows(she was in labor w/ her first child) by Billy Yule. Now Billy was a pretty straight ahead, balls to the wall rock drummer and he just ruins that album. Every song. He's a very flashy drummer and overplays everything. No subtly whatsoever. Yes, she was an amateur but the VU wouldn't have been the same w/out her as evidenced on Max's. Except for Cale, the rest of the members in the VU were amateur musicians too. What saved them were Reed's songwriting ability and their sonic experiments of which her drumming played a significant part. She also had that one dance groove that she used over and over again in songs like,"What Goes On," "I Can't Stand It," "Rock & Roll," et al., that was very influential upon Klaus Dinger's "motorik" sound. So if you're going to judge her solely on her technical ability you're missing the point. I think a better analogy would be that her drumming played the same role in the VU's overall sound as Ringo's did in the Beatles. Like Ringo there are better drummers(Hell Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles - that was Paul) but despite their technical limitations they both were able to coax a sound from their drums that was very complimentary to their respective band's overall sound.

Haters. :rmad:

Edited by J.H. Deeley

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What does beautifully produced have to do with anything? Sucky music can be done "just right", but it's still never gonna be more than sucky music. OK? :rolleyes:

Check out Friends and Smiley Smile sometime. It has nothing to do with "fun fun fun." I too used to wonder what the deal was with the Beach Boys, and also thought Pet Sounds to be massively overrated. Friends & Smiley Smile made me appreciate, hell, love the band. And if Smiley Smile is a failure, if only more bands could have been so lucky.

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Phil Collins is fine at what he does in his own world, dandy even. I think there's a lot of equating with "I don't like" with "the cat can't play" going on here...

I think you're right.

At one time there was a lot of the smug, over-wealthy rock star (with un rock starrish political thoughts) aura about him - how much was real, how much just appearances, I would not know. I know he was often a default butt of jokes in the UK, evoked as a symbol of tastelessness. A bit like Sting.

Collins I can live with; I still can't cope with a grown up who calls himself Sting.

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I agree about Mo Tucker. An amateur.

Yeah. In this case, it's much like when one of those French New Wave directors used a non-actor for a supporting role in a film. The movie still works, but it would probably have been a bit better with an actor.

Strongly disagree w/ the French New Wave analogy.

They actually did replace her temporarily only to have disastrous results. Have you ever heard the VU album,"Live at Max's Kansas City"?? Mo was replaced for the weekend run of shows(she was in labor w/ her first child) by Billy Yule. Now Billy was a pretty straight ahead, balls to the wall rock drummer and he just ruins that album. Every song. He's a very flashy drummer and overplays everything. No subtly whatsoever. Yes, she was an amateur but the VU wouldn't have been the same w/out her as evidenced on Max's. Except for Cale, the rest of the members in the VU were amateur musicians too. What saved them were Reed's songwriting ability and their sonic experiments of which her drumming played a significant part. She also had that one dance groove that she used over and over again in songs like,"What Goes On," "I Can't Stand It," "Rock & Roll," et al., that was very influential upon Klaus Dinger's "motorik" sound. So if you're going to judge her solely on her technical ability you're missing the point. I think a better analogy would be that her drumming played the same role in the VU's overall sound as Ringo's did in the Beatles. Like Ringo there are better drummers(Hell Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles - that was Paul) but despite their technical limitations they both were able to coax a sound from their drums that was very complimentary to their respective band's overall sound.

Haters. :rmad:

Oh, fer godsake.....

When I say they could have used, from the beginning, someone who could keep time little better, I certainly do NOT mean they should have used someone who was "flashy and overplays everything." Not in a million years. In fact, I wouldn't recommend that to any rock'n'roll band, particularly a garage/proto-punk/Nuggets-type band like the Velvet Underground. Now clearly, Reed and Cale worked her limitations into the framework of the group's sound and everything worked out fine. Sit back and take a chill pill.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I always wondered how anyone could even listen to the Beach Boys, let alone find their music interesting.

Have you ever listened to their music from 1965 onward? What specifically about their music do you find so awful that you can't understand why someone would like them? I find the "novelty act" comment by another poster to suggest that he's never heard their post-1963 material.

JSngry's distinction between "don't like it" and "it's no good" would certainly apply here.

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I agree about Mo Tucker. An amateur.

Yeah. In this case, it's much like when one of those French New Wave directors used a non-actor for a supporting role in a film. The movie still works, but it would probably have been a bit better with an actor.

Strongly disagree w/ the French New Wave analogy.

They actually did replace her temporarily only to have disastrous results. Have you ever heard the VU album,"Live at Max's Kansas City"?? Mo was replaced for the weekend run of shows(she was in labor w/ her first child) by Billy Yule. Now Billy was a pretty straight ahead, balls to the wall rock drummer and he just ruins that album. Every song. He's a very flashy drummer and overplays everything. No subtly whatsoever. Yes, she was an amateur but the VU wouldn't have been the same w/out her as evidenced on Max's. Except for Cale, the rest of the members in the VU were amateur musicians too. What saved them were Reed's songwriting ability and their sonic experiments of which her drumming played a significant part. She also had that one dance groove that she used over and over again in songs like,"What Goes On," "I Can't Stand It," "Rock & Roll," et al., that was very influential upon Klaus Dinger's "motorik" sound. So if you're going to judge her solely on her technical ability you're missing the point. I think a better analogy would be that her drumming played the same role in the VU's overall sound as Ringo's did in the Beatles. Like Ringo there are better drummers(Hell Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles - that was Paul) but despite their technical limitations they both were able to coax a sound from their drums that was very complimentary to their respective band's overall sound.

Haters. :rmad:

Oh, fer godsake.....

When I say they could have used, from the beginning, someone who could keep time little better, I certainly do NOT mean they should have used someone who was "flashy and overplays everything." Not in a million years. In fact, I wouldn't recommend that to any rock'n'roll band, particularly a garage/proto-punk/Nuggets-type band like the Velvet Underground. Now clearly, Reed and Cale worked her limitations into the framework of the group's sound and everything worked out fine. Sit back and take a chill pill.

Sorry about that. Guess I "overplayed" the crappy drummer comparasion card. ;)

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Mo Tucker sucks and she nearly ruins the live sessions issued on Mercury. Neither Reed nor Cale were amateurs, to my way of thinking, in ability or in terms of experience.

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"What does beautifully produced have to do with anything? Sucky music can be done "just right", but it's still never gonna be more than sucky music. OK?"

right, Jetboy, but it's not sucky music. It's beautiful melodies beautifully sung.

Edited by AllenLowe

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"What does beautifully produced have to do with anything? Sucky music can be done "just right", but it's still never gonna be more than sucky music. OK?"

right, Jetboy, but it's not sucky music. It's beautiful melodies beautifully sung.

Ok, Low boy.

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Everybody else gets a pass (up to a point), but if you're white, American, boomer or beyond, suburban, and don't get (not necessarily "like", but definitely get) the Beach Boys, there is still some pretty basic self-examination to be done.

You can run but you can't hide. And you can't move on until you've moved in and lived out. Some people think that innocence, lost or otherwise, is by definition a liability. I beg to differ.

In their own way, the introduction to "California Girls" is as spiritual as A Love Supreme, "Caroline No" as heartbreaking as late Lester Young, and "409" as inane as Carrot Top.

2-out-of-3 ain't bad.

True story - I once had a hip, cynical, cooler than anybody else who ever lived white guy tell me that he didn't dig the Beach Boys because he hates Major 7th chords. And I'm kinda like, ok, if you deny Major 7th chords out of your life, that right there alone is more emotionally fucked up than anything you can accuse the Beach Boys of, so...

White folks can be really funny about "hip" sometimes, that's all I can say.

Is this the musician in you talking, or the "lover of music with eclectic tastes who wants to be anything BUT white" talking?

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Please explain what that means.

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Why is Ginger considered a bad drummer? I had always thought he was considered a very good one.

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At the height of Cream-Mania, Ginger talked some ego-fueled smack about jazz drummers, and some jazz drummers smacked back, rightly seeing him not qualified to be talking the kind of smack he was talking.

He was/is a "good drummer", fit Cream just fine, went on to do some "interesting" projects, but he was not a "great" drummer, then or now. But a "bad drummer"? Nah, not even.

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The "More Cowbell" skit comes to mind while reading this thread.

I find these sort of harshly dismissive opinions perplexing. When I hear phenomenal drumming I'm aware of it, but I can dig a tune even if the drumming is minimal or just keeping a pace I like. That is to say I run the gamut of digging everything from the virtuoso technique of a Baby Dodds to a well-programmed drum machine...

Edited by Noj

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The "More Cowbell" skit comes to mind while reading this thread.

I find these sort of harshly dismissive opinions perplexing. When I hear phenomenal drumming I'm aware of it, but I can dig a tune even if the drumming is minimal or just keeping a pace I like. That is to say I run the gamut of digging everything from the virtuoso technique of a Baby Dodds to a well-programmed drum machine...

I think I'm with you Noj. Can't seem to get worked up about any of it.

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