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Section F: Early Rock, Pop & Rock Drummers

Ringo Starr, MBE (born Richard Starkey on 7 July 1940) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the drummer for The Beatles. Starr originally met the Beatles in Hamburg, in October 1960, while he was performing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He also sat in for Pete Best on several occasions. When the Beatles removed Pete Best as their drummer on 16 August 1962, Starr was their choice to replace him. He filled the role in 1962, then went on to establish a new approach to rhythm in popular music that some claim continues to grow in its significance and influence with every decade since The Beatles recorded their music.

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939, Lewisham, South London) is an English drummer. Baker gained fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organization (GBO) and Cream from 1966 until 1968. He later joined Cream bandmate Eric Clapton along with Ric Grech and Steve Winwood in the 1969 group Blind Faith. In the early 1970s, Baker toured and recorded with a fusion rock group, Ginger Baker's Air Force. Baker's drumming attracted attention for its flamboyance, showmanship, and his pioneering use of two bass drums instead of the conventional single 'kick' drum. As a firmly established jazz drummer, he dislikes being referred to as a "rock drummer."

Charles Robert "Charlie" Watts (born 2 June 1941) is the drummer of The Rolling Stones. He is also a jazz bandleader and commercial artist. Watts is sometimes referred to as "The Wembley Whammer" when introduced by Mick Jagger during a concert. In 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Watts, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also, in the July 2006 issue of Modern Drummer, Charlie Watts was voted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.

Keith Moon (August 23, 1946 – September 7, 1978) was the drummer of the rock group The Who. He gained notoriety for exuberant drumming and his destructive lifestyle. Moon is known for innovative, dramatic drumming, often eschewing basic back beats for a fluid, busy technique focused on fast, cascading rolls across the toms and cymbal crashes.

John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham (May 31, 1948 – September 25, 1980) was an English drummer and member of the band Led Zeppelin. He was renowned for his power, fast right foot, distinctive sound and "feel" for the groove. Bonham is described by the Encyclopædia Britannica as "the perfect model for all hard rock drummers that have followed him".

Ian Paice (born June 29, 1948 in Nottingham, England) made his name as the drummer with seminal heavy rock band Deep Purple. Heavily influenced by Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and other jazz drummers, Ian a hard rock drummer who uses swing and jazz inflections in his powerhouse style.

John "Mitch" Mitchell (born 9 July 1947 in Ealing, Middlesex) is an English drummer, most famous for his involvement with The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitchell was considered one of the greatest rock drummers of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the few years before joining The Experience, aged twenty, he had gained considerable experience touring and as a session musician. He made heavy use of snare rudiments, fast single and double stroke rolls, and jazz triplet patterns in his playing, and shifted between both traditional and matched grips. Notable examples of his style include the rudiment-heavy fills on "Hey Joe".

Colin Flooks (December 29, 1947 - April 5, 1998), better known as Cozy Powell, was an English rock drummer. The nickname 'Cozy' was borrowed from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole. Powell landed the highly prestigious drumming job with guitar icon Jeff Beck's group in April 1970. Powell was persuaded to record instrumental solo single ‘Dance With the Devil’ which became a smash and reached number 3 in the UK singles chart during January 1974. The track served to inspire a whole generation of youngsters to take up the drums.


Jeffrey "Jeff" Porcaro (April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992) was a highly regarded session drummer and a founding member of the Grammy Award winning band Toto. From the start of his career, Porcaro was viewed as one of the music industry's top drummers, possessing an impeccable sense of rhythm as well as a versatility that bridged virtually every style.

Simon Phillips (born 6 February 1957 in London) is a prolific English jazz and rock drummer. In 1992, Phillips joined American group Toto, replacing Jeff Porcaro after his sudden death. He was the first and only drummer that the band contacted to replace Porcaro. Phillips' trademark is his precise, creative and very dramatic style. His use of metric modulation is notable, and he often uses it to build tension in sections with repeated chord progressions. He often uses double bass drums in his fills and solos.

Steve Smith (born on August 21, 1954 in Whitman, Massachusetts) is a famous American drummer who has worked with hundreds of artists in his career. Modern Drummer Magazine readers voted him the #1 All-Around Drummer five years in a row. In 2001, Modern Drummer named Steve as one of the Top 25 Drummers of All Time, and in 2002 he as voted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. Smith toured with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty as well as Montrose before joining the rock band Journey in 1978. He occupied the drum chair during Journey's most commercially successful period (late 1978-mid 1985).

Neil Peart (born Neil Ellwood Peart, September 12, 1952, Hamilton, Ontario) is a Canadian musician and author. He is best-known as the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart is consistently ranked as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. Peart is distinguished for playing "butt-end out", reversing stick orientation for greater impact and increased rim-shot capacity. "When I was starting out", Peart later said, "if I broke the tips off my sticks I couldn't afford to buy new ones, so I would just turn them around and use the other end".

Stewart Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the band The Police. Copeland is known for his precise, energetic, and creative rock drumming along with a reggae and jazz influenced style. His distinctive sound centers on a hard, high-pitched crack on a snare drum or rimshot, subtle hi-hat work with understated flourishes, while often playing only hi-hat with bass drum.

Carter Beauford (born November 2, 1957 in Charlottesville, Virginia) is a drummer, percussionist, and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band (DMB). He is known for his ability to mix together countless percussion styles, his ambidextrous approach to playing, and is highly regarded for his open hand drumming style, where his left hand leads on the hi-hat and ride cymbal in a conventional right-handed drumset set-up.

Chadwick "Chad" Smith (born 25 October 1961) is the drummer of the American Funk rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Although he is mainly known as the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smith's drumming is featured on over a hundred albums in addition to those recorded with Red Hot Chili Peppers. He has also toured the world extensively performing drum clinics, and recently did a series of clinics with one of his drumming heroes, Deep Purple's Ian Paice.

Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins (born 30 January 1951) is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, keyboardist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist. He has won seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and two Golden Globes for his solo work.

Yes, "the" drum fill is at 3mins 45secs"

Copyright © Mat Duniam 2012