Most of you appreciate music; some of you even play in a band. For those amongst you that do not play an instrument, be honest and have a think about which instruments you like the most. I am guessing it will be either the electric guitar or the drums. Both evoke images of screaming hordes of fans, a lavish lifestyle and endless excitement. The reality may be somewhat different, but the dreamers amongst you can always close your eyes and pretend. If the drums are your thing then take a look at this list of the most influential skin beaters on the planet – ever!
• John Bonham – Led Zeppelin
Probably the most influential rock drummer of all time, 'Bonzo' helped Led Zeppelin to shift almost half a billion units worldwide. His style was anything but subtle. However, he also had a gentle side, seldom seen on stage. Sadly he died at the young age of thirty two in nineteen eighty. Led Zeppelin split up as a result; the world has never seen anything like them since.
• Neil Peart – Rush
The Canadian musician and author, Neil Ellwood Peart, is known for his technical prowess whilst sat on the hallowed drum stool. He is also a talented lyricist. He drew influences from John Bonham and Keith Moon. However, his own style was more akin to a jazz musician. Renowned for his lengthy drum solos, Peart and Rush are still going strong after thirty years together.
• Keith Moon – The Who
Probably the original wild man of rock and roll, his nickname was 'Moon the Loon'. He was just as famous for his offstage antics as his actual playing, but when you stripped away the showmanship, there was real skill and style. Sadly he died in nineteen seventy eight, aged thirty two – the same age as his pal John Bonham.
• Ginger Baker – Cream
Baker was born Peter Edward Baker; his nickname was borne from his wild red hair and straggly beard. Ginger was the first rock drummer to employ two Bass drums instead of one. Aside of John Bonham, Baker was one of the most influential drummers of the nineteen sixties. He is still drumming today, and occasionally gets together with the rest of Cream.
• Buddy Rich
Representing the world of Jazz is Bernard 'Buddy' Rich; born in nineteen seventeen in Brooklyn, New York. Rich tended to prefer the Big Band era of Jazz music; he was often billed as 'the world's best drummer', and Buddy lived up to this hype. Buddy began hitting the skins aged only eighteen months, and he continued playing until his death in nineteen eighty seven.
• Cozy Powell – Rainbow, Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath
Born as Colin Flooks, Powell was a powerhouse drummer who lived life at one hundred miles an hour. His style earned him much adulation and the bands that he graced reads like a 'who's who' in the rock and roll hall of flame. Like many other great drummers, he died at the relatively early age of fifty one years old as the result of a car crash.
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