Deadsplinter Up! All Night: Let There Be Drums

Give the drummer some

Drums, drums, drums. Drums were almost certainly the very first musical instrument that wasn’t actually part of the human body. They are the pulse of all popular music, and even that song you love that you think doesn’t have drums most definitely has some percussion instrument (guitars and pianos are percussion instruments).

It’s the first week of Spring, the sap is rising, so let’s celebrate everything drums, drumming, and drummers.

I found an old scratchy copy of Sandy Nelson’s unlikely hit in my Dad’s record collection when I was a kid. I learned to beat out that rhythm about the same time I was demonstrating to my third grade class that I could play Wipeout to completion on my desktop before Sister Elizabeth could crack me in the head with a geography book. I was the Zakir Hussain of desktop drumming back then.

If you can drum while dancing and singing, you get free passes into Heaven.

Elvin Jones could take already stellar music and lift it into an entirely new dimension. He made John Coltrane better.

There are a lot of really great rock drummers, and I’ve seen many of them, from Keith Moon to Terry Williams (Rockpile era), Nick Knox to Paul Thompson. One who really made an impression on me live was Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction (although to be fair, I was probably pretty high when I saw them).

Blues, R&B, and funk brought us some of the greatest drummers ever. Clyde Stubblefield from James Brown’s band must have been a blast to play with. He could twist a beat into sick knots and reach right out of the grooves of a record and force your hips to move. You can hear the entire band picking up what he was putting down.

Hey Deadsplinterers, did I mention how much I love you all? All this drumming has me in a mood and I just wanted to mention it. Also, thanks for coming out for my DUANs. I really get off on doing them.



  1. One of the greatest–and least known–drummers out there is Chris Layton.  He came up as a jazz drummer before hooking up with SRV.  Check this shit out:


    As far as a straight drum riff, this is probably my favorite right now:


  2. Let me be the bubonic-plague afflicted rat that poisons this well by posting the only thing I think of when I hear the word “drummer”:

  3. The Drums, “Kiss Me Again” 

    Too literal? Here’s another favourite. I’m so lucky to have seen it performed while he was still alive. Steve Reich, “Drumming” 


  4. By far the greatest drummer I have ever seen & some call the greatest drummer of all time was Terry Bozzio…

    Although bigger is not always better, Terry uses every drum in his kit like nobody else could…


  5. But the best drum-off of all time is this…

  6. ive always rather enjoyed sepulturas drumming


    • That drum beat sounds like Bow Wow Wow!


  8. Different percussion perceptions 


  9. Speaking of excellent drummers – this guy plays the drums from Enter Sandman by Metallica after only hearing it once.

    • To be fair, Larz Ulrich sucks.

    • Legitimately surprised Buddy doesn’t try to strangle Animal. He had issues.

    • I loved watching this as a kid.  After I got older and got a glimpse into what Buddy Guy was really like, I was surprised he was willing to do this show at all, much less the drum battle.

  10. The Lounge Lizards with Anton Fier on drums

    Incident On South Street



    • I saw that band play.  

      • I never did, dammit. They were so cool.

  11. Listen to Meshuggah:

    Then listen to just Thomas Haake:

    Then listen to this guy spend a half hour trying to explain it:

    • Or, just listen to this guy hitting go-go beats in D.C.

  12. Wednesday two-fer? I’m finishing a bottle of wine.
    This guy is freaking good.

    Cheap Trick without Bun E. Carlos is just another band. I wish they would figure that out. Fuckin’ idiots.


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