Drummers are the heart of all music bands, especially those in the hard rock and heavy metal genres. However, the frontmen and guitarists are the ones that often steal the show. At times, many of the drummers were the reason behind the huge successes that these bands enjoyed. Here we’ve compiled a list of some legendary drummers, who helped define hard rock and heavy metal music.
1. John Bonham
He is considered the backbone of the hard rock band Led Zeppelin. This band had revolutionized hard rock in the late 1960s. John Bonham is known for his use of ‘triplets’ within the rhythm in a faster and harder format. Perhaps his lasting legacy is his performance on Moby Dick.
He was arguably the most influential drummers in the history of rock music. Popularly known as ‘Bonzo’, he will always be remembered for his solos, which were mostly lengthy and improvisational.
2. Neil Peart
Many believe that the complex music of the prog-rock giant called Rush is something that only Neil could play. He was a perfectionist who was always willing to learn. The most impressive aspect of Peart’s performance on drums is that he made it look quite easy.
He was a great showman who was technically sound and wonderfully creative, yet was always humble about his talent. Among the songs of Rush that stand testimony to Peart’s exceptional brilliance are La Villa Strangiato and YYZ.
3. Randy Castillo
He decided to become a drummer after getting inspired by the performance of ‘The Beatles’ on a television show. Randy Castillo’s first rock band was ‘The Wumblies’. Tommy Lee, the founding member of the heavy metal band, Motley Crue, introduced Castillo to Ozzy Osbourne.
At the time, Ozzy was looking for a new drummer and Castillo was hired without an audition a couple of months later. He ended up staying with Ozzy and his band for 10 years. He died from cancer in 2002. His life and times were explored in a documentary film called The Life, Blood and Rhythm of Randy Castillo.
4. Keith Moon
He was an influential drummer who was a member of the rock band, The Who. Nicknamed ‘Moon the Loon’, his best performances can be seen in The Real Me and The Kids are Alright. Keith Moon was one of the most entertaining characters in the history of rock, who played fast and hard.
He had a style of his own and seemed out of control at times. Moon’s furious drumming and on-stage antics will forever be remembered by fans of ‘The Who’.
5. Ginger Baker
He worked with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce as a member of their rock band, Cream. In a little more than two years, he became one of the most beloved rock drummers of all time. Ginger Baker’s most memorable performances are in groundbreaking hits like Wheels of Fire, Fresh Cream, Goodbye, and Disraeli Gears.
His dynamics and finesse couldn’t be missed as he swung his way through blues and psychedelic-rock. With Toad, he gave the world of rock the drum solo. As a true pioneer, he redefined the drum kit’s place in music.