Coolest drummer you ever met?

Vistalite Black

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Iron Maiden's legendary bassist Steve Harris played a small venue in my town last night with his side band, British Lion.
The Picturebooks (from Germany) opened up and Phillip Maddin pounded the drum set harder than any person I've ever seen, playing a monster kit with a 20-inch tom, two snares and no cymbals. He threw me a drumstick fragment and signed it after the show. Super nice guy.
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wflkurt

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I met Buddy Rich when I was 18 or so. His band played at Salem NH high school and I went with one of my best friends. We were both in marching band and drum corps together.

At the end of the concert, we went to the back of the school and Buddy's tour bus was there with a line. He was seated just inside the bus and he was doing autographs. I got up there and he said (in a voice I'm sure you can imagine)

"you play drums kid?"
me: "yes sir"
Buddy: "you damn well better be practicing your ass off"
me: "I am sir"

It was excellent.
I love hearing all the nice words about Buddy. I saw him in 1984 when I was 13 at Manchester West High school in NH. I had only been playing about a year and a half maybe two years and it was incredible. I was to shy to wander back there after the show so I never met him.

I have met lots of guys though and most of my meets are ones that you guys have had. Lots of jazz guys as they have all been pretty approachable. Louie of course was great as ever. I met Max once who was very kind as well as Alan Dawson. I first met Bun E through sending him a letter and meeting him at the Chicago drum show back around 1993. That following Christmas I got a cheap Trick Christmas card out of the blue. That was very kind. Drummer(IMO) really are the nicest people. I have not run across to many that have been unpleasant. Even at that I always try to understand what they are going through at that particular moment. The other thing to consider is their hearing. I did an opening show for an all star band that included Roger Earle from Foghat. People that were there talking to him thought he was a little distant and somewhat unfriendly. I helped him with his drum set-up and realized instantly that he was practically deaf! Feeling a little that way myself sometimes I completely understood and I know for me personally that I probably miss a decent amount of conversation from my tinnitus. I'm turning 50 this December and I'm sure the hearing aids won't be long sadly....
 

dcrigger

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Maybe if I typed four paragraphs of nothing you would understand better. :)
Well, I figured... but I thought I'd give you the benefit of the doubt... And as I wrote, I knew this would be a sensitive subject - but as usual, you've jumped right past discussing the topic into simply dismissing anyone that disagrees with you... even in the slightest. Oh well...

Can't say at this point that I care what you think about what I write one way or another. Which isn't to say I don't care what this community at large thinks about it.

So while you thought I wrote four paragraphs of nothing... the little "like" thingy tells me a different story. Four likes and a couple of PM's regarding my four paragraphs of nothing... hmm, works for me.

Have a nice day...
 
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Houndog

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I met Roger Earl at a bar, the next day I saw him coming out of the music store in town.
He didn't remember me, said he was quite drunk last night and laughed .
Seemed a nice enough fellow ...
 

sptucker

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Buddy Rich. He was super nice. Myself and another friend got to go on his bus with Buddy.
I got to get on his bus after a show too (first in line for an autograph)! He was nice during those 15 seconds! This was 1980.

I met Steve Gadd at one of his clinics about 20 years ago. He was so laid back and cool - a real class act. Again, during a slightly longer 2 minute interaction.
 

L300burn

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Kenny Aronoff, Russ Kunkel, Chad Wackerman, and bonus John Good
 

Rufus T Firefly

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The three well known drummers I've met and talked with are Danny Seraphine, Buddy Rich and Dennis Elliot the original drummer for Foreigner.
 

Warrenbonz

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Had the honor of meeting many amazing drummers but the coolest would have to be Joe Porcaro. He was one of my teachers at Musicians Institute in Hollywood Ca. back in the early 90’s. In group class he would play excercises from his book and it was so groovy and musical. He would get excited and say “if you want to make it really happening you could do this”. One on occasion I asked him about something I was having trouble mastering from another class and he delayed his lunch to come to my practice room and work on it with me. My favorite memory is when he asked me if the video playing on the tv in the room was my band and when I told him it was he said “you guys are happening”. :) He is such a generous, hip and talented guy!

Another cool one is Abe Laborial Jr. I met him a number of times in the 90’s and one time, on my birthday, he got all the guys in his killer trio at the time The Raging Honkies to sign his cracked cymbal for me.

Last one I’ll share was meeting Dave Grohl in a bar in Hollywood. It was after Nirvana disbanded and he was so down to earth and a really normal, cool guy to talk to. He said he was putting together a new band (like half the other people in the bar). The band, it turns out, was Foo Fighters!
 

bellbrass

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Ginger Baker - He silently eyeballed me suspiciously when I asked to shake his hand after the last set as he sipped an oddly tiny cup of tea in his dressing room at Iridium NYC circa 1997 when he was appearing there with DJQ. Nonetheless, he slowly extended his hand the texture of which felt like a brick. Then I said it was a thrill to see him play since I had not seen him since Blind Faith at which point he abruptly interrupted me with a low growl saying "I never stopped". I then backpedaled, clumsily clarifying that "no", it was me that had not seen him and not that I was implying anything. More suspicious silent sideward eyeballing. Then I made the mistake of inquiring about the absent Ludwigs, oblivious that this was his first gig backed by DW which stepped in when Ludwig abandoned its long-time support of him. More suspicious silent eyeballing. Then I made the further mistake of asking if he tried other brands such as GMS at which point he launched into an angry and loud tirade about Ludwig who he collectively referred to as "wankers" which became so intense and vehement that I sensed he was about to get physical with me and not romantically. Fearing for my safety, I began to slowly move backward towards the door of the small fan-packed dressing room when suddenly Ginger's voice did a 180, turning into adulation as he repeatedly exclaimed "Here's the man! Here's the man!!" I turned to see Max Roach standing directly in back of me blocking the doorway that I was trying to escape through. Making fast work of the opportunity to get the hell out of there, I slipped past Max and out the door.

That was when I realized that Max was the intimidating man sitting alone during the sets at a table in back of me to whom I had earlier turned and noticed was staring/glaring at me stone-faced as I subtly kept time with my hands and feet during Ginger's sets.

Tony Williams circa '76 with Lifetime (Allan Holdsworth, Alan Pasqua and Tony Newton) at the Quiet Knight on a cold deserted night in Chicago is another story for another day.
Wow, what a story! Too funny!
 

glaze148

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I also met Philly Jo Jones in Alkmaar in Holland in 1969 when he was doing a TV recording at a nightclub. He played amazingly but was very stoned and fell off the drum stool at one point, and was very friendly and talkative... he landed a kick on the oyster Premier drums and said "these are f...ing sh.. drums.." - so much for endorsements!
He was mean to me when I asked him for lessons. He just growled you can’t play, and I made an about face and split. I was 16
 

equipmentdork

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Joe Morello, without a doubt. He became a great teacher and personal friend and I miss him all the time.

I've yet to have a bad experience with a fellow drummer. I've met Dave Weckl, Cozy Powell, Purdie, and Jerry Gaskill. I got some weird vibes from Clem Burke, but that might have been my imagination. I know Gary Burke(no relation, Dylan, Joe Jackson drummer) from having played on something he produced.

I also personally know Ronnie Zito(NYC sessions, Bobby Darin, Manilow) who is as cool as they come. He calls you "man"!


Dan
 


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