Drumming's Biggest Great Guys: A Top List in Progress

shuffle

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Greg Bissonnet, Billy Ward,Dennis Chambers, Kenny Aronoff,Rod Morgensteen,Jimi Bott,,Bill Bateman ,Richard Innes,all approachable, friendly,willing to chat.
The last 3 arent Big Time but like TC ,can lay the blues shufflez and grooves down!
 

Tornado

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Glad to see Louie Bellson at the top. Super nice guy. I didn't go up to meet him, he came to sit with ME, a shy nervous kid sitting alone at a drum clinic.

Will Kennedy was cool. Never met Larnell Lewis, but if he's not the nicest living drummer today in real life, I'll be disappointed.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Bun E
Danny Seraphine
Benny Greb
Larnell Lewis
Liberty De Vito
Dom Famularo
Brian Hitt
Kenny Aronoff
John Riley
All very gracious and kind individuals
 

Dumpy

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Gregg Bissonette! How could I have forgotten him.

Great Guy times two!
I remember seeing Gregg at a clinic the year before he got the DLR gig. Then I saw his new look and I asked “How did he grow all that hair all of the sudden?!?” Cool guy, nonetheless!
 

dale w miller

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I can’t tell you who is a good guy when all I’ve done is meet them once and that’s a good amount of them. Everyone has good days and bad days. The only drummer’s drummers I know well are Billy Ward from a drummer’s circle, Tommy Igoe as a student, Lil’ John Roberts from playing the Atlanta scene, and Abe Laboriel from school and they are good guys.
 
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Dumpy

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I can’t tell you is good guy when all I’ve done is meet them once and that’s a good amount of them. Everyone has good days and bad days. The only drummer’s drummer I know well is Billy Ward from a drummer’s circle, Tommy Igoe as a student, Lil’ John Roberts from playing the Atlanta scene, and Abe Laboriel from school they are good guys.
You’re not wrong.

When I was part way slinging guitars, I actually got to know more guitarists. There were times I was star struck and they were genuinely shocked; others EXPECTED you to be star struck and were offended when you weren’t. Of course this is more a business deal than other settings. Bruce Kulick nearly bought one of my Wolfgangs. He was SUPER cool.

I remember one of my fellow guitar slingers gave a famous guitarist my name and number as he collects snare drums. Didn’t have anything he wanted, so it was a short, sweet and courteous conversation between two dudes. I never heard from him again. I rarely picked up drums except for my personal collection.

Bruce was the same way in person as he was on every video interview I have seen him. I ran into him a few more times before I got out of the business and he always remembered who I was. I would expect he is the same guy all the time. The unnamed player was decent, but I had no indication of what he’s really like before or after the phone call.
 

ken3737

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Back in the 80’s, in Sacramento, I took in a Ry Cooder concert with Keltner behind the drum kit. After the show ended, I noticed Jim was breaking down his kit on the stage. I walked up to him, he shot me a sideways glance and I just stood there, frozen. He’d been my idol since seeing him on the Mad Dogs tour. Finally after maybe 20 awkward seconds, he saI’d: “your a drummer, right?” I said ”yeah,” and he introduced himself and extended his hand. He asked what job I had (TV Newsphotographer), and told me how the media wanted him to tell secrets of the year he hung out in CA. with John Lennon. Down to earth guy; class act.
 

drums1225

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Despite some of his personal issues in recent years, I saw Deen Castronovo in clinic at Sam Ash in White Plains, NY, in the early 90's, and he was super humble, cool, and hilariously funny.
 

hsosdrum

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Just to back-up everyone's stories about Louie Bellson, my ex father-in-law ("Mr. G") played sax in Louie's big bands of and on over a 30-year period. (In fact, Louie gave him is first break back in the late '60s, an opportunity that Mr. G parlayed into a 40+ year career as a top A-list session musician here in Southern California.) Mr. G says that in addition to all of his musical talents and skills, Louie was the nicest, warmest and most sincere person he ever worked for.
 

vintagedrummersweden

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Thomas Haake - great guy, always nice and friendly!
Butch Miles - met him once, got to talk for quite some time and he was super friendly.
Morgan Ågren - great guy, really friendly!
And... Carmine Appice(!) - met him two days in a row at Frankfurt Music Messe and he talked a lot and showed the cymbals he was there to promote. The day before at a local bar he was equally friendly.
 

dale w miller

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Despite some of his personal issues in recent years, I saw Deen Castronovo in clinic at Sam Ash in White Plains, NY, in the early 90's, and he was super humble, cool, and hilariously funny.
That’s good you have a nice memory, but that does not make me think he is. That man should be out of the business, but we all know he’s too talented for that.
 

Vistalite Black

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That’s good you have a nice memory, but that does not make me think he is. That man should be out of the business, but we all know he’s too talented for that.
News alert from Saturday -- He's out of a gig!
 

SpinaDude

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I had a couple of brief online chats with Ryan Van Poederooyen when he was with Devin Townsend. Just reached out to him on his Facebook page, not really expecting to hear back. But he answered warmly every time, so gracious, kind and positive. Seemed like a genuinely good guy.

There's a whole thread about me meeting Bernard Purdie a little over a year go. Another super warm and friendly dude, very engaging and happy to meet people. A real gentleman.

Showing my 80's roots, I've never met Eric Carr, Chester Thompson or Gregg Bissonette, but have always heard great stories about the three of them being kind, friendly, generous with their time and genuinely appreciative and respectful of the fans.

Kindness goes a long way for me.
 

funkypoodle

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Todd Sucherman
Benny Grebb
Jim Riley
Larnell Lewis
Russ Miller
Ray Luzier
Horacio Hernadez
Damien Schmitt
Will Calhoun
Steve Potts
Bill Stewart

Sarah Thawer

Off the the top of my head, these are some of the nice, friendly folks I've met while working various tech jobs. I'm sure i forgot a bunch & others, well maybe they just weren't having a good day. Bonus points for Benny Grebb because he's super funny, a joy bringer!
 

drums1225

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That’s good you have a nice memory, but that does not make me think he is. That man should be out of the business, but we all know he’s too talented for that.
So, a guy hits rock bottom due to addiction, spins out of control, makes monumental mistakes, loses his family, the gig of a lifetime, and his freedom, but somehow he shouldn't be allowed to make a living after getting himself sober and putting his life back together? A little harsh, no? Also, Deen and his fiancee with whom he had problems got back together after his fall from grace. If she can forgive him, I think the music world can find a place for him.
 

dale w miller

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So, a guy hits rock bottom due to addiction, spins out of control, makes monumental mistakes, loses his family, the gig of a lifetime, and his freedom, but somehow he shouldn't be allowed to make a living after getting himself sober and putting his life back together? A little harsh, no? Also, Deen and his fiancee with whom he had problems got back together after his fall from grace. If she can forgive him, I think the music world can find a place for him.
I don’t really want to go down the path of the abused and their mentality, but perhaps she feels that’s all that she deserves. There are a few things I feel are unforgivable and abuse is one of them.

Journey was great to him for years. With Smith running into some business issues with them, Deen had the opportunity to be back but they chose someone else. They know it’s not good for them to have him back regardless of his talent.

Unless he was an idiot with his money, the dude is set for life financially so I have no sympathy in that regard.
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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I am SO glad that Louie Bellson was the first name mentioned! All the great jazz and pop legends, including Sinatra and Bennett, have said how wonderful it was to work with him. I met him and he acted like he had known me for years!

Hey, what about Ringo? I haven't met him personally, but a friend did, and told me that he was very friendly and approachable.
 


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