Who Picked Drummers Better Than David Bowie?

Vistalite Black

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In recognition of what would have been David Bowie's 69th birthday, England's Rhythm magazine published an online salute to the many drummers who sat behind him during his long reign as one of music's most creative and enigmatic contributors.

In service to the DFO community, I've converted Rhythm's online slideshow into this list.

It's hard not to notice that at least two Bowie drummers also spent time in Journey, suggesting that if it doesn't work out with Deen Castronovo, Woody Woodmansey may be getting a call.

Note: List isn't comprehensive. Bowie released 26 albums and scores of singles.

With no further delay, here is a tribute to how good Bowie was at sorting through drummers' resumes for top-flight skinsmen:

John Eager - 67, David Bowie.

Terry Cox - 69, David Bowie.

Woody Woodmansey, 70-75 (Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, etc.)

Andy Newmark, 75 (Young Americans).

Aynsley Dunbar*, 73-75 (Pin-Ups, Diamond Dogs)

Dennis Davis, 76-80. (Station to Station, Low, Lodger, Scary Monsters)

Omar Hakim*, 83 (Let's Dance).

Steve Ferrone, 87 (Labyrinth)

Hunt Sales 1989 (Tin Machine)

Sterling Campbell, 93-99, 2003, 2013 (Black Tie, White Noise; Heathen, Outside, The Next Day)

Zachary Alford, 1997, 2013 (Earthling, The Next Day)

Mark Guiliana, 2016 (Blackstar)

*Also played in Journey.

 

paul

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I admit to a certain amount of prejudice here, but I'd submit Jeff Beck as an artist with a stellar list of drummer sidemen, and still at it. An admittedly incomplete list:
Mick Waller
Cozy Powell
Carmine Appice
Terry Bozzio
Vinnie Colaiuta
Michael Walden
Jonathon Joseph.

And please note, these weren't just guys who came in and played on a record. They were members of the touring band as well.

Carlos Santana also deserves some credit for putting good drummers in the spotlight.
 

bbunks

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I admit to a certain amount of prejudice here, but I'd submit Jeff Beck as an artist with a stellar list of drummer sidemen, and still at it. An admittedly incomplete list:
Mick Waller
Cozy Powell
Carmine Appice
Terry Bozzio
Vinnie Colaiuta
Michael Walden
Jonathon Joseph.

And please note, these weren't just guys who came in and played on a record. They were members of the touring band as well.

Carlos Santana also deserves some credit for putting good drummers in the spotlight.
I was going to say the same thing, and let's add Richard Bailey for "Blow by Blow"!
 

gbow

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Maybe Bowie was better at picking guitarists - See SRV..

But in reality, this could be said for most multi-platinum artists. Even James Taylor has an impressive list of drummers, including names like Vinnie, Gadd, Jordan, Keltner, Kunkel, Marotta, Newmark, Wakerman, Igoe, Fig, Carlock....

gabo
 

yetanotherdrummer

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I saw Bowie one time in concert. It was in 1975 on the Station to Station tour. I remember Dennis Davis had a double bass North drum set in black and white. As a teenager I was quite impressed. The set was configured like a Ludwig Octa Plus set. I had to go down by the stage after the concert to check it out.

Another memory from that concert was Bowie being hours late, with no opening act. So they just kep playing Kraftwerk on the PA while we waited. Fun, fun, fun on the autoban..............
 

equipmentdork

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I play in a Bowie tribute band and the work those drummers did makes my job a huge challenge. Then again, my keyboard player has to play Mike Garson parts, my guitarist Ronson and Slick and others, and well, Bowie had a pretty wide vocal range.


Dan
 

dyland

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Maybe Bowie was better at picking guitarists - See SRV..

But in reality, this could be said for most multi-platinum artists. Even James Taylor has an impressive list of drummers, including names like Vinnie, Gadd, Jordan, Keltner, Kunkel, Marotta, Newmark, Wakerman, Igoe, Fig, Carlock....

gabo
Can't forget Carlos Vega
 

cribbon

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I see nothing in the original post that restricts replies to only a typically smarmy "List of Acts I Don't Enjoy." Didn't know that your personal taste alone determines the quality of music. That said, here's a bit more, whether you like them or not:

FRANK ZAPPA:
Aynsley Dunbar, John Guerin, Ralph Humphrey, Chester Thompson,Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Coliauta, Chad Wackerman, Jim Gordon

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN:
Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams, Narada Michael Waldon, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Dennis Chambers, Gary Husband, Elvin Jones

JACK BRUCE:
Ginger Baker, Jon Hiseman, Bruce Gary, John Marshall, Simon Phillips, Gary Husband, Trilok Gurtu, Tony Williams

CARLOS SANTANA:
Michael Shrieve, Ndugu, Chepito Areas, Gaylord Birch, Graham Lear, Walfredo Reyes, El Negro, Dennis Chambers, Cindy Blackman

IAN ANDERSON:
Clive Bunker, Barriemore Barlow, Mary Craney, Gerry Conway, Doan Perry

JOE ZAWINUL:
Billy Cobham, Airto, Eric Gravatt, Dom Um Romao, Bobby Thomas Jr., Trilok Gurtu, Alex Acuna, Chester Thompson, Michael Baker, Ndugu, Narada Michael Waldon, Peter Erskine, Paco Sery

CHICK COREA:
Lenny White, Steve Gadd, Roy Haynes, Brian Blade, Dave Weckl

MILES DAVIS:
Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, Jimmy Cobb, Roy Haynes, Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette, Ndugu, Al Foster, Airto, Mino Cinelu
 

T-2

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I admit to a certain amount of prejudice here, but I'd submit Jeff Beck as an artist with a stellar list of drummer sidemen, and still at it. An admittedly incomplete list:
Mick Waller
Cozy Powell
Carmine Appice
Terry Bozzio
Vinnie Colaiuta
Michael Walden
Jonathon Joseph.

And please note, these weren't just guys who came in and played on a record. They were members of the touring band as well.

Carlos Santana also deserves some credit for putting good drummers in the spotlight.
Yes to Jeff Beck. I'll add the wonderful Richard Bailey to that list.

Jerry Garcia picked great drummers too:

Bill Kreutzmann
Bill Vitt
Ron Tutt
Johnny d'Fonseca Jr
Buzz Buchanan
Paul Humphrey
David Kemper
 

JDA

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So a.....Secure Position Drummers thread next??

Look for it @Vistalite Black
probably Under" Drummers who Lasted The Longest In the Same band Forever"
 
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dyland

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Bowie is one of my favorite artists, and I've always found my appreciation of the drumming on his records to be centered more on the homogeneity of the drum sounds with the vibe of the record. Everything serves the superstructure of the album.

There's the distinct sound (that him, Eno, and Visconti came to regret) achieved on the Berlin trilogy, the cold and distant sounds of Station to Station, Giuliana's flat, quasi-hip hop feel on Blackstar (where Bowie was outwardly influenced by Kendrick and references Gang Starr in the lyrics).

Admittedly, I consider none of these to be "drum albums" the way I would Gaucho, or Apostrophe, or One Trick Pony. Rather, they're fully realized art projects of which the drumming and drum sounds contribute greatly to.
 


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