Rolling Stone: Top 100 Drummers of All-Time! (Cough Cough)

Author: Jim Johnson


Rolling Stone magazine has compiled its list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time and it’s topped by Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham.

Ringo doesn’t even make the top 10 and noticeably absent from the list entirely, Detroit’s own, Johnny (Bee) Bdanjek, by age 16 was setting the beat for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. Bee went on to tour and play with the likes of  Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper, Dr. John, Bob Seger, Ronnie Montrose, Nils Lofgren and others, before co-founding The Rockets. He was the drummer rock critic Dave Marsh  described as an “unknown genius” for his drum break on Mitch Ryder’s “Devil with the Blue Dress On”.

Photo Courtesy of
Lynn Hansen Maslowski

As for how the rag went about making its selections, the writers say: “We valued nuance and musicality over chops and flash, celebrating players who knew the value of aiding a great song more than hogging up a show with a silly solo.” Nonetheless, three of the top five are known for taking up at least what could have been two more songs in the set with long solos – Bonham, Ginger Baker and Neil Peart.

Here is the Top 10:

  1. John Bonham – Led Zeppelin
  2. Keith Moon – The Who
  3. Ginger Baker – Cream
  4. Neil Peart – Rush
  5. Hal Blaine – session player
  6. Clyde Stubblefield and John “Jabo” Starks from James Brown‘s band
  7. Gene Krupa – big band / jazz great
  8. Mitch Mitchell – Jimi Hendrix Experience
  9. Al Jackson, Jr. – Booker T and the MGs and Stax session drummer
  10. Stewart Copeland – The Police

The complete list can be found at

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