David Letterman Bangs Out 'Drum Solo Week'

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Band geeks unite: Late Show with David Letterman is kicking off its first ever “Drum Solo Week.”

The late-night staple is dedicating a week’s worth of episodes to performances by some of the music industry’s top percussionists, starting with a standout solo on Monday, June 6 from the Late Show‘s very own Anton Fig, the drummer in Paul Shaffer’s band.

The following night, Letterman welcomes Sheila E. and her world renowned skill with the sticks.

On Wednesday, June 8, drum legend Roy Haynes takes the stage, boasting a career filled with Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughn collaborations (to name a few). And rounding out the week is a performance by Rush’s Neil Peart, a drummer who is often regarded as one of rock music’s greatest.

In addition to a week filled with extra musical guests, Letterman will gab with Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, J.J. Abrams’ Super 8), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Tony Awards host), Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), and more TV types.

The Late Show‘s “Drum Solo Week” debuts Monday, June 6 at 11:35/10:35c on CBS.

Comments (108)

  • As a drummer, I can definitely get behind this!

    Comment by Abby – June 1, 2011 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed, this should be quite interesting. Let’s hope this catches on (yeah, right… But we can just hope, right?), and it either happens again in the future, or they repeat it with other instruments…

      Comment by Delirious – June 1, 2011 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • THOMAS PRIDGEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment by Philip Ingemann – June 7, 2011 01:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Another Neil Peart bandwagon thread.
      I have nothing against him, but Rush’s music is pretty one-dimensional it seems to me, and doesn’t require a huge amount of technical skill or sophistication in the drum chair, in my opinion.
      Try Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson; he’s amazing for the myriad of styles he uses in the music: Pop to metal, jazz to progressive rock, etc.
      Also, there are a lot of extreme metal drummers (the guy in Enslaved for one, or Opeth’s drummer for another) who definitely could give Peart a run for his money. But I’m sure the classic rock snobs will turn their noses up at them – no differently than their parents did with THEIR music back in the day.

      Comment by rokfan – June 9, 2011 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Couldn’t agree with you more man, Gavin Harrison is such an amazing drummer and so completely overlooked all the time, Martin Axenrot (the drummer for Opeth) is phenominal, even Martin Lopez their old drummer was fantastic.

        Comment by OrganHatch – June 10, 2011 12:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

        Comment by TIM – June 28, 2011 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Tim, couldn’t agree with you more (except for the idiot part…). I just can’t believe that someone is actually convinced that what Peart is doing does not comprise a huge amount of technical skills and sophistication. To me there is one explanation to this: either it’s a lack of music education or a lack of active listening. Besides, and needless to say, that if Peart was Portnoy’s idol, then Peart is without any doubt a major drumming influence for Gavin Harrison, M. Axenrot and M. Lopez, amongst many others. One word sums it all for Mr. Peart: Respect. Like it or not.


          Comment by Mike – August 20, 2011 07:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Tim thanks! Wow..It amazes me that there are people this stupid out there…Rush rules all!

          Comment by ant – December 23, 2011 01:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Dear rokfan,

        It is my opinion that you should probably stop using bathsalts becouse it is deffinatly obscuring your judgement on skill as far as percussion is concerned. I am also an avid drummer and have been for years. If great Drummers such as Buddy Rich and Gene Kruppa some of the original masters who’s music still transends the ages and influance people with fantastic skill such as neil peart, whom then in turn influance drummers like mike portnoy and scott rockenfeld.How could you possibly say that Neil peart is not one of the greatest drummers of our time, or as you put it “one dimensional” unless you are either on bath salts or musically ignorant.

        Comment by Dogday – September 25, 2011 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Dude, Rush one-dimensional? That’s got to be the most idiotic statement I’ve ever heard in my life! Rush is untouchable “talent wise” by any other bands in the history of music…Unreal, this is the result of an American Idol society we have now…These kids have no idea what it takes to make great music..it’s already made for them and packaged up in a nice, pretty box…

        Comment by ant – December 23, 2011 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It is great for drumming and percussion enthusiasts to be able to see some of their favorite stars in action and Dave Letterman opening up the spectre of “drumming artistry” to a wide audience. If you were to speak to any of those artist (drummers) that have performed on the Dave Letterman Show,….I would bet 10 to 1 that the majority of them would say that Buddy Rich was indeed the “master” of the drumming world. If you would like to see some incredible drummers, I suggest you take a little trip on “Youtube” and under “drum-solos” you will be able to see an array of some superb drumming buy people that you probably have not even heard of.

      Comment by Jay Lomac – June 10, 2011 04:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fig, Sheila E, Haynes, and Peart. WWWWWWWTTTTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!! I just might cry…

    Comment by Stanley DeCwikiel Jr – June 1, 2011 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Professor Peart on Letterman!!! Now millions will see what so many of us alreay know!!! He IS The Master!!!

    Comment by Vic Mole – June 1, 2011 08:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was just gonna say the same thing. He’s gonna blow people’s minds who aren’t familiar with his work.

      Comment by JohnDoe – June 2, 2011 12:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I will second that! Even Peart’s work on “Hockey Night in Canada” was awesome. For drum enthusiasts, check out the work of young Tony Royster Jr. on youtube. Amazing talent!

        Comment by John V. – June 7, 2011 02:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ll be watching the night Peart is on. He is to drums what Clapton is to the guitar – a god.

    Comment by Bob – June 2, 2011 07:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Clapton, really? Clapton is overrated and washed up. Peart is the real deal.

      Comment by That Guy – June 2, 2011 09:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Clapton?? WASHED UP?? L0L!!!
        Just because YOU don’t like it doesn’t mean he’s washed up.

        Thing about Peart, he IS a master with Rush. However, he’s
        like a fish out of water when he’s out of his element as
        seen on the Buddy Rich memorial concert footage.
        Hopefully he fairs better on Letterman.

        Comment by Mike – June 6, 2011 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Yes. Washed up. The only good Clapton is Yardbirds Clapton. Everything else is boring and predictable music for old people. If guitarists were cars he’d be a Mini-Van(A Ford Aerostar perhaps?).

          As for Peart, you’re right the man is a master of his craft and I can’t wait to see him on Letterman. Looking forward to seeing Rush later this year.

          Comment by That Guy – June 6, 2011 06:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • There’s no sense in talking about Clapton in a bad way…. especially since he’s been touring with Steve Gadd- another one of our greats in the drumming world. Check it out for yourself but be careful as you might change your mind.

            Comment by Steve Burke – June 7, 2011 01:32 PM PDT  
  • Just in case anybody might be moved to seek out her recordings (and you should), it’s Sarah Vaughan.

    Comment by Jon88 – June 2, 2011 07:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Good to see Peart—too bad no Carter Beauford (dave matthews)—dude can PLAY.

    Comment by Pat D. – June 2, 2011 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I second the Carter vote. This comment will out me as a DMB superfan but I’ve seen them live probably 15 times, and Carter always blows me away – by far my favorite member of the band. He’s a truly ambidextrous drummer.

      I’m a huge Rush fan too though – Peart is gonna slay them all, they’re definitely saving the best for last with him. I’ll definitely tune in.

      Comment by Lime – June 2, 2011 03:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Very cool that he’s doing this. Nice of them to give a spotlight to their own drummer. It would have been nice to have Danny Carey of Tool and/or Terry Bozzio of Frank Zappa & Missing Persons had been given a chance in the spotlight.

    Comment by darclyte – June 2, 2011 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hey dude I just watched Anton’s solo and while it started a bit disjointed and outta rhyhm for my taste, after the first 45 sec it was masterful! Anton doesn’t get as much credit as he should for all the different people and musical styles he has to work with there day in, day out. Still, like others have said, Professor Peart will OWN the joint come Thursday night. Can’t freakin wait!

      Comment by Jim – June 6, 2011 09:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree!love to see Neil & very happy he appeared but…Bozzio&Carey dont get recognition they deserve!

      Comment by lks – June 10, 2011 02:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Really? Drum week and no CHAD SMITH??? oversight?
    Seriously? No CHAD SMITH?
    talk amongst yourselves on that one.
    Such a bummer!

    Comment by Beth – June 3, 2011 12:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Chad Smith in the same sentence as Roy Haynes or Neal Peart? Sounds like you been dabblin’ in some of Flea and Anthony’s smack. Dude can’t hold a candle to those boys.

      Comment by Z – June 3, 2011 10:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • okay…i’m not saying he is the guru that Peart is…or the legend the Haynes is, but Chad Smith is no slouch… i mean, like…really cool stuff… go watch some of his solos on youtube or something. i think you’d dig it… if you don’t, you either are not a drummer, or you’re standards are set to a ridiculous level…cause Chad Smith is a stud.

        Comment by morris – June 8, 2011 09:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t believe you guys are all drooling over Peart when one of the all time greats, Roy Haynes, will precede him. Besides the artists mentioned in the article, he’s played with Coltrane, Bird, Corea, Metheny, Brecker, Kirk, and numerous others. His career began over 50 years ago and he still plays with vigor and originality.

    Peart, in the meantime, is mainly notable for the design of his drumsets and amazing bombast, and couldn’t swing even if he were hung.

    Comment by paul miller – June 3, 2011 12:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Swing snob alert! Oh that’s right, I forgot, swing is the only respectable genre of drumming because… because old people say so. Neil is notable because he had played with Lee and Lifeson in this band called Rush – maybe you’ve heard of them – making some of the best rock music ever and pushing the envelope in the genre in terms of musicality. Swing musicians are notable for showing off their incredible swinging ability at weddings, hotel lobbys and supper clubs.

      Neil will amaze and entertain because that’s what he does, no matter what kit he’s playing on. Go back to your basement and listen to your Glen Miller vinyl collection and leave normal people alone.

      Comment by Jon Bernreuter – June 4, 2011 04:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Jon, I’m familiar with Rush and like them fairly well, although I’m not nearly as impressed with them as you seem to be. And the only envelope they’ve ever pushed is the one with pay inside.

        I’ve also been a rock drummer since 1963, and Neil is far down my list of favorite rock and fusion drummers. If he played a four piece set nobody would know his name.

        Just for the record, Haynes is a JAZZ drummer who mostly plays bebop, and as such has played with almost every major jazz artist of the last 50 years. Also, he never played in a swing band, having decided early on that he was happiest in small groups. And if you think swing is easy you’re welcome to come sit in with my big band so you can show us how irrelevant the ability to swing is. I’ll even loan you sticks.

        Comment by paul miller – June 5, 2011 01:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Well said. Peart is terribly over-rated. He is good, no doubt, but he’s in a lousy band that plays really bad music.

          Comment by Marivi – June 6, 2011 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • LOL…wow…idiot alert. Peart overrated? Shows how ignorant you are.

            Comment by JohnDoe – June 6, 2011 06:53 PM PDT  
          • Yeah….Neal Peart is overrated like a Ferrari is just a car. Just my thought but I could do without Sheila E. — if anyone during the week could be considered “overrated” its her. Gimmie Chad Smith, Alex Van Halen, Deen Castronovo (mostly unknown but a monster drummer), etc.

            Comment by Jim – June 6, 2011 09:52 PM PDT  
          • just because you don’t get it. (Rush) doesn’t mean it’s bad music.

            Comment by Reed Hayes – June 6, 2011 10:31 PM PDT  
          • Got to agree w/you there. Rush elicits the same cretin response as KISS did in my generation. The audience of stoner-dudes air-drumming and air-guitaring to the overblown productions. Rush has, like, 3 good songs (tops) and you have to wade through a couple dozen albums to find them. Bad music: yes. Bad musicians: no. For “rock musicians” they are better than some (at least Peart and Lee are).

            Comment by BozzioFan – June 7, 2011 09:54 AM PDT  
          • ??? Wow, The ego’s of some people are so hilarious! Who made any of you the leading authority of good music?? get over yourself!

            Comment by Reed Hayes – June 8, 2011 09:26 AM PDT  
          • Your name is perfect – Bozzo! You sound like a intolerant right-winger calling names. And you couldn’t be further from accurate. Sounds to me like you lump a lot of things together with no thoguht put into it. KISS fans and Rush fans? Have you ever SEEN a Rush concert and the musicians and nerds and now fathers with their kids? Most people who grew up in the Kiss generation – like me – would only go to a Kiss concert for nostalgic reasons. Kiss never claimed to be decent musicians – it was about their show. Rush, on the other hand, rehearse before every performance on tour. They pride themselves in playing several instruments at the same time – to make the trio sound like a full band.

            Go listen to country music like a good reactionary!

            Comment by Anti-Bozzio – June 8, 2011 01:08 PM PDT  
          • I’ve seen rush 20 or more times and never strolled on peart during a solo. I’d rather piss myself or die from dehydration.Every show is the best show ,I always leave wanting more .In my 40 years of concerts rush is by far the greatest band I’ve ever seen and Peart is hands down the greatest drummer of all time. No comparison,no argument.

            Comment by larry cosby – June 9, 2011 02:08 PM PDT  
      • hotel lobbys…good one. How about a monster player to bridge this swing, jazz, rock, etc conversation: Vinnie Colaiuta. That would be awesome. Overall, they should make it Drum Solo Month as there are too many to choose from.

        Comment by Peart plus – June 8, 2011 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Thanks…. Though there isn’t a ‘greatest’, Vinnie is at the top of my list!

          Comment by Steve B – June 13, 2011 03:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Too bad we have to endure 60 minutes of “DAVE” before we can enjoy 3 minutes of ART. Sigh.

    Comment by Alienate – June 3, 2011 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Stephen Perkins!!!!

    Comment by Mikey B – June 4, 2011 04:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Peart is a good player for sure, but sadly there are many others that may be a level or two better. Try Colaiuta, Weckl, Chambers, Gadd, Erskine, Bozzio etc. If you haven’t heard of these names, do yourself a favor and look them up. They make a 5 piece kit sound like Peart’s 30 piece kit.

    Comment by SkinnyMoo – June 4, 2011 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Pfft. Look, those guys are all talented jazz-fusion and rock drummers, but Peart blows them out of the water in terms of timing, rhythm, overall diversity, and composition.

      Comment by JohnDoe – June 6, 2011 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • LOL!!!

        Comment by Marivi – June 7, 2011 09:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • “Blows them out of the water in terms of timing , rhythm, etc…..”??? Are you talking about the same Colaiuta, Weckl, Erskine, Gadd, and Chambers that SkinnyMoo is talking about?
        Wow…………Neil is certainly a very talented man but I think even he would agree that the above mentioned drummers have plenty to offer in terms of timing, rhythm etc….

        Comment by ron pangborn – June 8, 2011 03:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There are so many Great drummers and many of them probably aren’t even available cause they’re out touring or recording. So enjoy the ones who are there this week. It wasn’t made to be a ‘best drummer’ week. I hope Peart drives in on his BMW motorcycle. – Check out his web page if you want to see some great travel stories and pictures. He tours just to support his motorcycle adventures. – Ride on!

      Comment by Steve Burke – June 7, 2011 01:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Come all of you listen to corporate sponsored money making music…try the real drummers…Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention) Pierre Morlen (Gong) Marvin “Smitty Smith” Steve Coleman & the Five Elements, John Marshall (Soft Machine) Bill Bruford (Yes, Crimson, Earthworks etc.)
      Daniel Denis (Present) Joey Baron (Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn~Naked City, Fred Frith, Laurie Anderson & more) Bobby Previte (Ponga, Wayne Horvitz, Charlie Hunter & more)….

      Comment by xrc – June 9, 2011 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes they do, however being in a rock band like rush one needs a kit to be able to play a wide range of sounds, and no one plays a big kit like Peart! I play a big kit, and oh yes it is a hell of a lot easier to groove an be musical on a small kit so……… you get my point, all great drummers!!! and thank you for inspiring!

      Comment by Aaron – June 9, 2011 11:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did somebody say DRUMS?!!!!

    Comment by Drum Bum – June 4, 2011 02:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What the heck is Sheila E doing in that round up!!
    Can’t wait to see Neil Peart!!!!!!!

    Comment by christine – June 4, 2011 06:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The truth is, Sheila could run circles around Neil in certain styles.I saw her do a drum clinic many years ago, she played amazing things with a smile on her face, she’s a bad ass!

      Comment by Reed Hayes – June 6, 2011 10:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sheila E is much better than Peart. Roy Haynes is a true lion. Why even Neil Peart? He’s not even that good. Everybody’s gonna see alot of rlrlrlrlrl w/ him. Big deal.


      Comment by Bill – June 7, 2011 08:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yyyyeah. How old are you, Bill? Shiela E better than Peart… you’re a kid who knows nothing about music or you’re a troll – just looking for reaction.

        Comment by A JOKE – June 8, 2011 12:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really love that Dave is doing this drum week filled with super talent.
    Dave has always shown an appreciation for musicians. It is obvious by the band on the show and guests. ( We all know they are all the best in the business…MONSTERS they are.) As an experienced drum circle facilitator, I would love to see the greats play with the audience participating on a show. In fact, I would love to facilitate a rhythm event where audience and band, even Dave would play drums for a bit on the show. That would be AWESOME ! Afterall, it is people that play music, not just musicians.
    What do you say?

    Comment by Christopher Ramirez (Freedom Drum Circles) – June 5, 2011 10:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this. I’d like to suggest a drum corps week. Top Secret Drum Corps, multiple world champion SFU Drum Corps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrVd_AKxFAc , some of the DCI bands, College bands, etc.

    Comment by Todd – June 6, 2011 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Woot! I’d def. be down for some Corps-style drumline battles on Letterman….as long as we can get Bret Kuhn somehow involved. The guy is a drumming GOD!

      Comment by Nut 2 The Corps – June 6, 2011 10:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Very amusing but Mr. Peart will prove why he is the greatest drummer in Rock history!

    Comment by Workingman2112 – June 6, 2011 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s all good, people! Music is NOT a competition… :) I for one am gonna enjoy them all.

    Comment by Mark – June 6, 2011 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thursday could quite possibly be one of the most DVR’d episodes of Letterman ever.

    Comment by PM2112 – June 6, 2011 06:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Stewart Copeland – Saw him in 1984 and have never forgotten it, in fact I bought my drum set to match his exactly…

    Comment by Rob – June 6, 2011 06:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Chad Smith? Come on now. Hero worship and pure chops are two different things. I love a good drum geek debate though. Can you say Thomas Pridgen?

    Comment by Doug F – June 6, 2011 07:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thomas Pridgen!!!

    Comment by James – June 6, 2011 08:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No Danny Seraphine, sigh…

    Comment by tkc87 – June 6, 2011 08:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Peart is good, no doubt. Unfortunately, his reputation is hampered by these hoardes of Teen Beat fanboys/girls (or once-upon-a-time-in-the-80s fanboys that we see here) who wouldn’t know a drumstick from a Nintendo stylus stuck up their drumheads.

    Most drummers know what he is capable of and also know the marketing gimmickery surrounding some of his more famous patterns – similar to Senor Alex. Nothing wrong with that really, but, it doesn’t make him a god (which he might take exception with anyway, fantards) and it doesn’t make him a has-been.

    He’s just a darn good drummer.

    Enjoy, and feel the love.

    Leave the hate for your Mama (or Old Lady, actually) and her Xbox curfews, boys.

    Comment by Rhythmically Enhanced – June 6, 2011 09:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What Dave, No budget for Mick Fleetwood? Your drummers pale in his shadow!

    Comment by Richard Grant – June 6, 2011 09:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok, can I get a BIG AMEN from the crowd that the two drummers we’d all LOVE to see on Letterman this week is sadly impossible because they been jammin’ in Heaven the last 20-30 years — Jeff Porcaro and John Bonham!! Often imitated, never equaled!

    Comment by Save A Drum, Bang A Drummer – June 6, 2011 09:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes…. may I add Carlos Vega and Joe Morello as well. Truly missed but still enjoyed .

      Comment by Steve B – June 7, 2011 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Bonham was a ground-breaker… he was loud and perfect for heavy rock and Zep specifically. However, as far as sophisticated drumming is concerned, and how advanced his drumming abilities were, Peart is head and shoulders better.

      Comment by Bonham... Loud – June 8, 2011 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tell your producers they missed out on picking up thomas pridgen for this segment arguably the best drummer in the world… Ask your drum guests about him! Never to late to book him…

    Comment by KayteA mcintosh – June 6, 2011 11:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why are people so concerned about Peart, he is did not really contribute much to drumming other than managing to have enough hype behind his mediocre playing. Roy Haynes is the real master…that is not even debatable and to be listed on the bill with him is an honor. Get you drum history straight

    Comment by drummer – June 7, 2011 12:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree!

      Comment by NellieOApple – June 7, 2011 07:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • C’mon, now. Peart has contributed A LOT to drumming in much the same way Ringo did – thousands and thousands of drummers got into drumming and have been inspired to better their skills because of Rush and Mr. Peart. That is an influence that cannot be denied. Also, try actually playing, or better yet coming up with yourself, parts on Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, Hemispheres, or A Farewell to Kings. Hard stuff! He sounds unique and has inspired countless thousands of drummers and musicians. You may not think he’s the greatest, but there’s a reason tons and tons of drummers love and respect his playing.

      Roy Haynes IS a master – agreed. Got to see him in 2005. Great stuff.

      Too bad Bill Bruford is retired from playing. He would be great in this line-up!

      Comment by Nigel – June 7, 2011 10:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Neil packs the diversity of his usual solo into a shortened version, I think it will have the broadest appeal to David Letterman’s national tv audience, most of whom are not musicians. As a drummer, I’d love to see a modern day Buddy Rich take center stage with a 4 piece kit and tear my head off – but what about the rest of the audience? Remember, it’s the David Letterman Show, not the Modern Drummer Festival. Let’s just be glad that any drummers are being showcased on any national tv show.

    Comment by Rich – June 7, 2011 07:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow, this is awesome. Peart on Letterman. Finally, millions of people will get to see this master of his art perform. There will be jaws on the floor all over the country.

    Comment by Vic – June 7, 2011 07:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m enjoying reading the spirited discussion and so I must put my 2 cents in. I only saw him mentioned once here and that drummer is Steve Gadd. In my mind no other drummer has been more influential to the world of drumming than Steve. If you’re not familiar with him go to his site (drstevegadd.com) and read his discography.

    Comment by Chris – June 7, 2011 08:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Saw Anton last night. It was okay. His toms sounded dead and thuddy! I will watch all of them this week, but the one I’m least interested in is Sheila E. I ‘ve seen her play live and she’s got chops but it’s all flash and not terribly interesting. Roy Haynes = awesome. Good to see them pic someone that your average Joe has never heard of, but musician know and respect. Peart will be great. Rush rules!

    Instead of Sheila E., I would’ve have gone with Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Keith Carlock, Mike Mangini, Simon Phillips, Chris Coleman, or in a magic world – Elvin Jones. All can solo great (not every great drummer can solo well).

    Nice to see this at all on network tv, though!

    Comment by Nigel – June 7, 2011 09:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There’s obviously a good measure of fan-boy trash talk here. :-)

    We all have our favorites for one reason or another, but slagging someone just because you don’t like their music is kind of simplistic, no?

    For example, I’m no Led Zeppelin fan, but to deny they were one of the greatest and most influential bands ever is just ignorant.

    When it comes to Rush, their greatest quality lies in their unwillingness to compromise. While they may not be the BEST on their respective instruments, there is no denying that they create very unique, technical songs that still have a lot of emotional and intellectual content. No sex drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, here.

    Also, it is important to keep in mind that there is a huge difference between sheer technical difficulty (Rush tunes, for their complexity, are not outside the reach of anyone willing to learn – they aren’t THAT hard. If I can play them, you probably can, too) and the thinking and skill it takes to have created the parts and the songs in the first place.

    Like them or not Rush tunes aren’t run-of-the-mill. You can’t deny they aren’t original, which is more than I can say for 80% of the rest of what’s out there.

    Credit where it’s due, friends…

    Comment by Mark Darrall – June 7, 2011 10:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thanks Mark and well said. We should all remember that there really IS enough garbage out there if one wants to talk ‘trash’. None of these musicians belong in the can. Each have something or they wouldn’t be asked. Though I’m not the biggest ‘Chili Pepper’s fan’, I’d have Chad just because he’s funny and entertaining. The best thing about these ‘chat sessions’ is that reader’s can become aware of so many great drummer’s that maybe they can enjoy more… and come to the realization that it would be impossible to pick a ‘greatest’. Each musician has a style of their own. Why not enjoy many!
      If you need to, it may be possible to pick the greatest ‘drum machine’ but…
      bring your wallet.

      Comment by Steve B – June 7, 2011 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish John Bohnam could be there. His timing, minimalism and ability to to drum just behind the beat would have been a great addition.

    Comment by Greggy – June 7, 2011 07:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hear allot of talk about Neil Peart, Sheila E, and how one is better than the other.. Blah blah blah…

    Fact: Neil Peart has inspired more drummers out there than anybody on the show this week. Period. I’m not disrespecting ANY of the players. They are all incredibly talented musicians, and legends in there field, but Rock, in general is the style most listened to because the majority of radio play through the years has been in that genre of music, therefore Peart is going to be heard by more people. That being said, Peart definately set the bar at a higher level for rock drummers, showing allot of mainstream listeners and musicians that there’s more options in Rock than straight 4/4 time signatures for groove, and that influences from Jazz and Big Band can have a place in Rock too..

    As far as who the best drummer is, well, “best” is usually a matter of opinion. Different people have different tastes, different drummers can do some things better than others. But in my opinion, the best drummer, is hands down, Buddy Rich. Nobody has influenced more people in the field of drums than Buddy. He defined what could be done on a drumkit in his day, and was a true master. His talent, and chops STILL influence MANY of toadys young talent through the guys this generation of drummers idolize, (20 and 30 to 40 year old drummers idolize Neil Peart, who, himself, was influenced by Buddy Rich)….

    As far as guys I’d like to see on the next list, if he does this again, Dave’s GOTTA get Mike Mangini, and Thomas Lang.. Just my two cents…

    Peace to all :-)

    Comment by mhudson – June 7, 2011 09:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So I think Vinnie Colaiuta would have been an excellent choice. Dave could have listed 5 albums that Vinnie’s been on and had the majority of his viewers thinking “I have that record!”. Anton was great! Sheila E is killer, and Roy Haynes will swing us all in to bad health. Neil will be interesting… never been the biggest Rush fan, but I’m sure he will do well.

    Comment by Dennis – June 7, 2011 10:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sorry about your lack of taste and ability to spot talent, Dennis. Just watch Peart and you’ll understand.

      Comment by jon – June 8, 2011 12:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • from a drummers stand point, Thomas Prigeon should be featured, The Mars Volta performance was as good as it gets and no drummer has shined like that on late night TV ever until then !!!!! If you wanna show some drum love, get some truly inspiring drummer !!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Brian – June 7, 2011 11:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well we gotta at least give credit to Sheila E. for playing in high heels! Let’s see Neil to that!

    Comment by Chris – June 8, 2011 05:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They’ve saved the best for later in the week – The professor, Neil, on TV… I can’t believe it. Neil will blow the others away!

    Comment by Ant – June 8, 2011 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Portnoy I dont really like that style but he would been cool. Maybe Josh Freese, Chris Coleman, Dave Grolh although hes pretty busy would have been cool. Or maybe Have 2 Drummers Go back and Forth just a thought as a drummer not saying im right

    Comment by Matt – June 8, 2011 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with the Sheila e comment. What the hell is she doing amongst those guys. I love peary but I don’t consider him a god. To be a god you need to play more than one style although most choose one and stay with it. Personally, I would love to see Dave “where is the downbeat of one” weckl or Dennis chambers in there. THOSE dudes can play!!

    Comment by quickhandsct – June 8, 2011 02:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry… I meant Peart not Peary. Bad keyboard!!

    Comment by Quickhandsct – June 8, 2011 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dave Lombardo \m/ SLAYER \m/

    Comment by slaytanicvato – June 8, 2011 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As expected, Roy Haynes was the most impressive so far. He proved that you don’t need a lot of flash and a double bass drum pedal to sound amazing. A sense of time that you impart back to the audience by sitting in the pocket along with a little simplicity goes a long way.

    Comment by Chris – June 9, 2011 05:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok, I’ve read all of the posts and can not believe no one has mentioned Danny Carrey from tool. As for Peart while he is undoubtedly an exceptional rock drummer he would have to grow another arm to keep up to Danny Carrey.

    Comment by Scandall – June 9, 2011 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another Neil Peart bandwagon thread.
    I have nothing against him, but Rush’s music is pretty one-dimensional it seems to me, and doesn’t require a huge amount of technical skill or sophistication in the drum chair, in my opinion.
    Try Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson; he’s amazing for the myriad of styles he uses in the music: Pop to metal, jazz to progressive rock, etc.
    Also, there are a lot of extreme metal drummers (the guy in Enslaved for one, or Opeth’s drummer for another) who definitely could give Peart a run for his money. But I’m sure the classic rock snobs will turn their noses up at them – no differently than their parents did with THEIR music back in the day.

    Comment by rokfan – June 9, 2011 09:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope each and every one of us Enjoyed whatever those crazy, brilliant, crappy, drummer’s offered…
    Remember when we first thought of an ‘instrument’ ? – It was for FUN … Enjoy.

    Comment by Steve Burke – June 9, 2011 09:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What no Don Brewer of Grand Funk I will take Don over Neil any day.

    Comment by caught in the act – June 9, 2011 09:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I loved the drumming on Grand Funk… terrific drummer, Don Brewer. But double bass drums and cowbell can only go so far. Peart is more accomplished – no doubt.

      Comment by Sticks – June 10, 2011 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I humbly submit that Carl Palmer deserves to be high up on any list of the greatest drummer / percussionists of all time. Would be neat to see him on Letterman.

    Comment by max – June 9, 2011 11:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have been a big fan of Neil Peart for about 30 years, and am myself, a drummer of modest accolades. Neil is amongst the best “rock” drummers undeniably, no argument will be accepted. However, when compared to the likes of Steve Gadd and Buddy Rich, he really doesn’t make the list. And, the two other rock drummers that give Neil the most competition are undoubtably, Danny Carrey (Tool) and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson).

    Comment by Bake – June 10, 2011 12:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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