Tuesday, October 16, 2007


In light of the recent waste of time that was my guitar heroes list, I am wasting more by focusing on drummers. (Or, if you’re that asshole from Rush, “percussionists.”) Regarding the guitarists list, my father points out that I was remiss in not adding Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn. A bit on that. I was not remiss, I simply like everyone else on my list better and, as I don’t really listen to either of those individuals much these days, I didn’t feel that I ought to mention them. I will say that I used to listen to Stevie Ray a lot, especially his first two records. “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” and “Cold Shot” remain favorite tunes, but I tend to get tired of the long-ass blues jams these days. I prefer tighter songs from my guitar gods. Listening to someone solo and solo and solo is not my bag anymore. Sure, I’m a child of the ‘80s and I still like the metal and once upon a time I had Vinnie Vincent and Steve Vai records crowding up my Peaches crates (remember those?), but I am burnt out on the seemingly endless solos and extended jams. Long songs are fine, like the extended freak-outs of the Butthole Surfers or Zappa’s famous operatic/piecemeal compositions. Or Death and the Maiden by Schubert. But listening to a steady stream of pentatonic blues scale riffing in A Major is not really appealing. It’s like a rock guitar geek’s version of the hippie jam bands I despise. See you at Burning Man, dude. Go take a shower.

As for Clapton, the same goes, but I do wish to mention that just about everything he did with Cream is great great stuff, especially their versions of “Spoonful” and “Born Under a Bad Sign”, and, of course, “White Room”, “SWLABR” and “Politician” all of which bring the rock. Cream was heavy and cool in way Clapton has not been in some time. The constant tension between Clapton’s love of blues and Jack Bruce’s jazz influence allowed for something extraordinary to happen—not to mention the physical tension of Bruce and Ginger Baker coming to blows. They were young, arrogant and didn’t getting along very well. Thus they combusted before long. After that Clapton recorded with a number of bands and a rotating group of session players. I gather that he got on better with them, and as a result his music has kind of lacked that energy that Cream had. Oh well, he’s been held up for years as an icon, so he doesn’t need my recognition.

Some people would be shocked that I left of Django Reinhardt. I am shocked that I left him off. I only know a bit about his career and only have heard a smidgen of his music but he is an important guitarist, maybe the most important guitarist in a lot of ways. That’s an oversight.

Oh, and I was tempted to add Dorothy Wiggins of the incomparable band The Shaggs. I really should have. No one played guitar the way she did. Some might say this is a good thing. Not me. I will forever wave my Shaggs flag high.

Another oversight was forgetting Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. He deserves to be on every list.

Now, the drummers I admire:

Stewart Copeland (The Police)
Dale Crover (Melvins)
Keith Moon (The Who)
Danny Heifez (Mr. Bungle)
Bill Stevenson (Descendents, ALL)
Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead)
Max Roach
Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantomas)
John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
Yoshimi (Boredoms, UFO or Die)
Sara Lund (Unwound)
Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins)
King Coffey and Teresa Nervosa (Butthole Surfers)
Bill Bruford (King Crimson, Yes)
Ginger Baker (Cream)
Mike “Puffy” Bordin (Faith No More)
Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Email me and tell me where I went wrong. Not just on this list, in life.