Dave Grohl Named The Best Alternative Drummer
SPIN Magazine has just confirmed what everyone has known for a long long time: Dave Grohl is the best (alternative) drummer on the planet.
Grohl, who plays guitar, sings and delivers SXSW keynotes, topped SPIN’s contentious and somewhat bizarre list of “The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music”. He was extolled for his melodic drummer parts and praised for his “tom-clobbering Keith Moon turn” on Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘No One Knows’. “Grohl’s arms-overhead bashing was a sign that emotion, feeling, and sweat took priority over pulling off that paradiddle.”
Grohl beat out other noted sticksmen and women including Deftones’ Abe Cunningham (#99), Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Brian Chase (#71), Sleater-Kinney’s Janet Weiss, gun-for-hire Josh Freese (#46), Tool’s Danny Carey (#29), Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron (#17) and The Mark Of Cain’s John Stanier (#48). The only Aussie on the list was The Dirty Three’s Jim White (#43), while the top 10 looked a little something like this:
10. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
9. ?uestlove (The Roots)
8. Steve Reid (Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Fela Kuti)
7. Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters)
6. Jaki Liebezeit (Can)
5. Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons)
4. Tony Allen (Fela Kuti)
3. Stewart Copeland (The Police)
2. Clyde Stubblefield and John “Jabo” Starks (James Brown)
1. Dave Grohl (Nirvana)
Like SPIN’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, which included EDM king Skrillex, the biggest troll was including a Roland drum machine on the list at #60, ahead of Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward (#66), Sepultura’s Igor Cavalera (#73), Slint’s Britt Walford (#76), The Clash’s Topper Headon (#81), Hole’s Patty Schemel (#82) and Sean Kinney from Alice In Chains (#92). The inanimate machine was praised for its “precise” drumming work with Steve Albini’s Big Black. “Roland was everything that bands look for in a drummer. Yet he went above and beyond in Big Black, effortlessly playing everything from the group’s industro-scuzz songs like ‘Cables’ to rugged covers of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’.”
Even more contentious was SPIN’s definition of “alternative”, which somehow included chart-toppers like Prince and The Ohio Players, but excluded Keith Moon and John Bonham for being “too anchored to commercial bedrock”. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich was left off for the same reason, but his Big Four counterpart, Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, made it in at #11.
Guest contributors to the list included noted critics Michael Azerrad, Hank Shteamer and Matt LeMay, as well as drummers who have a way with words including Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Superchunk’s Jon Wurster (who was on the list at #74).