"Can the drummer have some? Cuz the drummer ain't had none in a long time. Go on drummer!" - James Brown
Let us hear the praise for the forgotten drummers. These people are the backbone of most musical groups, and without them, our aural pleasure would not be nearly as complete. The drummer is the most dynamic figure on a Rock stage, and the most subtle on a Jazz stage. The truly great drummers can adjust and play with anyone in nearly any style. Oftentimes overlooked, due to the flash of the "frontmen" in bands, the drummer may be the most integral member!
-FUPPETS- has read countless articles about musicians and, in discussing their drummers, they always seem to relay the same message. A good drummer is hard to find, and is worth holding onto. Many musicians will switch their groups membership through the years, but the drummer seems to always be kept. Once you have one you can work with it is best not to fuck around with the chemistry.
In much of music's peripheral culture, it is the singers and the lead instrumentalists (guitar, piano, horns, etc.) who are usually praised and worshipped as musical gods. There are countless images of Keith Richards, or of Mick Jagger, for example, but not that many of the true backbone of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts.
The Star has a great article discussing the role of drummers, and the aloof separation they seem to subscribe to in their respective groups. It also describes a great art show, composed of over 50 works by internationally renowned illustrators, portraying their favorite drummer. Here is the link.
KEEPING THE BEAT: Unique art exhibit celebrates the world's iconic drummers in works by 50 artists - ( Peter Goddard - The Star )
Jazz legend Elvin Jones, by artist Joe Ciardiello
For your enjoyment, and ribbed for your pleasure, here is a great clip of Art Blakey leading his Jazz Messengers in Milan, 1979.