Re: Travis Barker
Travis gets publicity every other page in magazines because he sells stuff. Lots of American kids with plenty of parentally-sourced money to spend buy stuff because Travis Barker endorses it. Look at OCDP and tell me that success story was one of merit. What you don't seem to realise is that magazines need to sell too. If they put Travis Barker in the mag, kids who love Travis Barker buy the mag. Then they can say to the advertisers that kids who like Travis Barker buy the mag and the advertisers will give them five-figure sums to take out regular full-page adverts to convince said kids to buy their latest drum/stick/whatever that Travis happens to use. That keeps the magazine in business, and lets them write about the stuff that they really, really want to bring to the fore in the industry. Or it just keeps them in business, if they're a lazy mag with nothing to say.
Now, none of that actually reflects on his merits as a drummer at all. He could be the next Milli Vanilli for all these people care - it's just business.
Personally I think Travis is a good drummer. Nothing earth-shaking, but he's capable and entertaining. Thumbs up from me. But I do find he's a bit over the top at times, and I don't think his playing shows much sign of musical maturity. But since he's playing to the teenage market I don't honestly think that hurts him any in terms of how his audience appreciates him.
What *does* rile me is when people start trying to hold him up as some kind of paragon of drumming virtue over the vast majority of guys on DrummerWorld. OK, so he's a good player. But really, the only reason he gets so much adulation is because of his background and image, rather than his ability. The only reason he's better loved than even other drummers for big-name pop groups (like, say, Aaron Spears - or indeed anybody who has played a live gig with Beyonce, Destiny's Child, the Spice Girls etc over the years) is because he's a punk drummer, and punk is cool with the teenagers. There's no way he'd be getting all this attention if he was playing offside with a pop/r&b act, because teenage boys would rather be seen dead than admit they went to see Beyonce so they could watch the drummer play.