Thread: Travis Barker
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:50 AM
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finnhiggins finnhiggins is offline
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Default Re: Travis Barker

I'm sure he can't control the degree of publicity he gets... but then he's hardly working to shun it either. And why would he? The reality is that Travis is the latest incarnation of the "pop star drummer" syndrome. He's a drummer, and he's also a pop star who is well known as a celebrity rather than just being a musician.

That's not a bad thing. It's those guys (Ringo, Bonham, Stewart Copeland, Tommy Lee, Dave Grohl, Danny Carey etc) who get people into playing the drums. Some will be remembered for all time because of this inspiration factor - Ringo was a great drummer for the Beatles, but he was no Tony Williams. Yet he doubtless inspired more people to take up drumming than Tony did, and many of them later caught on to other things going on in the world of drumming. Ringo was inspirational and I love to listen to his playing, but he didn't represent the state of the art. Ditto Dave Grohl. Tommy Lee hasn't lasted very long in this respect, mostly because his image as a public figure overtook any possible claims he might have on the world of drumming: like Bonham or Moon he was certainly a larger-than-life figure, but he didn't have the claim that Bonham has to completely changing an entire style of playing. As such he gets remembered as a celebrity more than a drummer. He wasn't a bad player, but he wasn't good enough to be memorable as anything other than the guy who married Pam Anderson (etc).

And some of theses guys have really stood the test of time. Bonham certainly has. So has Stewart Copeland, who despite being in a band that sold something like 80m records has managed to forge himself a memorable place in music as both a very innovative drummer and as basically the only "name" rock drummer to cross over into being primarily employed as a composer. And I personally think Danny Carey is a really, really great drummer who will be remembered for a long time.

What Travis will get remembered for is still up for grabs. He's certainly got a lot of facility, and he could go a long way with it. But I think most of the objection to him as a player that comes up in this thread is down to the fact that a lot of people are making unrealistic claims for his abilities as a musician. He's a good drummer - no argument there. I'm sure he's a nice guy, too. But he's quite objectively not a patch on somebody like Vinnie Colaiuta, which is where the issues arise. He's certainly not hall-of-fame type material yet, and whether he gets to be I suppose will be decided by which he's more attached to - the pop-punk image or the drums. Punk will eventually become uncool, just like Motley Crue became uncool and just like 70s arena rock became uncool. The question is, will Travis outlast the style that he's become famous as a figurehead for? If not he could be the next Tommy Lee. If so he could be the next Josh Freese. But the latter would probably require a lot more versitility and dedication to being appropriate than he's displayed so far in his career. That's all. Nothing against the guy. I'd love to be where he's at today, but if I was him I'd probably be rather embarassed about people claiming I was the best thing since the paradiddle was invented...
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