Originally Posted by Pollyanna
At the risk of being circular, it depends what you're calling "pop". I'm not so sure. I mean have standards dropped since Tony Orlando and Dawn inflicted Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree on us?
As for rock, is Mitch Mitchell better than the latest crop of metal double-kickers? I like him better, but that's just opinion; I like his style. In metal there have been pretty amazing advances in foot technique, and it doesn't matter that people from previous generations don't like the sound. That's probably the point :)
Programmming is a skill too. Just as not all drummers are the same standard, same with programmers. What's maybe being lost is physical skill, not at the pointy end (as per above), but generally.
Do drummers value physical skill over ideas? Almost all of us value both. Drummers with plenty of both like Tony, Elvin, Bonzo, Keith, Ginger and Bill B are much loved in the drumming community. Even though a guy like Ringo - who had enough technique to express great ideas to get by - is also popular, my feeling is that a lot of drummers place at least as much emphasis on physical as on creativity.
Most of us love a good circus act with its "Wow! How did they do that?" moments and I've seen plenty of drummers who, even if they don't feel like acrobats while playing, a lot of their fans love them for their drumming acrobatics more than their ideas. Check out the comments on YouTube on vids with hotshot drummers.
I like star drumming too, but creativity and feel keeps me engaged for much longer. Machines are no barrier to the former so that can be nice - love Deep Forest.
I think we could all agree that the proverbial Top 40 listing defines what is pop music. As for physical skill, the baton seems to be passed well from the likes of Palmer, Seraphine, Mitchell, and Baker et al to guys like Rodney Holmes, Dave Mackintosh, and Chris Adler. I am convinced the younger generation has the skills to do it, it's just been pigeon holed in music genres other than pop, like metal and jazz. The producers of pop music are the ones prostituting the music profession with elementary rythms featuring clapping hands and other cartoonish percussive sounds, not the musicians themselves. Bass and keyboards has also suffered in quality just as much as drums have. I'm sure if they could completely synthesize a voice, they could do away with us expensive, temperamental musicians altogether.