12 famous drummers - help!


Junior Member
I have included Peter Criss - great shout.

Sorry, perhaps I should give more details about the competition!

I live in a courtyard of 12 houses and everyone has a day of the songs of xmas, I live at 12 so have drummers drumming. We are going to display 12 drummers drumming on or around our front door! Really, this is all about the iconography rather than the music & talent of drummers - which is why Pete Criss is brilliant!

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
You'll need to think about the ages of the viewers. If most are in their 20s and 30s who they'll recognise may be very different than if they are in their 40s or 50s or older. Not an easy call - very few musicians span generations. You've got some good suggestions I think.


Platinum Member
Do they have to be specific drummers, or could you just show someone in a revolutionary war uniform playing in a fife and drum corp? Or the toy monkey that smacks the cymbals together.

Some of the drummers suggested are indeed great drummers and well know to other drummers, but if they are supposed to be recognized by the general public, then most of them aren't applicable. This is especially true if it is a younger audience. While I could spot Buddy Rich a mile away, and teenager won't have a clue who he is. He might know someone like Tommy Lee from reality TV, and Peter Criss because of the makeup, but certainly not:

Barriemore Barlow
Bill Bruford
Richie Hayward
Rob Hirst
Jimmy Cob
Max Roach
Danny Carey
Jaki Lebezeit.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Well if it's played by real drummers, then Phil Collins... everybody should know the legendary drum fill of "In the air tonight".


Junior Member
Hey Lucy.

There certainly are some great suggestions here. I'd include Joey Jordison from Slipknot though. I'm definitely not a fan of his, but I'm pretty sure almost all my (drummer and non-drummer) friends know him, if not for anything else then just for being in Slipknot and wearing that horrid mask. Oh yeah, and the solo where he's upside down and all that :)
And I almost forgot, every single one of my friends knows Lars Ulrich of Metallica (that might be because we're Danes though). Another not-fantastic drummer, but well-known and recognisable nontheless!

Good luck.


Platinum Member
Let's see, twelve drummers the general populace would/might recognize:

Buddy Rich
Gene Krupa
Ringo Starr
Maybe Sandy Nelson
Sure, Animal
Cubby from the Mickey Mouse Club (depending on the age of your guests)
Karen Carpenter
Blue Man Group is mostly drumming-oriented, right?
Oh, right, Phil Collins!

You can always pad it out people like these, who don't have quite the same level of pure idiot fame as the others:
John Bonham
Stewart Copeland
Max Roach
Louis Bellson.


Junior Member
This is more like it - good job everyone! Loving the suggestions, and you've all been really helpful.

I think we are going to try and span the ages, so have 3/4 for each generation. Maybe we'll add an extra element to the competition and see if people can name all 12 - you guys would be on 100%!

I think we are tempted to do some cheeky ones like the Gorilla from the Cadbury advert, I suppose it is Phil Collins inspired!