Drummers Who Write Songs


Senior Member
I'm listening to Little Steven's Underground Garage while I'm on the internet, and he just played a song that the drummer in a band wrote. He made a joke that drummers can write songs, you just usually don't want to hear them all that often. Grrrrrrrrr, lol. (He did say he likes to kid his drummer friends, so that's cool).

That got me thinking about what drummers I like that contribute songs to their bands. My favorite is Roger Taylor of Queen. He wrote Tenement Funster, I'm In Love with my Car, Drowse, Sheer Heart Attack, Fight From the Inside, More of That Jazz, One Vision and A Kind of Magic.

I've always liked Neil Peart's lyrics, too.

Does anyone else have some songs they like that were written by drummers?


Gold Member
Completely different genre, but Charlie Benante writes most of Anthrax music, lyrics and has played guitar on several of their albums. I have heard that he is good enough that he could be a guitarist in the band but he prefers the drums.

Oh yeah, and my band, where I write most of the lyrics.

Does Dave Grohl count?

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Does anyone else have some songs they like that were written by drummers?
Many, many drummers write or co-write songs in all styles of music.

Phil Collins, Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine, Simon Phillips, Ringo Starr, Neil Peart, Ian Paice, Benny Greb, Jojo Mayer, Jeff Porcaro, just to name a few...

Some took their songs to reach great fame in the music business, "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins or "Stratus" by Billy Cobham comes to mind, or indeed "Radio Gaga" or "A kind Of Magic" both written by Roger Taylor from Queen.

I did wrote some lyrics for songs in the past, but I've never written a whole song, but I get really involved with the arrangements of songs, not just for my stuff, for everyone's parts.


Silver Member
I've written several dozen tunes, some of which have been covered by local groups. I've heard
some live over the radio when in my car...now that's a thrill!

One time I had a dream where I was on stage with a group playing all these tunes I had never heard....I sang them into a portable recorder when I woke up and eventually wrote them out. One person said I was "channeling". dunno....it was fun though.


Platinum Member
I wrote a song for my band. They say it's complicated. I say "you agreed to it".

Is this what friendship is

Anon La Ply

Max Roach in the 50s and 60s. His Freedom Now Suite is one of the great works of jazz.

Stewart Copeland wrote the occasional track for The Police and later became a successful composer of soundtracks.

Rick Marotta, a session drummer whose credits included Steely Dan, quit playing professionally to become a studio writer. He wrote the theme for "Everybody Loves Raymond".


Gold Member
Dafnis Prieto is a fantastic drummer and composer. He is a jazz musician so his music may not appeal to some on this forum (in a similar way that metal music is not universally heralded.)

From Wikipedia: "He is a recipient of various awards, including the 2011 MacArthur Fellowship Award and Up & Coming Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006. Prieto was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards. The album Dafnis Prieto Absolute Quintet was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album that year. He has also received new works commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, Meet the Composer and the Doris Duke Foundation."



Senior Member
Love him or hate him, Don Henley penned a few tunes for The Eagles and his solo efforts which sold a few million units.
As I just saw him yesterday, Bernard Purdie says he has composed songs, probably for his solo albums - but I'd put money down that he helped with a lot of the other great artists he's worked for.

Apparently Zoro has also written songs too.

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
I don't know about latterly but for much of the '80s and '90s the bulk of Metallica's music was co-written by Lars Ulrich. I read an interview with James Hetfield where he credited Lars with arranging the material which was born out of the band jamming together (or something like that).

Then there's Nick Mason's contribution to Ummagumma: of course, Nick has credits on many Pink Floyd songs but The Grand Vizier's Garden Party was just him (although someone else played flute on it).

The Chain is the only song on Rumours that Mick Fleetwood has a credit on. Off the top of my head I don't know if he had any others for that band in its various guises.


I written music (guitar and bass) for two of my band's songs. I sometimes help with lyrics, though I couldn't write all the lyrics for a song, I try....I just can't come up with anything I like.


Platinum Member
Love him or hate him, Don Henley penned a few tunes for The Eagles and his solo efforts which sold a few million units.
Why would anyone hate him? He wrote the soundtrack to billions of people's lives in the 1970s. Unique and awesome voice. Outspoken for the environment. Talented genious who had many scrambling for the dictionary to find out what "colitas" meant.


Senior Member
I hear you LarryZ and I am not among the haters! I only wish I had his songwritinng talent. I was just acknowledging that there are those who do not like his music and / or his outspoken political and environmental views.