Ever been compared to a celebrity / legendary drummer?


Senior Member
I haven't seen any topics quite like this, and I'm sure at some point or another, all of us have had parallels drawn between us and well-known drummers. I was listening to In Through The Out Door, and I recalled a time a year or so ago when someone claimed my style of drumming was similar to Bonzo. John Bonham of course. And I by no means consider myself on par with Bonham, but I suppose with my general technique, feel, and even my obsession with triplet feels, I suppose it could easily be noticed that Bonham's playing is a huge influence on my playing.There are other blokes I hold higher on my influencial totem, but Bonzo is definately there.
One time after a gig, I was surprised when someone compared my drumming to Mitch Mitchell's. MM is a fantastic drummer -- far superior to me -- but I never really considered him to be much of an influence (direct, at least) on my playing. It was a very kind compliment, and certainly encouraged me to go home and practice some more!


Silver Member
Not really.

My crazy grandma likes to compare my guitar playing to that of Keith Urban.. She doesn't seem to be able to grasp that what I play is nothing like his music.


Platinum Member
I think most people don't know squat about drumming. I get the bonzo reference from time to time and I think I sound nothing like the guy; rather it has more to do with the fact they probably can't name too many other drummers and they know he was good. Only once or twice has a real musician picked out that I have influences by a few of my favorite drummers running around in my playing.


Senior Member
On a couple of occasions, I was told I play like Charlie Watts, but you know it is just another way of saying "your playing is simple" LOL

I wish I could play like him.


Everyone compares me to Ringo, which angers me to no end.

I've also been compared to Danny Seraphine.
There is a huge difference in Ringo and Danny!! :) I have been compared to Danny, as well (like I can really play that well, yea right!!) because he was such a huge influence on my playing back in the '70's.

Unrelated, I have been told many times I look like Coach Nick Saban of Alabama........I wish my bank account looked like his!


Platinum Member
Two - Mitch Mitchell (this comparison came from Rita Coolidge's band, who happened to be hanging out at the club at which I was playing in Baltimore), and Peter Erskine. (That one came from a fantastic local drummer.)

I don't really see either of them, but I took both as compliments.


Platinum Member

Once, a long time ago, a buddy told me he thought I was the best drummer in LA.

All I could thinks was "I can give you the phone number of some guys who can play rings around me with one hand" lol.


Platinum Member
I've had people confuse me for Bernard Purdie. And also Stewart Copeland. I guess I just have one of those faces...


A long time ago I was compared to Gene Krupa. I can see that because I'm not fancy and I like to play musically and I'm always enthusiastic about everything I play (although, not quite as much as Krupa was - I'm a little more tame than that).

I wasn't trying to be like Krupa either. I think at that time I was trying to be like Carter Beauford (that's "bo-ferd"). Then I grew out of that and started just trying to be the best that I can be. I haven't had anyone compare me to anyone since, but everyone who sees me play compliments me enthusiastically and profusely as though I'm the best drummer they've ever seen. That's laughable, but hey - I know that feeling very well and so I don't want to take that away from them, so I just thank them very sincerely even though I wish they could know just how much I suck. lol Although, I know why they think I'm good: because I don't take chances or risks on stage. I stick to what I'm good at, which isn't much, but I guess it fools people into thinking that I'm an excellent drummer. Oh, if they only knew. If only.

Everyone compares me to Ringo, which angers me to no end.

I've also been compared to Danny Seraphine.
Being compared to Ringo is a MASSIVE compliment though. I know that Ringo was almost the opposite of guys like Buddy Rich, but you have to admit that he's damn good at playing music. Pete Best was able to play circles around Ringo, and that's the problem: he didn't know how to just chill out and keep a good beat and play musically and tastefully. When they found Ringo, Paul basically made the decision right then and there that Ringo is their new drummer. That choice was what helped make the Beatles become what they were and still are. If they had stayed with Pete Best, then they would have just been just so-so. They most certainly would not have been what we think of when we think of "The Beatles". Hell no. It would have been pathetic in comparison. It would have been just another good band, blending in with the rest. Ringo made all the difference for their music.

So, I would say that it's a huge compliment to be compared to Ringo. Most people don't really know what we know and they don't know just how awesome some drummers are because they don't hear them the same way that we do, so that's all in the eyes and ears of the beholder. To some people, Ringo was the best drummer who ever lived because he always played musically and tastefully. He never played things that were only impressive to other drummers. Now, we know that the reason he didn't is because he really couldn't, but most people don't know that. They probably think that he could play just like Buddy Rich but just kept it under control. Yknow what I mean? I would even bet that some people think that he's just as good as Buddy because of the way they listen.

It's amazing how different the perspective is of a non-musician, or specifically someone who doesn't even know the first thing about drumming. Have you ever had someone ask you which drums make which sounds (other than the bass drum of course)? I have. That's an eye-opening question. They will also ask which cymbals make which sounds. They're not dumb or stupid, they just don't know. I was there once. I remember not knowing which drums do what and what cymbals do what and what sound each one produces. It was before I had any interest in being a drummer, or even any interest in the drums for that matter. I was so far removed from the world of drums that everything was completely foreign to me. I didn't know what I was looking at when I was looking at a drumset. To me, it was just "the drums". Like, you know, all drum kits are the same. So, I also didn't know how to judge any drummer, and that's where most people are at. They've never heard the drummers we've heard, and if they have, then they don't hear them the same way we do. So to some people, Ringo was just about the best drummer ever. I know that it's laughable in some ways, but that's how it is. They don't judge drummers the way we do because they can't. They judge them in a very different way.


Senior Member
I got compared to one of John Mayer's drummers.... I can't recall the fella's name though haha...

I guess that doesn't really count as legendary or celebrity, but I mean, if your playing with Mayer then you must have done something well for yourself...

Or maybe there's just not many guys willing to put up with his.... Unique traits x)


con struct

Platinum Member
This is a really silly topic for a thread, but okay.

Not long after I'd returned to Atlanta, I got a call from an old friend of mine, a songwriter/bass player/guitarist; he was once something, you know, he was star in the Atlanta/Athens punk/new wave scene back then, and he wanted me to hear his new songs. So I went over and actually they were pretty good. There was one that I really thought had possibilities. So I signed on as producer, which basically meant that I was going to provide him the studio time, which I was able to do.

So here's the story: he takes me over to a guitar player's house, says this is definitely the guy, he's great. So we go down to his little studio to run some songs, and I sit down at the drums. We run the tunes down, and this guy, the guitar player, he's absolutely class all the way, he can play, he's got the gig as far as I'm concerned.

After we stop playing, he puts his guitar down and he sits down, sort of shakes his head, looks at me and says, "Man, you can play the drums like Keith Moon."

I said, "Yeah, I can do that." I really could do that!

Anyway, we made the CD and it it was a drag from beginning to end, it was tense and nervous where it didn't have to be at all, and we gave him everything he wanted, he wanted to record on 16 track analog and we had set that up for him, which was a real pain in the ass, he behaved like a spoiled little git, and he of all people should have been far more professional than he was and I don't speak to the egotistical bastard anymore. What a twat he turned out to be. And no thank you at all for the damn studio time I gave him for free.

See what I mean? A real twat. I swear I do not know what happens to some people in this music life.
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Duck Tape

Platinum Member
A rap/rock band that found me in the classifieds got in touch, and the guy (drummer turned singer) told me I reminded him of Brain.

I didn't think I'd ever heard brain, but a few months later I found out that Brain played drums on the Interstate '76 soundtrack and I used to play along with that CD alot in high school.

Was nice to hear. And also interesting to hear how your style comes across to another drummer.
It depends on the playing context! I recently finished up a record with Dave "Brownsound" Baksh from Sum 41, and he told me that my playing reminded him a lot of Trevor MacGregor (who used to play drums in Treble Charger). I was playing on a pop-punk record. He said I made the parts look simple when I played them, but when he closed his eyes and listened to me play, I sounded like an animal. I guess that's kinda cool!

I've also been compared to a (not nearly as talented) Steve Jordan by a number of producers. I played on a couple records for some singer/songwriters in Toronto, all produced by the same guy, and he said he picked me for each of the records cause I'm a "poor-man's Steve Jordan." I guess that's kind of a back-handed compliment, but I still felt pretty good about it!