Replace a Famous Drummer to Make the Band Sound Better

Neal Pert

Well-known member
Think of a famous band that would sound better with a different drummer. Example:

Replace Max Weinberg with Jim Keltner in the E Street Band

Rules: (1) It has to be plausible and really at least arguably improving the band-- so, you could argue Bruford replacing Neil Peart in Rush but you can't argue for Meg White replacing Neil (2) Can be living or dead -- so, like Zack Starkey could replace Mitch Mitchell w/ Hendrix. (3) Defending your claim, no matter how audacious, is encouraged.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I really like Jimmy Chamberlain so this isn't a commentary on his playing at all but I think it would be cool to hear The Smashing Pumpkins with someone like Thomas Lang. TL is rocky and heavy and I think would do some creative and difficult stuff with their music.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I really like Jimmy Chamberlain so this isn't a commentary on his playing at all but I think it would be cool to hear The Smashing Pumpkins with someone like Thomas Lang. TL is rocky and heavy and I think would do some creative and difficult stuff with their music.
And while TL is in Jimmy's seat, how about we put Jimmy in Meg's seat and see what he and Jack White could do.
FWIW, I have nothing against Meg White as a player even though I know many have little to no respect for her playing.
I like playing Blue Orchid, it's a fun tune.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
And while TL is in Jimmy's seat, how about we put Jimmy in Meg's seat and see what he and Jack White could do.
FWIW, I have nothing against Meg White as a player even though I know many have little to no respect for her playing.

Oh that's actually cool. Jimmy is a pretty sophisticated rocker - I bet he would do really well with Jack White.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Replace Neil Peart with Mike Portnoy
Mike said:
"Hypothetically, of course, it would be a dream come true. Neil [Peart] was my hero, and always will be, and Geddy and Alex are as well. I don't think in a million years they'll play without him, I really don't.

"In a hypothetical dream scenario, I mean, come on, of course. I don't think in a zillion years it will happen, but it's a nice dream to hypothetically wonder about.

"I honestly don't think it would ever happen, but who knows, you never know. As much as hypothetically it would be fun, it would be amazing, it would also be an impossible role to fill.

"It's a no-win situation, really, it would be impossible because his fans are as obsessive as they get - and count me amongst them - so yeah, that would be a tough one.

"They went out on such a high... Their last tour was a farewell tour. I don't think anybody expected Neil to pass, but they wanted to stop touring, so they really went out with such an amazing tour.

"That tour was just so well done, so perfectly executed, and they went out with all three of them still at the top of their game, so I give them all the credit in the world for that.

"And it's just sad that Neil didn't get many years to enjoy the retirement before he got sick, that saddens me.

"I have the kit, here's my Neil Peart kit waiting to be played. I do have a Neil Peart replica in there...

"And I have a John Bonham kit in there as well, so yeah, I have spent a lot of years playing those Rush songs inside and out. I know them all, that's how I learned to do what I do."
 

Sonar Dave

Well-known member
Replace Neil Peart with Mike Portnoy. If anyone could pull off Rush songs it's that guy.
Replace Mike Portnoy with Mike Mangini. If anyone could pull off Dream Theatre songs it's that guy. Oh wait... :LOL:
I loved Mangini replacing Portnoy (and I like Portnoy), But I don't think Neil can be replaced. It's a feel thing. I don't think Alex Liefson could be replaced either.
 

SharkSandwich

Junior Member
Replace Chris Frantz from Talking Heads with Josh Freese
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
They're one of my absolute favorite bands, but still:

Replace Bill Berry of IRS-era REM with Stan Lynch.
 
Replace Bill Berry of IRS-era REM with Stan Lynch.
I love Lynch's playing. But REM without Berry is...well, we all found out what happened when they replaced Berry with drummers who were objectively much more skilled: the records fell off a cliff, commercially and artistically. (Which isn't to say there wasn't some really good stuff after Berry left--it just wasn't nearly nearly nearly as good.)
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
I love Lynch's playing. But REM without Berry is...well, we all found out what happened when they replaced Berry with drummers who were objectively much more skilled: the records fell off a cliff, commercially and artistically. (Which isn't to say there wasn't some really good stuff after Berry left--it just wasn't nearly nearly nearly as good.)

I think Berry was perfect for all those post-IRS records. Like, Automatic for the People Bill Berry can’t be topped. But I think those early REM records would’ve been even better with a bit of that Stan Lynch bounce on them. Mind you— those are some of my all-time favorite records. But still. 😁
 
So far I've seen some interesting suggestions, but in nearly every case, the suggested change might help the band but at the expense of the band no longer being a band or, at least, not really the band that made the band the band, if you follow.

So obviously Jim Keltner is a far better drummer than Max Weinberg. But at the time, when he was looking for a drummer, the search that would land him Weinberg, Springsteen specifically said he didn't want a studio drummer, someone who was there to be efficient--he was looking for a ride-or-die guy who'd be willing to shlep long miles in a van for $50 per week.

Same with Lars Ulrich. Sure, Metallica might sound better with a better drummer--and it's hard if even possible to find a better drummer than Larnell Lewis, who seems like an awesome guy, to boot--but given that Lars is the co-writer/arranger of so much of their stuff, and was the driving business force of the band for the first however many years, it feels like you're improving a band that wouldn't actually then exist.

...now, having said all that... :)

Replace Ginger Baker in Blind Faith with Jim Gordon. Blind Faith is one of the great disappointments, given its lineup and potential. The band was okay, they did some okay stuff, but nowhere near what they should, and it's almost entirely because Baker's presence caused Clapton to emotionally checkout before things had even really started. Put Gordon in there and you've got the potential for Derek and the Dominos level fission, instead of fizzle.
I was actually tempted to suggest Tony Williams or Billy Cobham but decided Jack DeJohnette would probably work best, in terms of temperament, before deciding Jim Gordon would really be the most likely to work.
 
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