Touring Rock Band with the Most Drummers? Is 12 the Record?

Sad to read about the death of former Megadeth drummer Lee Rauch, 58, on Friday According to, he played on Megadeth's 1984 "Last Rites" demo, which had three-songs, left the same year and later played with Dark Angel. Rock in Peace.

The death made Son of Vistalite Black wonder just how many drummers Megadeth has employed over the years? Of course, it's well known that Dave Mustaine can be a difficult bandmate and leader, but the following list also makes one ponder whether there's another currently touring band that's had as many drummers as Megadeth (other than Spinal Tap)? PS: Steely Dan is not a band.

Megadeth's Drummers

1. Richard Girod -- 1983

2. Dijon Carruthers -- 1983

3. Lee Rauch -- 1984 (died 2023)

4. Gar Samuelson -- 1984-1987 (died 1999)

5. Chuck Behler -- 1987-1989

6. Nick Menza -- 1989-1998, 2004 -- (died 2016)

7. Jimmy DeGrasso -- 1998-2002

8. Shawn Drover -- 2004-2014

9. Chris Adler -- 2015-2016 (recorded "Dystopia")

10. Tony Laureano-- 2015-2016 (subbed live when Adler had Lamb of God commitments).

11. Vinnie Colaiuta -- 2004 (recorded "The System Has Failed."

12. Dirk Verbeuren -- 2016-present.

FYI -- 26 people have contributed to Megadeth records over the past 40 years.

PS: This article has an amusing story about why Mustaine fell out with Rauch.

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Chuck Berry probably qualifies as having had the most drummers (and bass players?) on stage. He hired a new guy for every gig to keep expenses at a minimum. I'm guessing not even an afternoon rehearsal. I mean, who doesn't know Chuck Berry's songs?

But none of them were ever considered band members.
How many has Sting had
(don't forget the other French guy Jean- Ceccarelli when counting)
could be 7
or Zach Jones
think that's 8
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Zappa has had 9 for sure. 10 if you count the show I saw with Jim Gordon on drums (1972, don't know how many other dates Jim did.) 😮 Not sure if David Logeman did anything live, then in would be 11.
Us drummers are like tissue paper..
wipe and release.
Not "currently touring," but David Bowie hired a lot of great drummers:

1. John Eager - 67, David Bowie.

2. Terry Cox - 69, David Bowie.

3. Woody Woodmansey, 70-75 (Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, etc.)

4. Andy Newmark, 75 (Young Americans).

5. Aynsley Dunbar*, 73-75 (Pin-Ups, Diamond Dogs)

6. Dennis Davis, 76-80. (Station to Station, Low, Lodger, Scary Monsters)

7. Omar Hakim*, 83 (Let's Dance).

8. Steve Ferrone, 87 (Labyrinth)

9. Hunt Sales 1989 (Tin Machine)

10. Sterling Campbell, 93-99, 2003, 2013 (Black Tie, White Noise; Heathen, Outside, The Next Day)

11. Zachary Alford, 1997, 2013 (Earthling, The Next Day)

12. Mark Guiliana, 2016 (Blackstar)

*Also played in Journey.
Point being
"don't get popular"
and you'll have your gig for decades.
"Keep your head down never tell anyone your name except fellow bandmates"
"Adopt the name "X"
Megadeth's records of drummer deaths is very "Spinal Tap"

do we count all of the jazz greats who played with different drummers?

back in the day, there were different itterations of groups every weekend sometimes
Ozzy Osborne:

Lee Kerslake
Tommy Aldridge
Carmine Appice (touring only)
Tommy Aldridge 2nd stint
Jimmy Degrasso (rehearsals only)
Randy Castillo
Deen Castronovo
Randy Castillo 2nd stint
Mike Bordin
Brian Tichy subbed for a summer
Tommy Clufetos
Chad Smith (studio only)
Taylor Hawkins (studio only)

11 different men.

13 if you include Tommy and Randy doing 2nd stints.
I don't know if they have a record number, but I'm pretty sure that Spinal Tap's drummers had the worst luck: exploding on stage, choking on his own vomit (or someone else's vomit), etc.
I don't know if they have a record number, but I'm pretty sure that Spinal Tap's drummers had the worst luck: exploding on stage, choking on his own vomit (or someone else's vomit), etc.

and the bizarre gardening accident as well i think
James Brown has had alot of drummers beyond John 'Jabo' Starks and Clyde Stubblefield. Can't find a complete list but I know name drums like Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie, Bill 'Ain't no funk in Iowa' Stewart, Steve 'oh my' Gadd, Billy 'Corn on the' Cobham.

Miles Davis comes to mind on a long list of drummers but I wouldn't call that a 'band', more like a jazz-Piccaso revolutionary artist.


  • Rod Harper – 1966-67
  • Bob Livingston – 1967-69
  • Michael Shrieve – 1969-74, 1988
  • Ndugu Leon Chancler – 1974-76, 1988
  • Gaylord Birch – 1976, 1991
  • Graham Lear – 1976-84, 1985-87
  • Chester C. Thompson – 1984
  • Walfredo Reyes – 1989-91, 1992-93
  • Billy Johnson – 1991, 1994, 2000-2001
  • Rodney Holmes – 1993-94, 1997-2000
  • Tommie Bradford – 1994
  • Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez – 1997
  • Ricky Wellman – 1997
  • Dennis Chambers – 1998-2013
  • Jose Pepe Jimenez – 2013-2015