Bands where the drummer was seen as the weak link

Some say the White Stripes deserved a much better drummer than Meg White.

Roger Daltrey thought Kenney Jones was the wrong drummer for the Who.

Can you name any other big-name, critically acclaimed rock bands in which - rightly or wrongly - the drummer was widely considered the weak link?

I mean, a lot of people were wrong about it, but the Beatles are the obvious answer.

I disagree about the White Stripes, but I do agree with Daltrey about Kenney Jones. Great drummer, but the feel of the Who definitely changed when he joined. That said, I thought the Who were over when Keith died. I’m not a huge Who fan, and I wasn’t even a big Keith Moon fan until relatively recently, but the Who just sound wrong with Jones. I don’t think anybody could fill in that spot.

Well, Ringo has been (wrongly imho) considered the least talented of the Beatles.

Yes, he only wrote a few songs, but he was a great musician and I suspect his easygoing personality helped keep the band together longer.

Oh, Metallica. I guess Lars did have some moments back in the 80s, but he’s just not a great drummer. That said, without him, I don’t think the band would have gotten as far as it did. He is a critical component of Metallica for reasons other than his drumming.

ETA: Phil Rudd of AC/DC sometimes gets shit for his very straight forward rock style, but, man, that’s what AC/DC were about! And his drumming is just powerful, rock solid, the perfect backdrop for AC/DC’s balls-to-the-wall brand of three-chord hard rock.

Greetings, Pulykamell! Your screen name takes me back to my expat days in the Carpathian Basin.

Spinal Tap? :slight_smile:

[aside]
Szia! Hogy vagy? My screen name comes from my expat days in the Carpathian Basin. It was just some arbitrary attempt at coming up with (originally) a Yahoo email address (since defunct) that was just a single word, no special numbers, symbols, or characters. After exhausting English possibilities, I ended up trying out my fledgling Hungarian vocabulary, went through several unsuccessful attempts, and then pulykamell (“turkey breast”) was accepted. And so I stuck with it. It just seemed to be on menus everywhere, for whatever reason, back in '98, and stuck in my head as one of the first hundred or so Hungarian vocabulary words I learned. I don’t particularly like turkey breast, either.
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How do you reckon? Was he a more talented writer/singer/musician than any of John, Paul, or George?

There’s no shame in being the least talented Beatle. It’s like being the world’s least wealthy billionaire.

Ringo may indeed have been the least talented Beatle in some respects, but that’s certainly not the same as being the weak link. Ringo got the job in the first place because Pete Best was the weak link.

What is the basis for judging who is a good drummer? Should he just keep time and draw no attention? Then Ringo is your guy.

Should he be an equal instrument with the guitar and bass that adds complexity and depth? Not Ringo. Nick Mason or Neil Peart, John Bonham, yes.

Is he supposed to be the party animal? Keith Moon is the guy. Morality may not be measured in a room he wrecked, but the operating budget is.

Is Charlie Watts a good drummer? Alex van Halen? Or are they just merely competent?

Danny Seraphine was considered the weak link by his band-mates (Chicago). He was fired in 1990. The Chicago documentary I saw had the band-mates being less than complimentary on his drumming chops.

Zak Starkey did a great job with the Who.

Anyone can have an opinion. :wink:

Michael Clarke in the Byrds. He just started playing the drums when they formed and hadn’t even a proper drum kit when they began rehearsing and making first demo recordings, but used cardboard boxes and the like instead. He was mostly chosen for his looks and personality, he drew the girls to their concerts. Chris Hillman as well only started playing the bass when with the Byrds, but at least he had been competent on other string instruments before, and I’ve always liked his bass playing. But Clarke’s drums were never very impressive.

Ringo was a perfectly adequate drummer for the Beatles songs, which, whether on purpose or not, had no difficult drum tracks. No Beatles song would be in the Top 1000 most difficult drum tracks. There are hundreds of drummers in his era who could have done just as well as he did for the group. For example, Bonham could have played everything Ringo did just as good or better, but Ringo could never in his life do Achilles Last Stand justice.

Ringo was more than a mere timekeeper, though. I think Phil Rudd more fills that type of role. Ringo’s drums had a lot of melody, charm, quirk, and character to them. You can identify most Beatles songs by just hearing the drum line. The guy wasn’t just a stick-eighths-on-the-hi-hat, snare on two and four, kick-on-one-and-three type of guy. Sure, he would play that when necessary, but there was so much melody to his drum lines, IMHO.

Depends on how you define “good.” He could play the parts with his John Bonham swagger (and don’t get me wrong, Bonham is in my top 3 favorite rock drummers), but I think he would be an ill fit for the Beatles and it would sound wrong, even if he played exactly the same drum parts. They just have different feels to them. And Ringo can do a mean, fast hi-hat swing pattern that is reasonably technical, so it’s not like the guy has no chops. But, no, he’s not a “drum rudiments” type of drummer.

Whatever there is to say about Ringo Starr’s talent as a musician, by all accounts he is a genuinely decent human being, gracious to fans, married to the same woman for nearly 40 years, well liked by his professional peers and apparently just an all-around, down-to-Earth guy.

On the other hand, Paul McCartney, who wrote/co-wrote some of the most popular songs in all recorded human history, is a vain, egotistical, arrogant SOB who is obsessed with his image and holding on to his fading popularity.

We’ve had other threads discussing how good a drummer Ringo was/is.

For the purposes of this thread, I’d define a “good drummer” as one who doesn’t hold the band back from reaching its full potential; one who can contribute what the band needs; one who is better than a “replacement-level drummer” (I mean in the MLB sense as in the link, not in the Chris Mars sense).

I remember reading that Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is often very critical of Joey Kramer. I don’t know how Kramer is typically stacked up among rock drummers. Of course they have put up with each other for many years so maybe it’s in the nature of sibling squabbling.