Bruce Springsteen once said of Max Weinberg, his impossibly reliable drummer for over four decades, “That guy has never had a malfunction, I would swear. He’s just a wild card in every sense.”
Weinberg’s wildness is what made the late Billy Preston and George Weinberg such good mates. Weinberg, 65, just completed a three-night reunion tour of his 1981 Kinks show at Madison Square Garden to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s breakthrough album, To Have And To Hold. (It was not on this tour.)
Paul Thornley, who recorded those songs with Preston, recently posted a DVD of those Kinks shows and interviews with the artists. In one interview, Preston mentions Weinberg.
1. Christian Vander
You could say that French bandleader Christian Vander is among the top drummers not principally known first and foremost for drumming, but because of his impressive output as a producer and arranger.
2. Travis Barker
Blink-182’s Travis Barker is one of the most famous drummers of the new millennium thanks to his hardcore sensibility, skater aesthetic, hip-hop energy, pop appeal and reality TV-ready baby face — not to mention his ease working with EDM superstars or rappers, and DJ-ing in his spare time. He kicked off 2012 with one of the biggest releases of the year, Friction’s Friction , and has remained on a roll ever since. His sophomore LP, Sirens, came out in 2013 and has sold faster than most top 40 pop albums in the past 15 years. Barker’s greatest hits include “American Idiot,” “Keep It Like A Secret” (about former U.S. intelligence.
3. Steven Adler
Guns N’ Roses’ landmark debut, Appetite for Destruction, gets much of its swagger from the tense yet swinging beats of Steven Adler, the band’s energetically goofy drummer. Appetite, released in the summer of 1981, came with a slew of gold records, platinum for Adler himself (top-rated solo artist, amirite?), and an Oscar for best rock performance for both Adler and co-frontman Eric Singer. It was one of the greatest rock albums ever made. When the band went on hiatus in 1986, Singer went on to form Iron Maiden, and Adler went on to take to fronting a man with a top-five song, “Torn in two.”
4. Cindy Blackman
In 1993, Blackman altered the course of her career, shifting from a Tony Williams–style jazz ace to an arena-playing rock star as a member of Lenny Kravitz’s live band, adding the saxophone for the first time. Still, it was the now-14-year-old Blackman who would make her first giant mark in the recording industry as the lead singer of Sade’s Destiny’s Child bandmate, Mariah Carey. In 1996, she moved to LA and became a regular on the X-Factor singing competition, under producer Brian Jackson. Then, in 1997, she was tapped to replace Haim as a founding member of New Kids on the Block in the U.K.