Drummers are different. They like to hit things hard and often and sometimes even show off – “cue drum solo now.” While The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts has long been content to lay down the beat with a classic 4-piece jazz kit, other drummers need more – sometimes many more – drums and cymbals and cowbells and wood blocks to express their musical muse. Here are 10 drummers with big kits to match their big sound. If you want drums, you got ‘em.
- Peter Criss – Peter Criss holding drumsticks above his head on the cover of Kiss Alive! is one of rock’s iconic images. But it’s the wraparound drum set that inspired countless drummers to save their cash so they, too, could play Pearl Drums because “they want the best.”
- Neil Peart – Nearly everyone’s favorite rock drummer brings two complete drum kits on stage just so he can kick your ass on acoustic and electric percussion.
- Stewart Copeland – Though he didn’t need it for “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take,” the former Police drummer’s signature Tama kit included 14 drums. Just add cymbals.
- Nicko McBrain – Iron Maiden’s lovable lunatic plays a set that matches his personality and the band’s fiery energy. Just watching McBrain race across his wall of drums is enough to make band mascot Eddie sweat.
- Alex Van Halen – When double-bass drum sets were all the rage, Alex Van Halen one-upped his peers and added a third bass drum – you know, for those times when you really need three bass drums.
- Tommy Lee – Can your drum set do a 360?
- Mickey Hart– Hart is best known for his shared drumming role with Bill Kreutzmann in the Grateful Dead. He’s also been a tireless explorer of all things percussion, and his often-colossal sets comprising instruments from across the globe bear out his passion for all-things rhythm.
- Keith Moon – Early on, Moon was as notorious for destroying drum kits as for playing them. As The Who achieved greater commercial success, Moon’s kit grew too. By the mid-70s, he was commandeering a set that featured twin sets of toms and two bass drums. You wouldn’t want to be the drum that made Moon angry.
- Carl Palmer – During the heyday of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, drummer Carl steered a kit that included concert timpani drums and gongs big enough to cover Rhode Island.
- Mike Portnoy – Is there a cooler – and just plain crazier – set of drums than Portnoy’s Mirage Monster? This array of Tama drums, Sabian cymbals and accessories contains more than 50 pieces of percussion! And that’s just one of four “monster” kits owned by the former Dream Theater drummer.
- Original KISS Drummer PETER CRISS Named ‘Drum Legend’ (roadrunnerrecords.com)