On the final day of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, or Epiphany Eve, the gift famously bestowed was 12 drummers drumming which is probably my favourite of all the extravagant presents gifted over the dozen days outlined in the carol.
Though illustrations in children’s books typically depict the drummers as jolly toy soldiers, the kind of drummers that spring to my mind are rock ‘n’ roll percussionists from the most well-known bands in recent music history.
If I was fortunate enough to receive 12 drummers drumming for Christmas from my true love, which twelve would I choose?
Carl Palmer – predominantly of Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame, Palmer has a reputation for being one of the best drummers of all time, known for bringing technical prowess into the rock arena. He’s also originally a local lad, hailing from nearby Handsworth.
Nick Mason – another drummer to originate from local grounds in Edgbaston, Mason is best known as a founder member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd and is regarded as a prog pioneer, musical colossus and one of the most revered players to have ever picked up the sticks.
Roger Taylor – multi-instrumentalist best known as the drummer in rock band, Queen, Taylor was recognised early in his career for his unique sound and great timing.
Ian Paice – known mainly for being the drummer and last constant original member of the English rock band Deep Purple, Paice is one of hard rock/heavy metal's early standout drummers.
Al Jackson Jr. – American drummer, producer and songwriter dubbed "The Human Timekeeper" for his drumming skills, Al was a founding member of Booker T. & the M.G.'s and Stax session musician.
Keith Moon – eccentric drummer for rock band The Who, Moon continues to be praised for his dramatic orchestral-style drum arrangements and ability but is perhaps better remembered for being the epitome of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Mitch Mitchell – best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mitchell is considered by many as one of the greatest rock drummers of the 1960s and was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2009.
Bernard “Pretty” Purdie – one of the world's most recorded drummers, Purdie a prolific and influential session musician known for his precise musical time keeping and signature use of triplets against a half-time backbeat: the "Purdie Shuffle."
Dave Grohl – now frontman of The Foo Fighters, Grohl was formerly the drummer for Nirvana who switched bands and instruments simultaneously with a high degree of success but is still recognised for his brute force and high-speed drumming ability, having collaborated with many other artists.
Tony Williams – a pioneer of jazz fusion, Williams first gained fame in the band of trumpeter Miles Davis and came into prominence in the 1960s, producing innovations that led him to become regarded as one of the most important and influential jazz drummers.
John Bonham – possibly my favourite in this list, Bonham was best known for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Another locally grown musician, his wildly enthusiastic style and syncopated but rock steady rhythms made for some of the best drum solos in rock music history.
Ginger Baker – co-founder of the rock band Cream, Baker was an inventive percussionist whose hellraiser personality and wild style melding jazz and African rhythms earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer".
These talented drummers have each provided the foundations for their fellow musicians to follow, which is similar to my role as manager at WorkPR. Whilst they’re responsible for keeping the rhythm of each song in tempo, I lead each team member to ensure workloads are fulfilled and deadlines are met. And, though I may not have the requisite skills as these legendary tub-thumpers, I can still make plenty of noise!
Check out our previous instalments to read our takes on the 12 gifts