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Old 12-16-2002, 02:22 PM
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Rock groups with two drummers

IIRC, in the early '80s, 38 Special had two drummers. What's strange about that is that I can't think of any of their material that has especially complex percussion which would (seemingly) require two drummers.

What did having two drummers add to 38 Special's sound? Did they play the same percussion simultaneously (for richness?)? Or did they switch off -- say, 1 drummed while 2 rattled a tambourine, then on the next song 2 drummed while 1 played rhythm guitar.

Also ... do any other bands feature 2 drummers playing simultaneously (esp. live)?
Old 12-16-2002, 02:29 PM
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Obvious one...the Grateful Dead!
Old 12-16-2002, 02:29 PM
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The Allman Brothers Band
Old 12-16-2002, 02:31 PM
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Yep.

The Grateful Dead.
The Doobie Brothers.
The Allman Brothers.

It was kind of the hip thing to do in the '70s. In many cases I think one drummer handled the trap kit and the other would handle percussion (congas, shakers, etc.).
Old 12-16-2002, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Capt. Spaulding
It was kind of the hip thing to do in the '70s. In many cases I think one drummer handled the trap kit ...
Trap kit? Is that the same as a drum set?
Old 12-16-2002, 02:37 PM
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Well this is rather obscure, but I am a big fan of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. When they were the duo Buckingham Nicks, they put out an awesome self-titled album (which is unavailable officially on CD unfortunately), and they toured with two drummers. They were building a pretty good following, but they were asked to join Fleetwood Mac, and everyone knows the rest.

It was Lindsey's idea, I have read, to have the two drummers because he felt it added a fuller sound live. He also said the extra layer made for a more complex sound. Lindsey is very fond of multi-layered sound, so I guess that would explain why some bands go for that.
Old 12-16-2002, 03:17 PM
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I have an early live Butthole Surfers video, Blind Eye Sees All, that has two drummers in it. I've also got a Zeppelin boot that features both Bonzo and Keith Moon doing an insane rendition of Moby Dick. There's two more for the list.
Old 12-16-2002, 03:20 PM
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Widespread Panic.
Old 12-16-2002, 03:29 PM
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FWIW, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers both play on drum kits -- no fancy percussion.
Old 12-16-2002, 03:31 PM
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Recent lineups of King Crimson have had two drummers: Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto.
Old 12-16-2002, 03:33 PM
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Didn't April Wine use two drummers?, i know that there are 2 in the present (and last couple of) versions of King Crimson.

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Old 12-16-2002, 03:35 PM
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Ok, I lied, the "new" King Crimson is back to being a 4 piece band.

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Old 12-16-2002, 07:08 PM
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Slipknot plays with three drummers, one on a full kit and the other two have mostly bass drums. The two with the bass drums don't play all the time, but when all three of them lock together it is something to see.
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:14 PM
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Genesis (in concert)
Kate Bush (in several videos, although this probably doesn't count)
Old 12-16-2002, 07:19 PM
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A few recent Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds tours have been done with two drummers on some songs (most notably Mercy Seat).
Old 12-16-2002, 07:56 PM
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Re: Rock groups with two drummers

Quote:
Originally posted by bordelond
Did they play the same percussion simultaneously (for richness?)?
I'm not familiar with 38 special, but in the Dead's case, I regarded Bill Kreutzman as the "meat and potatos" drummer and Mickey Hart added color and texture to the rhythm. Kreutzmann as the blue collar guy (doing most of the work) and Hart as the academic spiritualist. They played great together. Their basic kits were very similar but for the solos Mickey would employ his exotica (Marimba, Big bass drums played Kodo style, a steel "beam" strung with piano strings he would play with a pipe, and so on) while Billy would play toms or electronic stuff.
Old 12-16-2002, 08:49 PM
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Godspeed You Black Emperor! plays with two drumsets simultaneously, as does Tortoise on some songs. Both seem to use the double-drumset thing to create interplay between los of tippity-tappity sounds. And it's great to watch.

I saw a live set of Pavement's once where one guy had a full drumset and the other did light percussion on a more stripped-down set. I don't recall that they had any congas or other "percussionist" instruments, though.
Old 12-16-2002, 10:25 PM
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I think Pink Floyd has toured with two drummers in the past...
Old 12-16-2002, 11:05 PM
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Adam and the Ants used 2 drummers.
Old 12-16-2002, 11:27 PM
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The Eagles toured with two drummers, and I believe so did Genesis.
Old 12-16-2002, 11:56 PM
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But did they have two drummers playing at the same time? I would imagine bands like The Eagles and Genesis would have to have a second "auxiliary" drummer to play when their vocalist drummer wanted to come out front.
Old 12-17-2002, 12:07 AM
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Apollo 440 has two drummers, but i think one concentrates more on operating mixers and electronic stuff rather than drumming. He sits at a kit tho.
Old 12-17-2002, 06:54 AM
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The Moody Blues toured with two drummers. I think (!) age is an issue.
Old 12-17-2002, 09:32 AM
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I think there are three situations in which a band tours with two drummers:

1) The drummer is also the lead singer, and he needs to move around the stage during shows. He may play drums on a few tracks, but it's easier to have a hired man play the drums for most of the concert. Examples? Genesis (usually had Chester Thompson play drums for them in concert) and the Eagles.

2) The original drummer is getting old and can't play as well as he used to. This drummer is beloved, and the band doesn't want to fire him, but he's there for show, more than for his musical chops. The band lets him play, but also has a younger, better drummer, to handle the real work. Examples: Pink Floyd and the Moody Blues (Graeme Edge isn't that great on drums any more; as for Nick Mason, I suspect he's kept around just so Gilmour can claim they're the "real" Pink Floyd when ROger Waters grumbles).

3) The band's music is complex, and two different styles are needed at the same time. King Crimson is an example. Robert Fripp likes having a steady, standard rock beat to build his guitar tapestries upon, while Bill Bruford gets bored with such simplistic drumming, and likes to improvise. Hiring Pat Mastelotto allowed Bruford to go off on his own tangents, while giving Fripp the steady rock beat he wanted.
Old 12-17-2002, 09:36 AM
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A little off subject here. Ned's Atomic Dustbin of "Kill Your Television" and "Grey Cell Green" fame had two bass players.
Erm, that's it.
Old 12-17-2002, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by astorian
1) The drummer is also the lead singer, and he needs to move around the stage during shows.
Levon Helm (of The Band) could sing WHILE he was playing the drums!

Damn kids today, need to hire a back-up drummer to sing...
Old 12-17-2002, 10:19 AM
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At the risk of being annoying, Rush has one guy who plays like two.

The venerable professor on the drums - Neil Peart.

Yes, I'm a shameless fanboy.
Old 12-17-2002, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ukulele Ike
Levon Helm (of The Band) could sing WHILE he was playing the drums!

Damn kids today, need to hire a back-up drummer to sing...
No knock on Levon, but when Phil Collins is on stage, he's a real showman. He has a whole Steve Martin-esque, Las Vegas lounge lizard persona, and likes to wander the stage, cracking jokes and hamming it up. If Phil wanted simply to play the drums and sing, he could do it. But he thinks (and his fans seem to agree) that he's more entertaining when he gets out from behind the drums.
Old 12-17-2002, 01:21 PM
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Some more to add to the list:

Fugazi has started touring with two drummers, with the second being a stripped down bass/snare/hihat setup, used on only a few songs. Beta Band does this too. Also, Isotope 217 as well.

Crash Worship had three drummers most of the time, but I've seen them with six.

The fantastic HiM, led by ex-June of 44 drummer Doug Scharin, tours with two drummers, notable because they're both playing full kits, as opposed to the more common "second-kit-stripped-down" thing.

As long as we're throwing things out, The Lonesome Organist plays drums, zylophone, guitar and sings.........at the same time! Granted, it's a gimick that works better live, but the man is amazing. For those who know, he's John from Tortoise, 5ive style, and Euphone......... more talent in one finger than I posses in my whole body. The trick is to tie the drumsticks to your wrist, like a pair of mittens you don't want to lose.
Old 12-17-2002, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by astorian
when Phil Collins is on stage, he's a real showman....likes to wander the stage, cracking jokes and hamming it up....he's more entertaining when he gets out from behind the drums.
I've got this problem: I like rock bands that just kinda STAND THERE, and play music. If I wanted to see a Vegas show, I'd go to Vegas.

Yes, I know I'm not the Prime Demographic.
Old 12-17-2002, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ukulele Ike
I've got this problem: I like rock bands that just kinda STAND THERE, and play music. If I wanted to see a Vegas show, I'd go to Vegas.

Yes, I know I'm not the Prime Demographic.
Hey, opinions vary. Personally, if I'm going to pay a lot of money to see a concert, I'd like the band to entertain me. A band that just stands there and plays (like the Cars, for instance) is boring to me. If I just wanted to hear note-for-note recreations of songs exactly as they were on the album, I'd stay home and listen to the album... for FREE!
Old 12-17-2002, 06:48 PM
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Feank Zappa in the 60's and in 1973.
Old 12-17-2002, 08:01 PM
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What about Santana? I think their set up was more of a drum kit handled by Mike Shrieve, and several percussionists. I only saw them live once - and it was back in 1970 - but I seem to recall it took several people beating on a whole lot of stuff to get that rhythm.
Old 12-17-2002, 08:13 PM
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Yeah following Slipknot's lead (3 drummers woo!, some of the new metal bands are going with multi drummers). Of course most death metal drummers could toast 2 regular drummers, so 2 drummers are often not needed.
Old 12-17-2002, 09:12 PM
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I saw BB King in concert a couple of years ago. There were 2 guys on two drumsets, and they kicked ass! I believe they were telepathically linked at whatever part of the brain deals with the sense of rhythm.

Paul Simon's Born At The Right Time tour, after his Rhythm of the Saints CD, had Steve Gadd plus 4 Brazilian percussionists. Awesome.
Old 12-17-2002, 11:24 PM
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As was mentioned, the Butthole Surfers played with two drummers for quite awhile. I think it added a rather unique, low-end heaviness to their music. Either way, it was good stuff. Also, Captain Beefheart and his magic band played with two drummers for awhile.
Old 12-18-2002, 08:47 AM
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Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (?) had two drummers when I saw them at the Big Day Out a couple of years ago. One had a regular kit and the other had a more percussiv one (bongos, toms etc).
Old 12-22-2002, 05:19 AM
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Steely Dan was also a practitioner of this, with documented proof on their albumPretzel Logic, with "Parker's Band".
Old 12-22-2002, 07:03 AM
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I saw .38 Special around '77 and their two drummers was sort of an Allman Brothers schtick more than anything, IMO. They were good though and yes they did both play full kits.

Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Opened for The Outlaws. Damn good show.what I remember of it
Old 12-22-2002, 10:50 AM
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Oh, you folks mean more than one drummer AT THE SAME TIME! I guess my thought of Spinal Tap wouldn't count then.

Um, let's tighten the definition here. You mean more than one drummer on a trap set or one drummer on trap set and one or more on congas, tablas, etc...?
Old 12-22-2002, 12:25 PM
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Didn't Big Pig have like FOUR or something (yes, all at the same time)? I know Adam and the Ants' drummers played simultaneously.
Old 12-22-2002, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mars Horizon
At the risk of being annoying, Rush has one guy who plays like two.

The venerable professor on the drums - Neil Peart.

Yes, I'm a shameless fanboy.
Continuing on this...I'd say that Damon Che of Don Caballero can play like two at least as well as (if not better than) Peart.

JMO, of course.
Old 12-22-2002, 02:39 PM
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The Feelies used to have two drummers. And Pere Ubu tried it for a brief spell.
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