John Bradbury (RIP)
The Rhythm Best of drums 2016 polls have received over 136,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2016. Here, we present the biggest drum heroes of 2016. First up we have The Specials drummer John Bradbury…
We were gutted to learn of ‘Brad’’s death at the very end of 2015. Not only was he a top bloke, but his playing on seminal Specials tracks like Gangsters, Ghost Town and Too Much Too Young was much celebrated, and went on to influence drummers including Stewart Copeland.
Johnny Craviotto (RIP)
Craviotto was a master drum craftsmen who not only built premium quality, unbelievable sounding drums, but also influenced many others to take up drum building themselves, including British Drum Company’s Keith Keough. Every drummer should experience playing a Craviotto drum at least once in their lives. Sadly, Johnny passed away in July 2016.
Tommy Lee (bows out with a drum kit rollercoaster)
T-Bone is one of the greatest showmen of the last few decades, and he took that title to new heights during Mötley Crüe’s final tour. Expanding on his drum kit rollercoaster idea from 2014, on the last tour his kit was on tracks and went spinning out over the crowd in a flurry of big beats and flashing lights. We’d love to see the insurance premium on that one.
Philthy Animal Taylor (RIP)
While Taylor played sporadically in various bands over the last 20 years, it was his tenure with Motörhead in the ‘70s and ‘80s and his drumming on classics Overkill and Ace Of Spades, that earned him a fierce reputation behind the kit. Sadly, Taylor died of liver failure at the end of 2015.
Nick Menza (RIP)
Menza was best known as the drummer for Megadeth between 1989 and 1998, then again in 2014, before a final run in 2014. Sadly he died in May 2016, but not before making his mark. Menza’s well-schooled drumming style was captured perfectly on a number of classic Megadeth recordings, including Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia.
Remo Belli (RIP)
If there’s one person who arguably did more than anyone to impact the drum industry in a positive way, our vote would go to Remo Belli. Not only was he a fantastic drummer, but his pioneering spirit led to the development of a simple Mylar drumhead from an idea into a durable, great sounding head that millions of drummers know and use today. Not content with that, Belli also built a traditional percussion empire, and invested a lot of time in promoting the benefits of drumming for personal well-being.
Phil Collins (big comeback)
Much has been made of Collins' failing health in recent years that few people thought they’d ever see the day when he heads back out on the road, but that’s exactly what happened in 2016. A few early performances have suggested he will be in fine voice by the time the 2017 dates come around, but we’re yet to know if we’ll hear any of those world-famous beats played by the man himself. We have everything crossed.
Drum Hero 2016: Josh Devine (From 1D drummer to charity worker with Food For The Hungry)
Being a drum hero doesn’t always just revolve around being a skilled drummer. This year’s category winner Josh Devine proved his chops behind the kit for many years with One Direction, but this year he’s used his profile to raise awareness for the fantastic charity Food For The Hungry which aims to end world hunger. Classy move, Josh.