24 of the Biggest Feminine Drummers in Rock Historical past

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Behind each nice singer is an excellent drummer. That’s the case with most teams, however a girl behind the package is a rarity. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to each rule, and plenty of females have thrashed away, often in all-girl teams.

Who will likely be remembered as the best of all time? There are extra contenders than you would possibly suppose.

1. Gina Schock

Musical group the Go-Go's, in a 1981 publicity photo for their album Beauty And The Beat.
Picture Credit score: WikiCommons.

The all-girl band the Go-Gos had an early hit with “We Acquired the Beat,” and Gina Schock was the individual driving that beat. At a time when digital drums had been edging out people, Gina Schock saved it actual, and he or she’s nonetheless drumming behind Belinda Carlisle and the remainder of the band at this time.

2. Denise Dufort

Members of the heavy metal band Girlschool in 1981.
Picture Credit score: Watt Dabney – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

The US had The Runaways, whereas the UK had Girlschool. Taking full benefit of the motion often known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metallic, Girlschool was an all-female band, with Denise Dufort taking on the drums. Drumming ran within the household, and Denise is the sister of Dave Dufort, who performed in Angel Witch, one other NWOBHM band. 

3. Sandy West

Joan Jett (rhythm guitar, left) and Jackie Fox (bass guitar, centre) and Lita Ford (lead guitar, right) of 1970s-band The Runaways at Brumrock '76, Bingley Hall, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Text by the author of the image:
Picture Credit score: David Johnson – CCASA 2.0/WikiCommons.

Talking of The Runaways, how may we not embrace their drummer, Sandy West? Whereas there had been many feminine drummers earlier than her, no person had used such tempo and fervour to again up some of the important bands within the early punk scene. The Runaways had been pioneers, and West performed her complete half.

4. Fliss Kitson

Fliss Kitson from The Nightingales from Birmingham at Club W71.
Picture Credit score: Schorle – CCASA 2.0/WikiCommons.

Fliss Kitson of The Nightingales is a drummer with a extra common vocal position. She joined the post-punk group and injected new life into the band led by iconic singer Robert Lloyd. I’ve seen the Nightingales dwell, and I’d extremely suggest searching for out King Rocker, the documentary on Lloyd, and this distinctive group.

5. Sheila E

Sheila E. performing live at the Huntington Beach Food Art & Music Festival in Huntington Beach California on Saturday September 6th, 2014.
Picture Credit score: Justin Higuchi – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

Throughout her early profession, after her stint with the George Duke Band within the 70s, Sheila E was one other musician whose picture might have masked her expertise. As a glamorous a part of Prince’s entourage, some might have thought she was there for adornment, taking part in occasional percussion whereas offering vocals. Happily, she was later unleashed, and all music followers noticed Sheila E because the powerhouse she certainly was.

6. Patty Schemel

Hole reunion performance at the Public Assembly in New York City, April 13, 2012.
Picture Credit score: A Horse With No Identify – CCASA 3.0/WikiCommons.

Gap drummer Patty Schemel overcame private demons and a high-profile firing from the band. Her expertise with the sticks had been by no means unsure, and he or she launched advanced patterns to the extra primary kinds of the grunge period. Courtney Love ultimately determined she couldn’t carry out with out her, and Schemel made an unlikely however totally deserved return to the band. 

7. Brie Howard-Darling

Brie Darling playing drums, pink background.
Picture Credit score: Maria Berry – CCA SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Whereas often known as Brie Brandt, this distinctive feminine drummer was a groundbreaker with one of many first all-female rock bands to make a mark in a male-dominated world. Her time with the group was transient, however she has loved an extended profession working with artists resembling Glen Campbell, Carole King, and Jimmy Buffett. In 2024, on the age of 74, Howard-Darling remains to be drumming.

8. Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter
Picture Credit score: Robert L. Knudson and Wiki Commons.

She is going to greatest be remembered for her lovely voice, however Karen Carpenter was an achieved drummer. She realized her expertise within the faculty marching band and performed on The Carpenters’ hits. She was extremely revered amongst her friends and as soon as edged out Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham in a greatest drummers ballot.

 9. Viola Smith

The Hour of Charm Orchestra. Smith's distinctive drum kit can be seen at the back.
Picture Credit score: Military-Navy Display Journal Quantity 22 – Public Area / WikiCommons.

One of many first feminine drummers to interrupt via and really make a reputation for herself, Viola Smith turned a legend on the jazz scene. A local of Wisconsin, she was given her probability primarily because of the outbreak of World Conflict Two when ladies started to fill conventional male jobs in lots of industries. Smith recorded little or no however featured extensively in Broadway Exhibits and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Present 5 instances.

10. Samantha Maloney 

Musician
Picture Credit score: Jennifer Vecellio – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

At one time, Samantha Maloney was a gun for rent, changing well-known drummers in a number of famous rock bands. She changed Patty Schemel in Gap, took over from Tommy Lee throughout a break for Motley Crue, and lined for Josh Homme in Eagles of Loss of life Metallic. This hasn’t saved Maloney from her common day job as A&R Vice President at Warner Bros.

11. Cindy Blackman Santana

Cindy Blackman plays at Willisau Jazz 2007, Switzerland.
Picture Credit score: Andy Newcombe – CCA SA 2.0/WikiCommons.

In the event you’re unaware of Cindy Blackman Santana, you’ll doubtless have seen her in rock movies. She was the girl offering the soul of a few of Lenny Kravitz’s biggest tracks and was a particular determine behind the package. Blackman Santana remains to be working, and in 2020, she launched a solo album with the suitable title, Give the Drummer Some.

12. Debbi Peterson

Debbi Peterson
Picture Credit score: David Lee / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0.

The glamour of The Bangles generally meant that they weren’t totally taken significantly as musicians. That they had a way more punky sound of their earlier days earlier than they developed because the Eighties progressed. They had been all significantly and equally proficient, and behind all of it was their drummer and occasional vocalist, the sensible Debbi Peterson.

13. Meg White

The White Stripes, Jack White and Meg White
Picture Credit score: Fabio Venni, CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

When your band solely has two musicians, you have to make your instrument rely, and Meg White did simply that. With that thumping percussion, she was as a lot part of The White Stripes sound as Jack. It’s a disgrace that she’s been out of the limelight because the group break up, as there are legions of followers who wish to hear extra.

14. Yoshimi P-We

Yoshimi P-We performing on a dimly lit stage with band members.
Picture Credit score: Dirk – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

Boredoms is a band that must be heard to be believed. They’re difficult to categorize and are sometimes pigeonholed as noise metallic, however there are bizarre psychedelic overtones. I’m not a fan, and my cat has simply run out of the room following the beginning of the Imaginative and prescient Creation Newsun album, however I can admire these significantly proficient musicians. Yoshimi P-We is a star and some of the particular person feminine drummers ever.

15. Paloma Romero

Ari Up, Tessa Pollitt, and Adele Wilson of The Slits, performing at McCarren Park Pool, NYC, on Jul 28 2007. Video still from PUNKCAST#1184.
Picture Credit score: Wwwhatsup – CCA SA 3.0/WikiCommons.

Many feminine musicians who fashioned a part of the punk motion in Nineteen Seventies England have been largely forgotten. Paloma Romero is best identified by her stage identify Palmolive, and he or she was the drummer within the all-girl punk outfit The Slits. Her passionate, tribal drumming supplied an important a part of The Slits’ sound. 

16. Honey Lantree

The Honey Combs in Holland. 10 December 1964.
Picture Credit score: Eric Koch for Anefo – Inventive Commons Zero, Public Area Dedication/WikiCommons.

As one-fifth of the Sixties beat group The Honeycombs, Honey Lantree was a particular determine as the one feminine member. Sadly, this was when she would have been perceived as uncommon, nevertheless it’s hoped that ’60s music followers would have appreciated her contribution. The Honeycombs had been one-hit wonders, however “Have I the Proper” is a traditional, constructed across the pounding drum model of Honey Lantree.

17. Daybreak Richardson

What's Up 4 Non Blondes
Picture Credit score: Interscope Information.

Their very identify was a backlash in opposition to how some musical artists had been perceived. 4 Non Blondes is also bracketed as one-hit wonders, however I’d urge any reader to look past “What’s Up” and think about their complete again catalog. Daybreak Richardson occupied the drum stool for a lot of the band’s existence, taking on for Wanda Day, and he or she’s labored with many further artists because the demise of 4 Non Blondes.

18. Bobbye Corridor

Bobbye Hall and her pug, Ching Ching.
Picture Credit score: Sunkissis – CCA SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

By the very nature of their position within the band, drummers are likely to fade into the background. Bobbye Corridor was by no means entrance and heart, and most music lovers will likely be unaware of her identify, though they’ll have undoubtedly heard her play. Corridor performed with many legendary stars, together with Marvin Gaye, Invoice Withers, Carole King, and Pink Floyd.

19. Moe Tucker

The Moe Tucker Band, Augsburg, Germany, September 1992
Picture Credit score: Ralf Zeigermann – CCA SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Moe Tucker made drumming accessible for ladies as she turned a cult determine within the Sixties different rock scene. She performed with the final word cool band, Velvet Underground. She had a definite stage presence, standing up at a small package and utilizing percussion mallets often seen in classical orchestras. Tucker left music after the group disbanded however later returned to launch 4 solo albums.

20. Tobi Vail

Bikini Kill performing on stage. Erica Dawn Lyle (L), Kathleen Hanna (center) and Tobi Vail (R).
Picture Credit score: Raph_PH – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

A vital component of the Bikini Kill sound, Tobi Vail is also credited with creating the phrase “Riot Grrrl.” She was a founding member of Bikini Kill and has since labored with different well-known underground bands. When Vail performs, you possibly can hear Moe Tucker’s and others’ influences in her work.

21. Jody Linscott

Keith Moon's Premier Drum-set.
Pictured: Keith Moon’s Drum Equipment For The Who. Picture Credit score: Eden, Janine and Jim NYC – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

Any drummer deemed adequate to play for The Who calls for everybody’s respect. Jody Linscott stepped in to play on the band’s 1989 tour, masking elements laid down by the legendary Keith Moon. She’s additionally labored with Elton John, Dido, Billy Bragg, and Mike Oldfield.

22. Torry Castellano

Torry Castellano performing with The Donnas in 2008.
Picture Credit score: AON, Washington – CCA 2.0/WikiCommons.

How we miss Torry Castellano’s contribution to The Donnas’ sound. The band launched some self-penned classics, however I significantly like their cowl variations, together with “Dancing with Myself” and “Strutter.” Castellano’s taking part in model and perspective helped to outline the band, however she was compelled to retire from music because of tendonitis.

23. June Miles-Kingston

Rough Trade, East End (London), August 2, 2009.
Pictured: Tough Commerce Information. Picture Credit score: Marc Wathieu – CC 2.0/WikiCommons.

That is one other identify that can have gone below the radar, particularly for those who dwell exterior of the UK. June Miles-Kingston spanned a number of genres throughout her drumming profession, initially beginning within the Nineteen Seventies punk period. She co-founded her band, The Mo-dettes, earlier than drumming with Indie royalty resembling All the pieces However the Woman and Enjoyable Boy Three.

24. Roxy Petrucci

The US hard rock band Vixen 2018 at Stuttgart, Germany.
Picture Credit score: S. Bollmann/WikiCommons.

All-girl metallic band Vixen hails from Minnesota and made a optimistic impression on a male-dominated scene. Their look mixes glamour and grunge, they usually had been taken extra significantly as a feminine band. On the coronary heart of their intense, highly effective sound is Roxy Petrucci, a drummer who performed with Madame X.


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