Black Collar Workers


  • Axl Rosenberg


I’ll give you two guesses as to the focus of, but you’re only gonna need one. Now they’ve posted their list of The 30 Richest Drummers in the World, and there are a bunch of skinsman who will be of interest to the metal community. Not because it says anything about their talent — it doesn’t — but just because we’re human beings, and we like to gossip. So I’m going to publish the names and (I guess I need to say “alleged?”) net worth of those drummers after the jump, along with my own snarky comments in bold, natch.

Here we go:

  • #1: Ringo Starr  – $300 Million (The Beatles) – I know he’s not a metal drummer, I’m just including him because I know everyone will be curious who #1 is. I’m not at all surprised that a member of The Beatles tops the list; I actually would have guessed he’d be worth way more than this.
  • #3: Dave Grohl – $225 Million (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) – I almost feel like this is cheating, since a substantial portion of that sum was earned playing guitar and singing, not being a drummer. That being said, I think Dave Grohl is the man, so I don’t begrudge him his success. Courtney Love, on the other hand…
  • #5: Lars Ulrich – $175 Million (Metallica) – The easy joke to make here would be to say “Lars Ulrich doesn’t belong on this list because he’s not a drummer,” but I’m not going to make that joke.
  • #6: Charlie Watts – $160 Million (The Rolling Stones) – I know he’s not a metal drummer, I just can’t believe he’s worth less than Lars Ulrich.
  • #9: Joey Kramer – $100 Million (Aerosmith) – And they said being short and ugly would never pay off.
  • #10: Chad Smith – $90 Million (The Red Hot Chili Peppers) – Oh come on, we all know most of that money came from Chickenfoot, right?
  • #13: Alex Van Halen – $75 Million (Van Halen) – I’m sure this number would be higher if the band didn’t take these years-long hiatuses in-between tours and albums, but it must be hard to complain when you wipe your ass with $100 bills, right?
  • #15: Tommy Lee – $70 Million (Motley Crue) – That’s a million dollars for every inch of his dong!
  • #16: Bill Ward – $65 Million (Black Sabbath) – I felt pretty bad for Ward after the contract dispute that kept him out of the Black Sabbath reunion earlier this year. Now I suddenly don’t care so much.
  • #19: Rick Allen – $50 Million (Def Leppard) – “Sorry, Rick, can you please define ‘handi-capable’?”
  • #21: Danny Carey – $40 Million (Tool) – Metal Insider helpfully points out that this makes Mr. Carey the only drummer to appear both on this list and  our list of The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers. I think we all know of which of the two lists he really cares about being on, though. You’re welcome, Danny! 
  • #22: Tico Torres – $40 Million (Bon Jovi) –
  • #26: Neil Peart – $22 Million (Rush) – Proof that being a good drummer has very little to do with being a successful drummer. He could probably play circles around almost every other dude on this list, but because he didn’t record “Pour Some Sugar On Me” or “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” he has to settle for a mere $22 mil. What a shame!
  • #27: Taylor Hawkins – $20 Million (Foo Fighters) – To review, Nirvana’s drummer is so rich that Nirvana’s drummer’s drummer is rich. FML. 
  • #29: Steven Adler – $15 Million (Guns N’ Roses) – Being the band’s original drummer and having a piece of the publishing on Appetite for Destruction obviously paid off big time, because Matt Sorum isn’t on the list. No wonder Adler, unlike some people, is still happy to discuss GN’R with anyone who will listen.


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