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Who Is the Greatest Drummer of All Time? Lars Ulrich, Richard Christy Weighs In

  • Axl Rosenberg

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich recently appeared on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show to help settle a debate over who is the greatest drummer of all time.

Stern had been arguing the whole week that it was Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham; then Richard Christy, the Stern regular who is, of course, a drummer himself (Death, Charred Walls of the Damned, etc.), weighed in. Christy agreed that Bonham was the greatest, but asserted that he “would put Neil Peart right next to him,” praising the late Rush drummer’s “iconic” solo in “Tom Sawyer.”

Other suggested candidates included Ginger Baker (Cream) and Keith Moon (The Who).

The debate culminated in a caller betting the shock jock $100 that Ulrich would vote for Peart over Bonham. After taking the bet, Stern managed to get Lars on the phone, at which point the Metallica nominee suggested two additional nominees:

“Deep Purple’s Ian Paice is an incredibly technically gifted drummer. And Phil Rudd is what gives AC/DC that incredible bounce and swing.”

Still, he had nothing but praise for Bonham…

“You mentioned ‘When the Levee Breaks.’ I mean that’s classic Bonham. The drums are big thunderous and ambient, he’s a little bit behind on the snare, and it’s got that groove… he’s in a pocket.”

…as well as Peart:

“The first time I ever met Neil it was 1984. Our manager, Cliff [Burnstein], signed Rush. I had drum questions about gear and this and that. [Burnstein] goes, ‘Neil loves to talk to younger drummers… call Neil, he wants to hear from you.” And it was like, ‘Huh?’ I was 20 years old with not a pot to piss in.

“And I called [Peart] and we spoke for 30, 45 minutes and we’re geeking out on drums and the whole thing was like a fairy tale. You can’t play drums and not love Neil, and you can’t not be appreciative and respectful [of his playing].”

So who did Lars ultimately choose? Watch the below Stern clip to find out! Then head to the comments section to debate amongst yourselves.

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