9 Classic Rock Bands Whose Replacement Drummers Didn’t Last

9 Classic Rock Bands Whose Replacement Drummers Didn't Last

Photo: Daigo Oliva / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Our 9 Classic Rock Bands Whose Replacement Drummers Didn’t Last article takes a very fascinating and informative look at nine rock and roll drummers who served as replacement drummers in famous bands and then were eventually replaced themselves. This article differs from the traditional original drummers who were replaced type articles that have been written so many times. This one goes deeper and looks at the drummers in between the famous and not so famous names that performed with these legendary rock bands.

The circumstances of all these replacement drummers differed dramatically. In some cases they would become the drummers most associated with the band’s glory years. Some of them would last for almost a decade, while some would last for just a year or even less. Circumstances for their departures and being replaced themselves also differed dramatically. Some would be fired, some would quit and sadly, some would pass away. The one bond that ties them all together and  landed them on this list, was the fact that they all replaced somebody else and then eventually were replaced themselves. In the end, this list presents some interesting information that many people may not know. It’s what makes this 9 Classic Rock Bands Whose Replacement Drummers Didn’t Last list to be what we believe, a very enjoyable read.

# 9 – Randy Castillo & Samantha Maloney – Motley Crue

Randy Castillo replaced Motley Crue’s original drummer Tommy Lee when Lee quit the band in 1999. Sadly, Randy Castillo became terminally ill shorty after joining and was replaced  by Samantha Maloney of the band Hole. Eventually Samantha Maloney would be replaced when Motley Crue reformed and Tommy Lee returned to  the band.

# 8 –  Cozy Powell – Emerson, Lake & Powell

When Keith Emerson and Greg Lake went to reform Emerson, Lake & Palmer after being on hiatus for a while they found themselves unable to get Carl Palmer to join up with them. At the time, Carl Palmer had found himself a very successful new band called Asia. So the two turned to Cozy Powell to form the new Emerson, Lake & Palmer now called Emerson Lake & Powell. The band only lasted for one album. The group released the record Emerson Lake & Powell in 1986.  Emerson Lake & Palmer reunited a few years later with Carl Palmer for the Black Moon album. In between both bands was also the formation of the group 3 that consisted of Robert Berry, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer. The group 3 released one album titled To the Power of Three.

# 7 – Drummers Djor – Nirvana

Bob McFadden was the original drummer in Nirvana. He was replaced by a series of drummers until Dave Grohl finally became the bands legendary drummers. The replacement drummers who manned the drummer chair in between McFadden and Grohl were Aaron Burckhard, Dale Crover, Dave Foster and Chad Channing.

# 6 – Barriemore Barlow – Jethro Tull

Barriemore Barlow was not the original drummer in Jethro Tull. Barriemore Barlow replaced original Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker. Barriemore Barlow would perform with Jethro Tull from 1971 to 1980 in what would become the band’s most legendary years. Barriemore Barlow would lay down the drum tracks for the most iconic Jethro Tull songs ever released. However he was replaced because he quit the group. He left the band in 1980 and was replaced by Mark Craney.

# 5 – Steven Adler – Guns N’ Roses

While Steven Adler was the drummer for Guns N’ Roses on their massive hit albums from the late 1980s, he was not the band’s original drummer. Steven Adler was a replacement for original Guns N’ Roses drummer Robert Gardner. Steven Adler would earn his “drummers who were replaced status,” by being replaced by ex-cult drummer Matt Sorum in 1990

# 3 – Roger Pope – The Elton John Band

Roger Pope replaced the very popular Nigel Olson of the Elton John band in 1976. Both men were incredible musicians, incredible drummers who sounded great in the Elton John Band. Roger Pope was sensational on the two Elton John albums he recorded with Elton John called Rock of The Westies and Blues Moves. Then he was fired and replaced by Paul McCartney & Wings drummer Steve Holly on Elton John’s next album A Single Man.

# 2 – Eric Carr – Kiss

Eric Carr replaced the very popular Peter Criss in Kiss in 1980. Eric Carr performed with Kiss until 1991 when he sadly passed away due to heart cancer. Eric Carr was replaced by Eric Singer who was then replaced by the return of Peter Criss who was then replaced by Eric Singer.

# 2 – Kenny Jones – The Who

Coming in at number two is poor Kenny Jones. How do you replace Keith Moon? Its like trying to replace John Bonhman. You just cant do it. Led Zeppelin understood that, The Who didn’t. Kenny Jones never had a shot. Obviously, The Who understood that there was no way to replace a personality like Keith Moon, so they went as far away as they could as far as style went. The results were two mediocre albums. That probably wasn’t Kenny’s fault, but he didn’t help. Moon inspired the Who.

# 1 – Pete Best – The Beatles

Most fans think of the legacy of Pete Best as the drummer who was fired from the Beatles and replaced by Ringo Starr. That is one hundred percent accurate. However, what most people do not know is that Pete Best was not the original drummer with the Beatles. In fact, Pete Best was a replacement drummer. There were two drummers who played in the early formation of the Beatles when they were known as the Sliver Beatles and were a back up band for Johnny Gentle. Tommy Moore was the original drummer who was replaced by Norman Chapman who only played a few shows and was then replaced by Pete Best. One could go back even further than Moore if we go back to Lennon’s first band the Quarryman. The video below is fascinating and also includes references to the drummers before Moore such as Colin Hanton, Geoff Skinner and Mike McCartney. Plus references to drummers Johnny Hutchinson and Cliff Roberts.


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