One night at a Berries gig, another drummer mentioned that I sit really tall behind the kit — “kind of like Ringo,” he said. While Ringo is a definite influence of mine, a more significant factor is that I’m 6’4″, and all my height is in my torso. I only have a 32-inch inseam, so I tend to sit really tall behind anything. In cars, headroom is a much bigger deal to me than legroom, lest I poke through the roof like Dino in the Flintstones opener.
But something I’ve noticed over the years is that most drummers tend to be smaller guys, and I was talking about this the other night with a friend of mine. (Admittedly, 6′ 4″ puts me somewhere above the 95th percentile, so from my perspective, most people tend to be smaller, but anyway…) Mick Fleetwood is 6’5″, Danny Carey of Tool is 6’6″, and Gene Hoglan is listed as 6’5″ to 6’7″. Kenny “Rhino” Earl (whom I’ve known since high school) is at least 6’5″. Ric Parnell also appears to be pretty tall.
But who are the other tall drummers? And although I had never really thought about it before, I wonder if being tall has its own set of challenges for drummers. I suspect that hunching over a kit can’t be good for the back, and for folks with very long legs, double bass work may be an issue (not a problem for me, as I have gerbil legs and have always played single bass).
But in any event, I’ll just keep sitting tall behind the kit — and unlike Ringo (5’6″), I don’t need a mini-kit for the effect. But he’s much taller when he sits on his talent — or his wallet.