The Drummer Alex Van Halen Considered The Most Underrated

In a rock band, it’s mostly the lead singer and the guitarist who attract the spotlight. As a result, many bassists and drummers out there don’t receive enough credit for their contributions to the band. For instance, Flea argued that Ringo Starr is the most underrated drummer in the history of rock, although he influenced the drumming techniques of many others and used a unique playing style.

Melvins’ Dale Crover also agreed with Flea about Ringo Starr and added Charlie Watts, Alex Van Halen, and Ian Paice to the list. According to him, the aforementioned names often remained overshadowed by their band’s leads. As it turns out, Alex Van Halen also gave an interesting name as the most underrated drummer in the scene — Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.

Speaking to Drum Magazine in a previous interview, Alex Van Halen revealed his thoughts about John Bonham and his drumming techniques. He stated that Bonham had an innovative approach towards drum-playing, and he played the instrument sensitively and dynamically. However, Alex was annoyed that the Zeppelin drummer got half a page in a magazine following his death.

“He had a lot of finesse, a lot of stuff that he did in between – other than just the two-four,” said Alex about John Bonham’s drumming. “He brought dynamics and sensitivity to the instrument. When the guy only gets, upon his death, half a page in Circus Magazine… That’s when I stopped looking at the magazine.

So, Alex Van Halen argued that despite his unique talent and experimental approach towards drum playing, John Bonham didn’t get enough credit for his contributions to the instrument even after his death. When he noticed that Bonham only got half a page in a magazine he read, Alex felt pretty uncomfortable as this wasn’t what the Zeppelin drummer deserved.