Meltdown on WRIF

Weekdays 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Simon Phillips is a drumming legend who has played on literally hundreds of projects. His latest is a live show with keyboardist, Derek Sherinian, called Sherinian/Phillips Live. Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal plays guitars on the album, with Ric Fierabracci on bass. It’s out now. You can order it here.

We discussed drumming and even programmed drums, which Simon isn’t crazy about. He said he’s recorded on as many as 600 albums, including the Sin After Sin album from Judas Priest. He talked about doing it live, and piecing it together. He hadn’t worked with the band up until that point. He told me how he got involved on that record.

He told me why we he never stuck with one band, but chose to work on many different projects. “What I loved about playing sessions, was everyday I’d be playing something new.” He said he got bored playing the same thing gig after gig. “I love the art of making records.”

Simon  spoke to making this live album. They played two sets, and he picked what he thought was the best to create the record.

Bumblefoot gave me a question about paper vs. ceramic mugs for Simon’s coffee, which was pretty funny. Simon also speaks to how good Bumblefoot’s playing is.

Fun interview, another first time conversation for me.


The audio only interview is below…

Drummer Simon Phillips Talks About His Storied Career And Latest Live Project On Talkin’ Rock


It's National Drum Month and The Greatest Drummers of All Time

It’s National Drum Month and The Greatest Drummers of All Time

While everyone loves a strong voice and solid guitar work, an incredible drummer is a glue that cements the music of great bands. And according to National Today, May is National Drum Month! Have you ever been tapping your toes and fingers to a great beat? The drums are usually the beat causing that magical energy in your body. has a brief history of drums dating back to 5500 BC. The first drums, covered in alligator skin, originated in the Neolithic age. Drums spread to Europe in the 1200s and then to America in the 1500s.

The parts of the modern-day drum kit: snare, cymbals, bass, and other percussion instruments were originally played separately. In the late 19th century, Dee Dee Chandler created the first drum “kit”. Even though more parts were added to the drum kits of today, they were based on Dee Dee Chandler’s kit.

Few genres of music have utilized drums better than rock and we have some of the best classic rock drummers of all time!

  • Ginger Baker - Multiple Bands

    Two of the many bands Ginger Baker included Cream and Blind Faith. Gained a reputation, happily as a instigator and troublemaker. This turbulent energy was also expressed in his drumming.

  • Neil Peart - Rush

    A quote from Donna Halper speaking to NPR:

    “There’s a stereotype about rock music, that it’s mundane or predictable. Neil’s lyrics were neither. … [He] had the ability to express complicated ideas in a rock song,” Donna Halper, an associate professor of media studies at Lesley University, tells NPR Music.

  • Keith Moon - The Who

    According to, Keith Moon was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1982. The stereotype of “rocker” was for real with Keith. He destroyed drum kits and hotel rooms and delighted in blowing up toilets. His birthday party here in Flint is legendary rock decadence. But despite all of that, his energy on stage was nothing short of amazing.

  • Charlie Watts - Rolling Stones

    The New York Times described Charlie Watts as “reserved, dignified and dapper”. He never wanted to be flashy and flamboyant. He stayed mellow and played the same way. Contrasting perfectly with rest of the band.

  • Tommy Lee - Mötley Crüe

    Everybody knows Tommy Lee! Unfortunately or not unfortunate depending on who, he is probably better known for his relationship with Pamela Anderson than his music. But there is no question that he is a legendary drummer with every part being a classic rocker.

  • Ringo Starr - The Beatles

    One of my favorite songs is Yellow Submarine, sung by the legendary Ringo Starr. While his song writing and singing was more rare in the Beatles, his iconic style, character and drumming was a integral part of the Beatles sound and identity.

  • Frank Beard - ZZ Top

    How many people have noticed the irony of being named Frank Beard and being the only band member without a beard in ZZ Top?

  • John Bonham - Led Zeppelin

    John Bonham was the deep core drum sound of Led Zeppelin for 12 years till his unfortunate passing in 1980. To many this was the end of that era of “Led Zeppelin”. The sound would would never be quite the same.

  • Alex Van Halen - Van Halen

    Van Halen New Desk details how close Eddie and Alex were as brothers. At one point Eddie was doing drums and switches with Alex because Alex learned them so fast.

Sign me up for the 101 WRIF Cybercrew email newsletter!

Join the 101 WRIF Cybercrew to get everything that rocks sent right to your inbox from The Riff! You’ll get updates on concerts and your favorite bands, along with exclusive chances to win. Plus news and stories from all around metro Detroit!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.