A little after the 23-minute mark of our recent Most Polite Performance in Rock post drummer Bev Bevan comes out from behind his drumkit to the fore of the stage to announce something to the audience. Some may see this as a generous form of “giving the drummer some.” I can’t stand when bands let drummers leave their kit to have a word with the audience. A drummer’s got all the power, dignity, and status one musician can ask for on his or her throne. (And remember: no other musician gets to play on a THRONE.) They need to maintain their special place in the order of a band. I get similarly annoying seeing Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sitting courtside in a long-sleeve t-shirt (or worse) at one of his team’s games. It goes beyond former Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner‘s Man of the People move of sitting in a field-level box for his team’s games. Turner still looked like he could buy everyone in the stadium: fans as well as players. Cuban’s behavior is beneath the class and pomp and circumstance I expect from a multi-millionaire sports franchise owner, and likewise a showboating drummer who rushes to the front of the stage is doing a disservice to the hard-earned privileges of fellow drummers.
I saw a band last month that let the drummer come out from behind his kit practically every other song to lead cheers for the audience. Many in the audience seemed delighted by his clowning, but I bet most of you here would agree that multiple trips to the fore of the stage are too many for any drummer. How do you feel about the drummer making even one appearance from behind his kit? Most importantly, how do the drummers in the house feel about this practice?
I look forward to your thoughts.