Classic Rock Junkie wrote:
Because Buddy Rich is number 1. Like Elvis to the Beatles, Krupa was the creator so to speak, and Rich expanded upon everything in the field, popularized it like never before, and made singular drum solos watchable by masses of people on TV and brought drumming to new heights in the eyes of the populace and the world. He is also arguably more influential, if not the most influential cross genre drummer, and had heaps of skill to boot. Krupa loses in skill, and is only second to Buddy in influence (mainly indirect), here's how I see it:
Influence: Buddy Rich
Innovation: Krupa (the peak of innovation, invented the kit as we know it)
Creativity: Tie (Both of their approaches to the kit exemplified the peak of creativity, with new styles uniquely their own and techniques that didn't come before and haven't been replicated since, except for Krupa on that last one)
Skill: Buddy Rich
Rich would take 1st, but undoubtedly Krupa would school everyone else with massive influence (lots of indirect, like Elvis in the vocalist discussion), peak of innovation, and very very high creativity. So far I'm thinking for top 3:
1. Buddy Rich
2. Gene Krupa
3. John Bohnam (his influence, style, and techniques far outreach just the rock genre, even though Elvin Jones was a huge influence on Bohnam's playing, I believe Bohnam is still the 3rd most influential drummer after these 2. Though I'd need to really look at some of the higher jazz drummers at this point to see if Bohnam really deserves third).
The one and two spots are locked for Krupa and Rich, if you think they need switching we can discuss it.
I'd have to disagree with your assessment of creativity. Krupa's actual grooving in the background is much more interesting than Rich's, and Rich's creativity was mostly limited to solos while making for a rather mediocre accompanist. Krupa was an outright master at both soloing and grooving and rarely ended up with the kind of kit masturbation that Rich is better known for.
Anyway, Louie Bellson should also probably be rather high due to his influence on the development of the modern drum set. He was the first to play double bass, in addition to his numerous other achievements. Joe Morello should also be rather high due to popularizing the use of odd meters on drum set and Billy Cobham due to being the first big drummer to successfully combine jazz and rock playing.
As for the question of Purdie's placement, he should be very, very high up. He's one of the most important R&B drummers of all time and essentially THE session man for it as a genre. The highest-ranking session man on the list should probably be he, Hal Blaine, Vinnie Colaiuta, or Steve Gadd, and I'd think Vinnie would take the cake as he's possibly the most versatile drummer in history.