Do I want my son to grow up to be a frontman or drummer?

HAIR RAISING: Axl Rose before dreadlocks took a hold


STICK MAN: Tommy Lee

My son is going to be a frontman in a rock band when he’s older, I’m certain of it.

Unless he becomes a drummer, that is.

You can’t combine both – don’t even try to argue it.

But he appears to have the qualities which mean that, at a later date, he will be able to choose one or the other.

Let’s start with the frontman skill set. He likes to sing. He doesn’t like other people singing when he’s centre stage, and he will be quick to tell you to stop whatever you are doing and to look at him.

He also likes to tinkle the ivories, has grandiose tales to tell, is not a fan of the word ‘no’ and is prone to not performing when you want him to, only when he is good and ready.

He could be Axl Rose

(Or Liam Gallagher, or any number of other lead singers, but we’ll stick with the G N’R front man.)

Quite recently, he has also shown a liking for the drums. Should the Muppets’ rendition of Tenderly be playing, he’ll start bashing seven shades of something or other out of the nearest available cushion, before looking around with an air of satisfied pride.

There’s still an element of the showman about him, so he would have to subscribe to the Tommy Lee school of drum performances.

In terms of lifestyles, I’m not sure I would choose that of either Axl Rose or Tommy Lee as an example for a chap approaching the age of three.

But who is better, the drummer or a frontman?

Both have to have an equal level of insanity.

The drummer is the engine of a rock band. He and the bassist are the driving force of the more glamorous guitarists. But neither gets the glory.

They need to be dependable and to have very good timing.

They are like the reliable defensive midfielder in a football team. Their work is appreciated by their colleagues, but the accolades tend to go elsewhere.

Drummers make up for this by usually being a little bit more demented than others, to prove they have a personality. It’s like the dullard in the office who wears comedy ties to try to make up for a lack of charisma.

And, with the exception of the above mentioned Mr Lee, the only purpose of a drum solo in a concert is to allow people time to go to the bar for a refill, without any fear of missing part of the show they would enjoy.

If it’s a Rush concert, you’ve time to get a couple of rounds in.

Frontmen, of course, are narcissists who seek the spotlight like a moth seeks a flame.

Which is handy, as that is what they’re meant to do.

They can make or break the band.

But they also tend to wind up everyone else and quite often they are seen as the pretty accoutrement to adorn the work of more talented musicians elsewhere.

We all know which of the Gallagher brothers is regarded as the more talented.

So it’s a difficult choice.

It will be one for my son to make when he’s older. The only piece of advice I will give him is that drummers must never be frontmen.

Then I’ll show him Phil Collins.

Follow on Twitter: @Norbertsdad

If you enjoyed this piece, you may enjoy his piece on how to tell if you’re an ageing rocker:

Plus this advice on how to prepare for your child’s birthday party:


About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Parenthood and children and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do I want my son to grow up to be a frontman or drummer?

  1. Pingback: The Telltale Signs That You’re An Ageing Rocker | Paul Speller

  2. Pingback: Aerosmith: The band whose get up and go never got up and went | Paul Speller

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