44 of the Most Ferocious Drummers
Hosted by former Atlantic Records rock drummer and music radio host Billy McCarthy, 44 of the Most Ferocious Drummers Ever will be a kinetic mix of interviews, rare performance footage, and commentary from legendary drummers along with their esteemed colleagues, family, and friends who know them best, offstage and on. The show will be produced by Braxton Pope of Ithaka Entertainment.
“I contacted legendary record producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin/Rolling Stones) and the godfather of drummer’s, Carmine Appice (Rod Stewart, Vanilla Fudge) and shared with them my vision of this show,” said Billy McCarthy, host and producer of “44”. “When two of the industries finest with a combined 250 million albums to their credit immediately and graciously agree to take part—it confirms what I sensed all along—it’s about time a program came along and paid due respect to the drummer— after all, without a great drummer, something terrible happens to a band. Nothing. Every drummer and every drum rep is simply ecstatic about this show. Who doesn’t love a drummer?”
The producers are also assembling an expert panel comprised of some notable major music magazine editors including Bill Miller, editor-in-chief of Modern Drummer Magazine to lend a small hand in coordinating the order of the most ferocious drummers from 44 to number one.
“This is far from a competition,” notes producer Braxton Pope. “Every drummer featured is featured for one reason and one reason only—they are the foundation to the heaviest bands, the hit songs, and even the hit solo artist’s they helped define. These are drummers who don’t skip through performances—they run the marathon while drumming, combining showmanship and power while locking in the beat. Drummers whose talent and performance transcends their traditional status.”
“Don’t you want to know what was going through the mind of 19-year old Santana drummer, Michael Shrieve at Woodstock in 1969 as he whaled his drum solo into a sea of 300,000 people that was so flawless it nearly burned down the farm?” says Billy McCarthy. “Or what drummer influenced Carter Beauford from Dave Matthews, Tre Cool from Green Day, Clem Burke from Blondie or Charlie Benante from Anthrax? I want to know.”
Braxton Pope is currently a partner in Ithaka, a film and television production company that he founded with Andrew Weiner. Ithaka maintains a first look production deal with Lionsgate and operates out of their offices. Pope Executive Produced the feature film Life is Hot in Cracktown, starring Kerry Washington, Brandon Routh, Lara Flynn Boyle, Evan Ross, RZA and Shannyn Sossamon which wrapped production in April 2007. He also produced The Take, which featured John Leguizamo, Tyrese and Rosie Perez and is slated for a theatrical release by Sony Pictures in the fall of 2007. His feature film The Bondage starred Michael Angarano, Griffin Dunne and Andy Dick and premiered in competition at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in 2006. Other produced films include Penny Dreadful, which was theatrically released by After Dark Films as part of their horror festival. He is also producing the feature adaptation of the memoir Amarillo Slim starring Nicolas Cage and to be directed by Milos Forman. Braxton Pope received his B.A. from Cornell University and was a Telluride Scholar, a national scholarship and was the recipient of the Cornell Book Award. He was recently selected by the Hollywood Reporter for their Next Generation issue’s “35 under 35”. Pope is also the author of a pseudonymous entertainment column for the online literary site of McSweeneys Quarterly. Ithaka is represented by entertainment attorney Alan Grodin of Weissmann Wolff Bergman Coleman Grodin & Evall and Pope is represented by the Endeavor Talent Agency.
Billy McCarthy is an Executive Producer in the documentary, “Gansta City” which follows the legacy, history and gang-life in Chicago’s notorious and infamous housing complex, Cabrini Green. Profiled in 2006 on NBC news Gansta City is currently in pre-production and slated to showcase first at the Sundance Film Festival. He is also the author of the debut novel “The Devil of Shakespeare,” the first novel ever to include a title song to a novel written by the author. Billy McCarthy’s next book is a memoir, “Beat Me Til I’m Famous,” chronicling his journey as a drummer from the Midwest into Hollywood among the infamous, powerful and notorious during the 1980’s. He is a member of the Society of Midland Authors. www.billymccarthy.com