Classic Drummer Hall of Fame
Honoring Music's Most Influential Drummers
As voted by the readers of Classic Drummer Magazine
On a Sunday evening in 1964, as Liberty DeVitto watched Ringo on the Ed Sullivan Show, he had found his calling. Liberty was to spend the mid-1960s logging endless hours practicing to his favorite records and basically teaching himself to play drums. How could he have known that those self-taught chops would end up landing him a 30-year partnership with one of the most successful artists in music?
After a late 60s apprenticeship touring with Mitch Ryder followed by studio experience recording with Richie Supa, Liberty was ready when the opportunity to join Billy Joel’s studio and touring band presented itself. In addition to collaborating and performing on Joel records whose sales would well exceed 100 million copies, he recorded with Carly Simon, Rick Wakeman, Meatloaf, Pat Travers, Michael Brecker and more.
On the road, Liberty played to sold-out theaters, arenas and festivals around the world, delighting audiences with his original, fresh and authentic grooves that have propelled most of Joel’s finest work to the top of the charts. His relationship with Billy Joel began 1975 beginning a 30-year series of hit-after-hit, success-after-success artistry that ended in 2006 when he and Joel parted ways. (Yes, Billy Joel actually broke up with Christie Brinkley AND Liberty DeVitto. What the #*&%!?)
Today Liberty DeVitto is in demand as a songwriter, session artist and clinician, as well as continuing to perform with his group The NYC Hit Squad. His originality and creativity are still ours to enjoy every time and every where a Billy Joel song is played.