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4 Musical Geniuses Hiding in Unexpected Bands

#2. Carter Beauford Is Possessed by a Drumming Demon

Via Wikipedia

How You Know Him:

Carter Beauford is the drummer for the Dave Matthews Band. You can occasionally see him in a video, blowing bubbles and looking like he's the most bored man in the world, like Michael Bay being forced to direct a commercial for Olive Garden.

Via Drumlessons.com
"Oh, the song's over? Sorry, I was just in my own little world there."

That's not to say anything bad about the band. I'm a fan of Dave Matthews, but they're not exactly known as the pinnacle of badassery. Most of the songs are slower paced, and to the average listener, even the faster beats don't sound all that complicated. Most actual drummers, however, will tell you differently, because ...

The Musical Genius:

Carter plays with a unique style that requires him to be completely ambidextrous. While that might sound like a no-brainer ("No shit, you have to play with both hands unless you drum for Def Leppard"), ask the average drummer to switch their snare-playing hand with their hi-hat-playing hand, and they can't do much more than keep simple time. And if you took the drummers who can pull that off and ask them to play their most complex pieces like that, most of them would melt like that dude's face in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Carter became ambidextrous by accident. When he was a kid, he was obsessed with the drums, and in order to emulate his favorite musicians, he would play in front of a mirror and mimic their movements ... which meant that he was playing backward. It worked out, though, because he was playing professionally by age 9. The most I ever accomplished at age 9 was building a gigantic boner out of LEGO blocks. That led to me writing dick jokes professionally, while Carter's led to him being able to do this:

#1. Andrew W.K. Is a Classically Trained Pianist

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

How You Know Him:

PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY PARTY!

The Musical Genius:

What were you doing at age 4? Maybe learning your ABCs? Drawing blood-splattered images of your father on the kitchen floor? Andrew W.K. was learning classical piano at the University of Michigan School of Music. Let me repeat that, because it bears repeating: age 4. In high school, he studied jazz piano, and after that he joined about 900,000 bands, because he loves music and partying that much.

So how good is he? Those who have seen him in concert know. But for those who haven't, here's one of his solos:

He doesn't just play piano, either. He's been known to play every single instrument on his own CDs. The guy is so goddamn good that even when he's fucking around and being funny with an instrument, it's still better than most people who are putting in a full effort. Here he is having a pretty funny piano battle with Chilly Gonzales:

As a side note, this quote from his Wikipedia page says everything you ever need to know about Andrew W.K.: "On Friday, December 5, 2008, an Andrew W.K. fan named Dominic Owen Mallary died after an accident while his band Last Lights performed at Boston University. Dominic had always said that he wanted to have Andrew W.K. play during his funeral. After several friends of Dominic emailed him, Andrew came to the wake, and played classical piano for the entire time after paying his respects."

I couldn't imagine a better ending to my life than being escorted out with a personal Andrew W.K. party.


John is an editor and columnist right here at Cracked, with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Related: Musical prodigies aren't the only thing Cheese has been unearthing on the Internet. Go here and here to see what else he's turned up.

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