Count Me In, released back in 2021, is a movie about, for, and made by drummers. But the best thing about such a movie is that you don’t necessarily need to be a drummer to enjoy it. You just need to love music. 

It’s not something never seen before. It’s simply a documentary-style film about why people love drumming and music in general. A movie is full of passion for the instrument, great stories, and fond memories. It is heartwarming, positive, and inspiring.

In this impressionistic documentary directed by veteran music supervisor Mark Lo, some of rock’s most notable skin thumpers recount their experiences behind the trap kit.

Is Count Me In Worth of Watching?

Yes, Count Me In is a great movie because you don’t have to be a drummer to watch it. You just need to love music. In this documentary, a great number of incredible artists, both female and male, are included. Together, they sit and talk about memorable moments and experiences. 

Don’t expect any plot twists, some unraveled things, rumors, or paradoxes. Expect real love, passion, struggles, and difficulties in the music world. A legendary talks with legendary people. 

Here’s a little recap. In this movie, they examined the massive impact Ringo had on all drummers as a result of technology. Burke from Blondie also claims that Ringo was like these men from outer space that came to play this great rock ‘n roll tune. Aside from that, Abe Laboriel Jr. talks about Ringo’s fire, intensity, and “punk electricity” during every concert he attended.

Following this brief introduction to British rock music, the film examines the joy of other legendary musicians, including Dolan Davies, Cindy Blackman Santana, and Ben Thatcher of Royal Blood, and what they experienced upon receiving their first drums.

Then comes a segment honoring Keith Moon with contributions from Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Topper Headon (The Clash), and Smith, followed by some amusing anecdotes from Copeland and Foo opponents Taylor Hawkins about how they first learned to play the drums. 

Many of the most captivating aspects of the movie are these anecdotes. It’s just a bunch of genius artists sitting together and having memorable laughs, memories, and throwbacks to the most wonderful times in their drumming careers. Let’s see the detailed movie plot. 

The Coun Me In Movie Plot

The film is about the love and passion for drumming, mainly for rock music. This documentary features many unforgettable musicians from different eras, examining influences from punk, rock, jazz, and other musical styles.

The movie included many legendary drummers, such as Stephen Perkins, Samantha Maloney, Taylor Hawkins, Nicko McBrain, Cindy Blackman, Emily Dolan Davies, Ginger Baker, Tomy Lee, Roger Taylor, Stewart Copeland, Chad Smith, and many more.

The opening scene is a few drummers sitting together and reminiscing about the first time they saw drummers on TV and felt inspired. Not long after that, there’s a scene of the Beatles’ iconic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. 

Jim added that the Beatles had a massive impact on Ringo and, in general, all drummers from that era. Nick Mason and Bob Henrit discuss the strong blues and R&B impact on British music in the 1960s, giving credit to The Rolling Stones.

After giving a brief history of British rock, the movie switches gears to explore the musicians like Cindy Blackman Santana, Ben Thatcher, and Dolan Davies when they received their first drum sets.

Following a piece honoring Keith Moon, Ian Paice, Topper Headon, and Smith share some amusing anecdotes about their beginnings as drummers. These narratives are some of the most memorable ones in the movie.

Aside from paying a lot of attention to rock drummers, many tributes are paid to the world of jazz music. Thus, they mention Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, and Art Blake. Then we meet some more drumming greats. Chad Smith talks about Cream’s Ginger Baker, then Hawkins, Smith, and Taylor praise Bonham enthusiastically.

When Hawkins and Perkins first saw Queen perform live, they were in awe of Taylor’s parts’ originality and symphonic quality. Smith, Dolan Davies, and Bowen share interesting stories about their early careers as well.

Rise of the Machines

The next part of the movie is entitled “rise of the machine.” As a result, it strikes a somewhat awkward tone. Producer Andy Gray discusses how you can achieve different sounds by replacing a drummer with a drum machine. 

He mentions and talks about how to use the LinnDrum, a machine massively used back in the ’80s. According to Perkins, real drums are more authentic than machine. At the same time, Blackman Santana argues that the human element of the feel was lost. 

The movie soon shifts to the rise of MTV in the 1980s and 1990s, concentrating on Nirvana’s influence and how it caused people to pay more attention to drummers like Dave Grohl. Soon enough, Thatcher expressed his appreciation for Grohl’s playing as he was very influenced by him as a teenager.

After a little chat about the computers and machines, they returned to present-day L.A. The chat among the drummers is unstoppable, full of memories, throwbacks, and experiences. At that point, Chad describes the instant chemistry he felt with The Red Hot Chili Peppers but admits he was worried his Detroit look wouldn’t fit. At the same time, McBrain recalls his first time rocking with Iron Maiden.

Aside from that, the movie also captures what it is like to be a female drummer. Maloney thoroughly talks about all the challenges she faced in her career, similar to Bowen, Blackman Santana, and Dolan Davies.

In the film’s finale scene, four drummers jam together: Bowen, Perkins, Blackman Santana, and Smith. One of the best lines that actually describes the point of this documentary is Perkin’s words about drumming and music in general, “you can connect with people and raise their level of happiness.” 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Count Me In a documentary about?

The movie is about some of the greatest rock drummers coming together on their journey to the human connection. The best drummers ever to grace drumkit join forces to celebrate the art of rock drumming, including Nicko McBrain, Stephen Perkins, Roger Taylor, Samantha, Stewart Copeland, and Chad Smith, among many others.

The best thing about the movie is that it never veers into details only a drummer would understand. At its core is a love of music, not just drumming.

The documentary showcases some of the most iconic music ever created, focusing on the passions, culture, and awe-inspiring energy of the women and men with the sticks. Aside from rock music, this movie also credits the jazz drummers that inspired many. 

Is Neil Peart mentioned in Count Me In?

Unfortunately no. Neil Peart, considered one of the best drummers of all time, did not appear in the movie, nor was he mentioned. As a result, the movie sometimes seems self-indulgent when it mentions certain artists.

What Observatory is in Count Me In documentary?

It is the Mount Wilson Observatory, located 5,715 feet above Los Angeles. In the opening shot, a drone flies high over the mentioned Observatory. 

Who are the Female Drummers in Count Me In?

There are legendary female drummers in the Count Me In documentary, including Cindy Blackman Santana, Samantha Maloney, Emily Dolan Davies, and Jess Bowen.