, most likely originating with my parents' generation
, although I first heard it from a close friend my own age, in the form of, "They might swoon for the front man
, but they go home with the drummer
." Also stuck in my mind for some reason is a woman saying the line, "I just finish my drink, close my eyes, and pretend he's a drummer," from a promo I once saw for some jackass WB sitcom
My belief is that this myth, like so many myths (true and untrue) about drummers, began with Keith Moon. Highly charismatic and unpredictable offstage, and brilliantly creative and vivacious behind a kit, Moon inspired a lot of things - not least Jim Henson's Animal, most famous member of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, but more to the point, a lot of hormonal activity amongst Who concertgoers. If ever there was a swoonable lead singer and a drummer ready to swoop in for the kill, it was Roger Daltrey and Moon.
Thinking in terms of the era in which this myth was born, we can try to justify it. If we ask why drummers supposedly always get laid, we might hear some handwaving about "connection to the rhythm," "driving the beat," or even "passion and abandon." All these ideas are dated when it comes to sexuality (either due to their sixties-ish-ness, or their adolescentness - both of these eras are behind most rock listeners), and when it comes to pop music as well.
Firstly, rock isn't sexy anymore. Go to a rock show at a small club in any major metropolis, and you're likely to find the place full of slightly nerdy guys, standing with their arms folded and nodding their heads appreciatively. Rock is becoming chamber music, when it isn't on a major label, in which case it's becoming hip-hop.
My friend Chris is the drummer for one of SF's more popular independent alt-rock bands, and it came up once in conversation that he worked in the tech industry and maintained his band's website. And that out of all the members of my band, I was the one who worked in the tech industry, so I maintained the band's website. And it seemed to me that all the email contact addresses for bands we tried to book shows with in the area got answered by the band's drummers, as well. So I asked Chris, did he think it was coincidence? He looked both resigned and smug, drink in hand, as he replied: "Well, you know... rhythmic, repetitive, independent motion of limbs doesn't seem to be something that normals can do."
Even if the idea that drummers are geeks leads nowhere, as it likely does... well, just think about it. You've just finished beating on things. You're sweaty, you're aching. You don't smell good or feel good to cuddle with. You are not at the moment a good conversationalist, and you have a lot of absurd-looking metal stuff that you now have to put back in your car or otherwise get out of the way. The odds are against you.
When people tell me the drummer always gets laid, sometimes I gently remind them of the above facts. More often, though, I just say, "You've obviously never heard of DJs."
The DJ always gets laid. He's got that supposed "connection to the rhythm," whatever that's worth, but he doesn't have to get sweaty and can remain coolly detached. Adding to his detachment, and therefore his desirability in the post-ironic age, is the fact that he himself never makes a sound - he's a selector, a critic. He stands behind the decks like an oversized puppet, pulling out records now and again and nodding, Buddha-like, a blandly cool and content blank slate on which anyone can project any fantasy. His girlfriend is usually just as remote, either sitting at the bar in a haze of self-satisfaction, or behind the tables, giddy grin locked on her face as she hands him the next record, paralysed by awe.
(Disclaimer: I'm not actually as bitter as this makes it sound. DJs are fine people and their skills are worthy of your respect. Also, the coolest Muppet is actually Beaker.)