Last week as I was driving home from work I got a call from a friend who does artwork & posters for bands and who did our cd art. I talk to him frequently about drums and he knows that I am “into” vintage drums. He had a guy over who was a drummer that had a set of old Ludwig drums that he just dug out of the attic because he is moving and wanted to sell. I told him that I wasn’t really looking buy anymore drums but I told him to put the guy on the phone.
The guy told me he had these drums for almost 30 years and that all the drums had the keystone badges but no serial numbers and that there were 3 drums a 22” bass, 16” floor tom & a 12” tom tom. He told me that there were no extra holes in the drums but that the set was missing the bottom rims on the toms and that they were rusty and dirty because they have been sitting in his attic & more recently his garage all this time. His description of the finish was that the drums were multi colored and that they looked like a lava lamp.
Everything sounds interesting and cool , and that the drums definitely have more of a red & blue color – I am pretty sure this is Psych Red. We strike a deal and I make arrangements to buy the drums on Saturday before our show at Alvin's. We are opening for The Hell Drivers a great local band whose drummer is Johnny Bee Badanjek & guitarist is Jim McCarty (these guys were the original players in Mitch Ryder’s first band The Detroit Wheels and who formed another band in the 70’s called the Rockets).
On Saturday the guy drops off the drums at my house now during the afternoon the drums were in rough shape, rusty & dirty I was a little disappointed I thought it would make at least a players set.
The drums are 3 ply clear interiors, 22-13-16 (the 12 was a 13). The toms were missing bottom rims & rods, but the bass had both hoops with the original inlays. They are all keystone badges: 22" - #649XXX // 13" - #653XXX // 16" - #644XXX. The bass drum badge is bent up off the shell (not tight, but not tampered with either). The bass drum does not have a shell mount cymbal holder only the rail mount & the spurs - no extra holes in any of the drums. Round knob mufflers on the toms. There is some fade but a lot of good color is present - the reds & the blues are excellent and the green is fair. The poor spots are the front of the 13" tom & the bottom of the bass drum.
I had just enough time to clean the drums and had to leave for the show. At the bar my drum friend Steve sets up and tunes the drums (he does this for Johnny Bee regularly) and I am really excited that we are going to play this show with this drum set. It is early and the bar is already full so we do our set at 9:30 with those beautiful old Ludwig drums up on stage. Our drummer loves these drums better than the Slingerland Capri set that he has used in the past. Also the guy who sold the set to me came to the show and got a kick out of his drums being up on stage.