I started my career as a musician when I was seven; when I was, oh, I guess 12, I taught myself to play drums. A family in the neighborhood I lived in was moving out and their son had a drum set that wasn’t going with them – so his parents gave it to me simply because I asked for it. We’re not going to mention that I failed to talk to Mom about this ahead of time but it was an executive decision since the father said that if he couldn’t give the set away, it was going in the trash.
Mom let me keep the set and she kept plenty of aspirin on hand because it was bad enough that I was practicing trumpet and organ on a daily basis, but now I had a drum set to beat and bang on – it did save wear and tear on the phone books, pots, and pans. By the time I was 15, my semi-pro career started and I was playing in bars and clubs in the area along with my fellow band members – and none of us were legally old enough to be in the joints. In high school – and despite the fact that, as a drummer, I was pretty good, our band director encouraged cross-training so in addition to being a trumpeter, I also learned the correct way to play drums and passed the National Association of Rudimentary Drummers’ exam on my second try; it took two because I broke a stick during the first exam and didn’t have a spare set of sticks…
I love playing drums; not only are they noisy (heh, heh) but I love the way my hands and feet all work together to bring and keep the beat. I’m pretty old school about drumming; although I can sequence drum tracks with the best of them, there’s nothing like sitting down behind a kit, warming up a little and making an adjustment here and there – then just flat out kicking it. Now there are electronic kits that are designed to look and “feel” like traditional kits… but it’s not the same – they might sound damned close to the real thing but they just don’t feel right and drumming is about feel as much as it is being able to count to four… and knowing – without looking – where everything is.
So, this morning, I was peeking over my baby’s shoulder looking at a web page with her and saw where someone was selling a refurbished 1970 Ludwig clear kit… for $6,500. I almost fell off of the bed when I saw that price. I like the old kits… don’t like them that much. I could order a kit from, say, Tama, with all of the hardware needed and probably not spend that much money!
Apparently, this guy refurbishes old kits, probably from the shells on up, which would explain the high prices on his offerings… but unless you’ve got a lot of nostalgia for the old kits, you’d probably make out better buying something a lot more state of the art.
Just wanted to say a few words about this – and here’s a picture of yours truly kicking the skins!