Vintage drum kits
May 2, 2015 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Drum kits of the '20s and '30s Came across this through a classic source, but too good to miss. Site curated by a certain Mefite who can't spell "pancakex" correctly, and eats them late.
posted by Wolof (19 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
I want to hear some Ne-Ne Jazz.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:22 AM on May 2, 2015


Oh my god! I had no idea. This website, man
posted by growabrain at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2015


Revival Drums in Portland has some excellent vintage kits.
posted by idiopath at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2015


Wow, awesome!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2015


OMG I love this - neat find, thanks for posting.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:33 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


A classic source indeed. And truly a 'classic' site, nicely done as would be expected. The Chick Webb bass drum head and the (very) young Buddy Rich photo are personal favorites. One more picture (which I first found in Mickey Hart’s book Planet Drum) could be added to the mix: Remo Belli showing off his new bass drum.

(A side note somewhat off the track: Mr. flapjax's look at his own musicial instruments is perhaps my favorite Flickr album of all.)
posted by LeLiLo at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Love that Freddie Crump clip.

From that link, here's what Count Basie had to say about Crump (quoted from Basie's autobiography):
Freddy Crump was a top-notch drummer, and he did all of the fancy things that show-band drummers used to, like throwing his sticks in the air and catching them like a juggler without losing a beat. He was a whole little act by himself, especially when it came to taking bows. He used to come dancing back in from the wings and hit the drum bows. He used to come dancing back in from the wings and hit the drum as he slid into a split. He used to grab the curtain and ride up with it, bowing and waving at the audience applauding. He was something else, and another little thing I remember about him is how later on we realized that he was always the first member of the band to get out of the theater. We began to wonder about it. We couldn't figure out where he was always in such a hurry to get away to. So one night Harry Smith, or O. C. Gary or somebody, and I decided to follow him and find out. So we did, and when we got outside and went around to the front of the theater, he was standing where the people leaving the theater could see him, and every time somebody would say, "Isn't that the little drummer with the show?" he would do his little bow. Whoever it was that was with me and I couldn't get over it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:04 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Drum kits of the 20s and 30s?!? From the future?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:53 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the Snowshoe gadget. You're stomping two little cymbals together. Apparently it has some spring in it, to push them apart again. But how much sound do you get out of those two dinky little cymbals? It makes a little more sense as the Low Boy design, which has slightly larger cymbals. But that is just a short version of a High Hat. I never saw anyone playing a High Hat just by clapping them together, they always use drumsticks, and the open/closed cymbals are just to modulate the sound of the stick hitting it. But you can't hit a Low Boy (or a Snowshoe) with a stick, they just clap together. I don't get it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:14 PM on May 2, 2015


charlie don't surf: I assume it as for accompanying quiet instruments, like the guitar.
posted by idiopath at 12:18 PM on May 2, 2015


I never saw anyone playing a High Hat just by clapping them together

Really? People do it all the time. It sounds like this.
posted by thelonius at 12:34 PM on May 2, 2015


I'm not quite sure what I was hearing there. Sounds more like a light tap with a stick, but I suppose it could be clapping together. Oh well, never mind.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:42 PM on May 2, 2015


"I'm not quite sure what I was hearing there. Sounds more like a light tap with a stick, but I suppose it could be clapping together."

No, that was a good example, though unusually loud. And that use of the hi-hat is quite common, more so in jazz than in rock. I'm a drummer, by the way.

But I don't know exactly how those earlier variants were used or sounded. Hi-hats usually don't ring so much because they're damped with felt padding -- they've evolved to have that particular sound. But you could have cymbals striking each other in an apparatus like these which ring quite a bit, depending upon the design of the cymbal and the apparatus.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:21 PM on May 2, 2015


playing a High Hat just by clapping them together

Surely we have to pause at this point to revere the hi-hat being stomped on every eighth note in Good Times Bad Times.
posted by colie at 1:35 PM on May 2, 2015


OK I'll take your word for it, but that might not be the best example since it is so heavily processed, some of the backing tracks are even played backwards. But that little snowshoe brings to mind an image of the old one-man band with cymbals on the inside of his knees. Or even finger cymbals.

Surely we have to pause at this point to revere the hi-hat being stomped on every eighth note in Good Times Bad Times yt .

That's impossible to hear except for the first second of the video. But that sounds more like what I expect, sort of a sizzling pushed sound rather than the ringing tone of that other LZ example (which is heavily processed).

Anyway, the high hat is probably close but not the same sound as the snowshoe and it appears our MeFi friend actually owns one, maybe he can post an example if he has it accessible.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:45 PM on May 2, 2015


thanks for the post, another drummer here and I appreciate the history!
posted by djseafood at 3:34 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well not to continue a derail, but I was out running and thinking about those damn snowshoes, and I figured out why I am so interested in them. I want to make actual shoes with cymbals in them.

Anyway that page is a peek into a world I know nothing about. But it figures that drummers are as obsessive about equipment as guitarists.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:57 PM on May 2, 2015


Totally cool, thanks to Wolof for posting & flapjax at midnite for assembling the page.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:03 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mickey Hart’s book Planet Drum

That was a GREAT tour. I had front-row seats for it at our hometown theater and PZM mics on the floor. And when I got busted taping, the guy taping next to me got a great recording of the security guard demanding my tape and batteries. He watched me take 2 batteries out, and I handed him a tape, and he went away happy. I dropped in two other batteries, and the real tape, and continued with a minimal gap, filled in with the tape from the guy next to me...

Good times... Good times..
posted by mikelieman at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2015


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