Popular UK music paper Melody Maker 29th January 1966 has an interesting item on page three ….
…and here it is –
In the following week's issue details of the competition are laid out.
5th February 1966
"On Sunday, March 20th 1966 at the Wimbledon Palais, the prize was presented to the winner of the 'Million Pound Drum Contest'. From an entry of 2,700, Carol Offord was selected to win Dave Clark's multi-hit-making Rogers drum kit. Carol nominated her friend John Tillett (rear right) to receive the prize. "
The observant might see that the bass drum hoops have a fresh coat of black paint. In the early 60s English drum makers painted their bass drum hoops silver. Bass drum hoops can take quite a battering and by 1966 the fashion was to paint these black, so the hoops had been thoughtfully repainted before being presented to Carol. Dave's Swiv-o-matic stands and pedals have been replaced with the English Rogers catalogue cheaper option of Ajax stands and pedals.
This is the link from Radio London's site that first put me onto this (courtesy of John Briggs).
Forty-four years later and John Tillett and Carol are a couple, and John still had the drums.
First a few acknowledgements.. For putting me on to this in the first place and dates and details, John Briggs from
Dan on here for an insight into the USA side of things
And Tam Rankin from the Dolbear site here in the UK.
Litgo for the photos of Keith Moon playing this kit from his great site -
There aren't many drum sets that could be said to be so associated with a particular performer, sound or time so much that it became an icon. Dave Clark's Red Sparkle English Rogers drum kit could be said to be one. It became the most important English Rogers set ever made, and one of the most influential sets of the 60s. Easily recognizable with its two tom toms mounted on the bass drum, unusual for its time, the popularity of the Dave Clark Five popularized this setup, inspired Rogers USA to produce the "Dave Clark Londoner" set and set a pattern which has continued to this day.
There are some early photos of the DC5 show DC with Trixon kit.
The DC5 had a promotional deal with Vox whereby the DC5 would be photographed with Vox equipment on TV and photo sessions. Trixon was a Vox company. Trixon drums were badged as Vox in the USA. The photo is from 1964 so it appears to have been taken after DC had acquired his English Rogers Red Sparkle.
This picture is from early 1964. Note that there is a damper on the floor tom and no bass drum anchor, a small modification that was made at a later date.
When I got to see John's set it was clear that shells are all 3 ply birch except the snare drum which is 3 ply beech. This is fairly normal for English Rogers. More snare drums appear to be made of beech than birch.
Unusually, all the drums have serial numbers. The snare, bass, and small toms are all in the range 78*** which places them in Aug/Sept '63. The floor tom however is 81001 which is December '63. This appears to present a dating problem, but there is a simple explanation for this. As part of their live show the DC5 playing had 3 or 4 floor toms positioned at the front of the stage. At some point in the show DC came forward (I am told during "Big Noise from Winnetka).
So the band was carrying around more than one Red Sparkle 16"x16" floor tom. It looks like they got mixed up, or maybe DC choose the sweet one for himself and this had stayed with the kit.
There are many photographs on the internet of Dave Clark playing this kit in live and TV appearances within Europe. It is easily recognizable if you know what to look for.
Let us first consider the bass drum - here is a standard 20" English Rogers bass drum.
This is one that I just happened to be working on. It dates from late 1966 so is quite a bit later than DC's bass drum in question. This one has the later beavertail lugs as opposed to the bread and butter lugs on DC's drums. The arrangement of the fittings on the drum remained standard through English Rogers production. Sometimes bass drums have had extra fitting added but the basic configuration is always the same. There is a straight collet to the players left to take a swiv-o-matic tom tom arm and an angled collet to the players right to take a disappearing cymbal holder. This required holes to be drilled in the drum which can be seen with the collet plate removed.
Compare this with the bass drum on John's set. The cymbal holder has never been present. This could only have happened by arrangement with the factory – unique in my experience. The collet plate to the left was in the usual position but another straight collet plate has been added to the top centre of the bass drum to take the extra tom. Also note the non-Rogers chrome headed bolts to the right of the photo.
It would normally be expected that and English Rogers bass drum has a reinforcement plate inside the bass drum to help with the weight of the tom tom.
There is no sign that any such plate was installed in DC's bass drum. Also note the non-Rogers bolts to the left now seen from inside.
There are 6-8 pairs of small holes around the bass drum shell. A pair can be seen in the photo above just above the small red stain. A small plate appears to have been secured to the inside of the shell at these locations.
Apparently DC had flashing lights in some of his drums during early tours as this interesting cable entering the floor tom would seem to show. His bass drum also had lights fitted. More cables below –
The floor tom in the above photo appears to be one of those used at the front to f the stage. It has no damper installed and is therefore not the original one that came with the kit. The damper control knob would be visible to the right side of the drum in this photo. As there is no knob to be seen, the most likely explanation is that this drum is one of those from the front of the stage and the cable is to supply lighting in the drum.
This is a later photo showing the modifications of bass drum anchor and chrome headed bolts having been added presumably for the light show.
The Ajax bass drum anchor (to stop the bass drum creeping forward when being played) requires 4 holes to be drilled in the bass drum hoop and is then a permanent fixture.
These were standard on Ajax Nu-Sound kits produced from 1965 onward and not commonly seen on English Rogers.
The chrome headed bolts can also be seen here.
I haven't seen any photos that would lead me to think that these modifications took place at different times.
Next the mounted tom toms - Both these drums have been produced to be suitable for use as a single mounted tom for a right handed player. This can be seen from the position of the collect plate, chromed script logo and damper control knob on each drum. DC's later White Pearl English Rogers was drilled so that both logos faced forward when mounted side by side on the bass drum (see later). Back in 1963 it was not common to have 2 toms mounted on the bass drum and so this refinement was yet to take place. The placement of all the elements on photos of DC's kit clearly tally with their placement on John's kit in every respect. Not only that, the inclusion of a damper in an English Rogers tom tom was in no way standard. I have owned ten English Rogers drum kits to date and none has had original Ajax dampers in the toms. Of the many that I have seen only one other kit had tom dampers, and that leads me to believe that they were only installed at customer request.
This is a later photograph and shows the bass drum anchor.
The floor tom tom that was original to the kit also had a damper installed. It can be clearly seen below and in some of the foregoing pictures –
The floor tom that John received with the kit had no damper.
In order to get the toms close together on top of the bass, Dave Clark swung them round so that the collette plates on the toms were almost facing him. This pushed the toms much further over the front of the bass than most drummers would be comfortable with, and meant that he had to push his snare far forward to get close to them.
It has to be said that DC can hardly ever be seen to hit these toms. They were probably there more for the look than to compliment his playing style.
This is one of the inner pages of the English Rogers 1965 catalogue,
and inside the catalogue was a postcard itemising DC's setup. (Note the flush based Ajax cymbal stand to Dave Clark's right.)
DC's endorsement deal with English Rogers would appear to have started in August/September 1963, with his "photo" appearing in the catalogue in 1965. Incredibly B&H never pushed home their advantage in making available any twin tom outfit in the English Rogers range. Not even that but they stopped using the Red Sparkle wrap around the end of 1964. Ajax had a long history of putting two toms on the bass drum right back to the 40s. In the US the Dave Clark Londoner set-up as it became known was hugely popular. Eddie Ryan has said that Dave Clark using Rogers drums increased sales in the UK, but you have to wonder how much more could have been achieved if B&H had made a "Londoner" kit (see later) and kept the Red Sparkle wrap in production.
Dave Clark's other sets in the UK.
There are photos around on the internet of DC playing a number of other English Rogers drum kits, but the one below in particular turns up frequently.
These pictures come from the shooting of a film entitled "Get yourself a college girl" in 1964. The DC5 were appearing in a summer season in Blackpool at the time of the shooting and had been flown down to the studio for the day in a light aircraft. The drum set was very likely supplied by the film company. It is a Red Sparkle English Rogers but not the one that he usually appeared with. There are differences: no dampers in the toms, no collet plate top centre of the bass drum, black bass drum hoops, Ajax stands as opposed to the swivo stands that DC normally used. Although this set was only used for the shooting of this film (and possibly for only one day) there are many photos of this photo session on the net.
There are many other photos which show DC playing a variety of ER and USA Rogers but John's set was DC's original Red Sparkle Rogers which he used for European appearances between mid 1963 and early 1966.
Rogers USA introduced the Dave Clark Londoner outfit in their 1967 catalogue. This had two toms mounted on the bass drum using their new swiv-o-matic duel tom holder and was shown in Red Sparkle.
Clearly John's set along with the slightly later US versions were the inspiration for The Dave Clark Londoner. The Rogers/B&H deal had come full circle with English Rogers now influencing Rogers USA. However I have never seen a photo of DC playing a Rogers Dave Clark Londoner as it appears in the 1967 catalogue with the double tom holder.
It may be that D C was not the most gifted drummer around in the 60s and it may also be that he didn't make much use of the extra tom toms on this drum kit, but despite that, this drum kit represents a milestone in the evolution of the rock drum kit. DC was not the first drummer to put two toms on his bass drum, and the same set-up had been offered by some drum manufactures, but with the success of the DC5 this set-up was popularized. Once DC had done it, it wasn't long before others added extra tom toms to their sets. By the end of the 60s Ringo had two toms on his bass drum, and through the 70s and 80s more and more tom toms became the norm. Most sets bought off the shelf these days would be expected to have two toms on the bass drum. Interesting to think that all this may have come about simply because Rogers drums were being produced just down the road from where DC was based.
It is astonishing that B&H never offered a Dave Clark drum kit in the English Rogers catalogues. The Rogers USA DC Londoner became hugely popular. It makes you wonder how different B&H's drum manufacturing might have fared if they had not done so.
Finally, it wasn't only DC who played this set ……………………………….
On 31 Dec. 1965, The Who appeared on the popular TV show "Ready Steady Go!" in a special called "The New Year Starts Here."
Keith Moon borrowed DC's during rehearsals. Photos of the broadcast show the same kit fitted with a "The Who" logo on the bass drum skin.
IN THE USA
The DC5's first US appearance was the Ed Sullivan show in March 1964. DC appeared with a US Rogers Red Sparkle which was configured similarly but not quite the same as the ER he used at home.
The DC5's first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show March 1964.
If you ordered a a Dave Clark drum kit in the USA between 1964 and 1967 this is what you would get.
If you look at the photos and video of the DC5's first appearance in the USA it does appear that this is exactly what DC was playing. It does look as if Rogers had this setup prepared for DC before the band arrived in the US. Someone had taken the trouble to make sure that the script logos on the drums faced forward, even though the mounted toms were "the wrong way round".
DC appeared with this kit many times.
In 1965 the DC5 appeared a number of times on the US TV show "Shindig".
DC appeared using a Silver Sparkle or perhaps Champagne Sparkle Powertone set. Again someone had taken the trouble to get the tom tom logos in the right places.
This was a forerunner to the Dave Clark Londoner. The earlier twin tom holder (aka a "Top Hat") had been used. Also DC is using a 22" bass drum and a chrome-over-brass Powertone snare drum.
After DC gave his drums away.
After DC gave his drum kit to John in early 1966 the kit that DC is most often seen with and right up to 1970 when the DC5 disbanded, is a White Pearl English Rogers.
This set now has the later beavertail lugs that were introduced in the UK at the beginning of 1965, quite a bit later than in the USA. The Rogers logo on the bass drum head is the one which appears to have been adopted for English Rogers at the same time that the lug design was changed.
This kit too has an arrangement of collet plates on the bass drum which could only have been done the cooperation of the factory. Note that both the collet plates are now within the top panel of the bass drum.
This is a rare occasion on which DC had his tom toms "the right way round". Note how the logos both face forward.
No dampers now in the tom toms.
Notice that DC here is playing an American wood shell Powertone snare drum with this English kit.
It isn't very clear in this photograph but the floor tom has the earlier bread and butter lugs.
The DC5 were still using floor toms at the front of the stage for their live appearances.
This is another shot of the same kit which shows the collet plate locations from a different angle and this time DC is playing an American chrome-over-brass Dynasonic with his English set.
Some other UK kits.
The kit that DC is using here is an English Rogers with the later bass drum logo. The finish is a dark pearl. It could be blue, red or black. The two 16x16 floor toms at the front are in Grey Ripple finish (as in the example bass drum earlier). Grey Ripple was English Rogers most popular finish.
This kit is English Rogers in Grey Ripple. It has the earlier bread and butter lugs (pre 1965) and the standard English Rogers Collet locations are being used to mount the toms.
American Rogers with British Premier hi-hat and cymbal stand.