Former long-time Prince Drummer, John Blackwell Jr. passed away of cancer on July 4, 2017 – He was 43 years old.
His wife Yaritza conveyed the following message soon after his passing. "My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way peacefully in my company today. Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support."John Blackwell’s death has prompted a large number of accolades from fellow drummers, and many others in the music industry world-wide. Read More
Not So Modern Drummer now offers art for drummers on posters, framed or unframed prints on several choices of papers and canvases, t shirts, coffee mugs, and other items. We are selling photos and graphic art from the magazine and website; back issue magazine covers, photos of famous drummers, and photos of vintage and custom drums. We are also selling paintings and other renderings of drummers and drums by artists.
We use FineArtAmerica to sell, print, frame, and ship our art for drummers. The link to our gallery at that site is https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/4-george-lawrence . Our first collection is that of Michael DeGruchy Haslam, a Canadian artist who has painted some very cool caricature portraits of famous jazz drummers. He is painting all the time so check back often to see what's new. Other images will be available very soon. In the slide show below are his current paintings available to buy: Philly Joe Jones, Baby Dodds, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Kenny Klook Clarke, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones, Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins. Read More
Rogers is back. Maxwell's Drum Shop is now taking orders for the new Rogers Dyna-Sonic. As the decals and brochure give us to know, Rogers intends to once again become a leader in the industry. At the beginning of the year when the RogersDrumsUSA.com website was “prematurely” launched for a few hours, the buzz it created on the Facebook groups was unprecedented. Hundreds of comments, dozens of threads, and reactions spanning everything from “Oh No!” to ecstatic elation. I was with the latter grouping of people. Read More
"Never mind all my Jazz rants… Let's get down to the real stuff...Who did kill Laura Palmer?" Read More
What makes Tom a great musician? I think the fact that Tom can play other instruments and can sing and write songs, and produce a song in the studio, gives him the "big picture" of what a song needs. Once you approach a song from a producer's point of view, you begin to see that the drummer is only one piece of the puzzle. You begin to appreciate the other instrument's roles in the song, and how the drums must fit into that puzzle and has a specific role if the song is going to be great. That's the difference between a good and a great drummer. Tom is definitely one of the great ones”.
-- Rick Hart Read More
A while back reading The Roots of Rock Drumming book, I researched the drummers interviewed in the book. Checking out some performances mentioned in the book, learning and trying to digest their contributions. Not long after that, we started messing with Austin Drummer Magazine, doing interviews with some local greats who gave impressive lists of music they went to school on to get their gigs. Since they were gracious enough to pass on extensive lists of music they learned from, I felt obliged to go at it like I was trying to get their gigs and soak up as much of their music as possible. The results were something I have to recommend you do for yourselves. Read More
With the sudden passing of Gregg Allman – Two of my long-time drummer friends…Bob Girouard and Gary Stevens...messaged me these personal letters about Gregg and the Allman Brothers Band. Both are so heartfelt, they brought tears to my eyes. With Bob and Gary’s permission - I am sharing them with our Not So Modern Drummer readers. Read More
In the aftermath of WWII, which had totally disrupted Conn's drum divisions, it was decided to combine Ludwig & Ludwig with Leedy, creating the Leedy & Ludwig drum company. This new division became operational in 1951. Conn decided to discontinue the unprofitable Leedy & Ludwig division four years later in 1955." Read More
Sent in by Bill Smith of Lafayette, La. He wants some opinions on the value of these drums before he decides if he wants to sell them. I will post contact information if and when he decides to sell. Please post your opinions in the comments below or email me email@example.com. Jeremy Esposito at Walber & Auge has already passed on them because he has four of them already! Read More
”That anniversary snare is #1 of 40, and the year was 2007(2017 is our 50th). There were only 20 made available for sale in the US. It's a 13" x 6.5", 1.5 mm brass shell with a black lacquer finish, 3 mm aluminum die cast hoops, 20 strand snare wires. Model SD-4365PH, original MSRP was $1799. It is hand engraved by the same craftsman that did the high-end saxophones in Japan. The Phoenix bird with the tuning fork in its beak is the original logo that was registered in 1888 by Nippon Gakki, Yamaha's predecessor as their trademark. It was carved into the pump organs that were the first musical instruments built by Yamaha. At my request, my friends at Yamaha Japan reserved #1 for me. Read More
A 69-year-old professional jazz drummer had pain, accompanied by numbness and tingling, in both hands and could not bend his fingers. He experienced moderate aching pain and difficulty holding his sticks both while practicing (two to three hours a day) and during two or three gigs a week. The pain was relieved by rest and breaks from drumming, though he sometimes woke up at night with a burning pain in both hands...... Read More
Dave Grohl + five fresh pots of coffee per day + hospital = not good. Read More
Well, Phil Collins is back in the news lately. Remember when he was the guy every rock drummer wanted to be? Then he became a front-man, a break-out star, then a pop icon, then the stalwart of the housewives’ hit parade. Even though Phil are I nearly the same age, he was my idol. We all followed his progress from promising young prog-rock drummer with the shy manner and even shyer voice, to the most respected, most wanted, rock/pop drummer ever. I've just finished Phil's autobiography and I heartily recommend it. Read More
Not So Modern Drummer continues to celebrate the legendary Buddy Rich in 2017, recognizing the 100th anniversary of his birth. Providing their personal commentary on Buddy are: Harry Cangany, Marko Djordjevic, Billy Drummond, Jeff Indyke, and Steve Maxwell. ".....but, the videos don't even come remotely close to seeing Buddy in person. Johnny Carson (the king of late night) said it best. Johnny was an amateur drummer and loved Buddy. In remembering Buddy, Johnny related a story of how Buddy always cranked it up even higher on nights when other famous drummers were in the audience. He talked about Buddy appearing in a club in LA, and on this particular night there were maybe ten guys in the audience who were well known drummers, and Buddy knew they were there. Johnny said that by the end of Buddy's big solo, it was so completely amazing that these guys were openly crying." - Steve Maxwell. Read More
One reason for buying these drums with the 24" bass drum is because my wife told me I needed to start playing a larger bass drum at my shows. I was so impressed that she even thought about my drums and let alone was interested enough to make a comment about drum sizes. I had in recent years played a lot of 20" bass drums. She said I needed to move up to a 24" or maybe a 26." I finally asked her what prompted her to suggest I play a larger bass drum? Was it to get more "boom" in the music? She replied, "no, it's just that you are getting so fat you look like a bear on a tricycle behind that small bass drum." Good thing she lets me buy drums. I'll let that one slide. Keep looking for those great vintage drumsOne reason for buying these drums with the 24" bass drum is because my wife told me I needed to start playing a larger bass drum at my shows. I was so impressed that she even thought about my drums and let alone was interested enough to make a comment about drum sizes. I had in recent years played a lot of 20" bass drums. She said I needed to move up to a 24" or maybe a 26." I finally asked her what prompted her to suggest I play a larger bass drum? Was it to get more "boom" in the music? She replied, "no, it's just that you are getting so fat you look like a bear on a tricycle behind that small bass drum." Good thing she lets me buy drums. I'll let that one slide. Keep looking for those great vintage drums Read More
This video was sent to us by Michael Outlaw of Outlaw Drums: On the Ropes with Brian Hill. Brian talks about Charles W Bonner, civil war drummer, and William S. Tompkins, drum maker. Brian is an expert in drum history. He is full of interesting anecdotes and facts on historical drums. If you love history, you need to check this video out. Brian Hill explains why he is so passionate about the drums he brings to the Museum Series On The Ropes.p Read More
"My Dad's kit is stamped 1957 (snare); the added floor is stamped 1962 and is the only one with chrome plated hoops. It is really close to mint condition with original heads also in great shape. The other three pieces are in excellent condition as well - the sizes are so interesting. I found a 1957 WFL catalog and don't see the snare or tom sizes listed!Dad said his Dad took him to Biascos Music store for his 14th birthday. Dad was born in 43 so that adds up." Read More
MICKEY ROKER (1932 - 2017)
Philadelphia native, Mickey Roker lost his battle with cancer and diabetes at the age of 84. Granville William Roker, Jr. was born in Miami, Florida on September 3, 1932. The hard driving drummer with a heart of gold is now in Jazz Heaven. His over forty-year reign on the music scene is legendary.
Mickey worked with some of the finest musicians in the business…Including Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Milt Jackson, Sonny Rollins, Stanley Turrentine, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Nancy Wilson, Lee Morgan and numerous others. Read More
Lucas Aldridge and I finally got our hands on some Felt Tone Heads from Remo and they are the bomb. We put the FiberSkyn on the batter side and the hazy on the front, and used matching regular heads for comparison. Felts have been attached/glued to heads before. The difference here is that the felt is NOT adhered to the head but adhered to the plastic strip which holds it against the head. This plastic strip also continues on around the circumference of the head acting as a very narrow "zero Ring" similar to the Power Stroke heads. Read More
In 1929 Ludwig & Ludwig offered four new snare drum models that can be found in the Fall 1929 Ludwig Drummer Magazine. The new models were the Super-Sensitive, New Era-Sensitive, Super-Power and the Standard-Sensitive Model, the drum in this article. From what I have researched it looks like the Super-Sensitive Model was around from 1929 through 1936, whereas the New Era-Sensitive, Super-Power and Standard-Sensitive Models only lasted for 1-2 years (1929-30). Super-Sensitive Models are very collectible and somewhat rare in certain instances but the other three Sensitive Models are extremely rare and, in my opinion, highly collectible. Read More