Collecting drums is only a part of what I do. Buying, restoring, and selling are also a part of what I do. Sometimes I have to let a snare drum or drum set go. I always feel a little sadness to have to sell something. A fellow collector once told me, "You can't keep everything". I have tried not to get too attached to the drums in my collection. It has helped to consider them to be investments, and that is what I have always told my wife when she complained about them. I will tell her, " That's the difference between the drums I buy and the junk you buy. The drums are a good investment." She just loves it when I say things like that.
With that said, I have recently sold this 1977 Ludwig Black Beauty. This drum is a beautiful piece of art as well as a wonderful instrument. The hand engraving on the 14"X6.5" shell was done by John Aldridge who is in my humble opinion the very best engraver in the business. This drum has been in my collection for around fifteen years, and I have enjoyed showing it and playing it. I just felt the time was right to sell it, and I definitely needed to free up some money for other projects. I actually sold the drum for a lot more than I paid for it, so the investment line came true, at least with this one. Most of the drums I have bought over the years have greatly increased in value.
The 1977 Black Beauties were the first ones Ludwig had made since 1940. They were offered in 14"X5" and 14"X6.5" with a p-85 throw, and also Ludwig offered these in Super Sensitive model too. The shell was made of a single sheet of brass drawn and spun into a seamless construction. The black chrome plating gave it the striking appearance. These drums were provided with the Blue and Olive badge and an internal muffler. Factory machine engraving was offered in 1979. These 1970s Black Beauties are great collector drums.
Before me, this drum was owned by my friend and fellow collectorBill Pace. He really liked this drum and showed it to me often. He was playing with a band and using this snare as his regular player. I always told him if he decided to sell itlet me know. We collectors always say that even if we figure we'll never get the chance to own it. You can't imagine how surprised I was when I got the call one day from Bill telling me he was going to sell the drum. I didn't have much money in the "drum cookie jar", but I was determined that I could not pass up the chance to get it. I met him on the parking lot of the Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia and we made a deal. I have bought some other good drums from Bill on that parking lot, but none surpass this one. I hope the new owner is as excited to get it as I was.