My connection with Slingerland drums goes way back to my high school days. Like many high school bands in the 60s and 70s our band's drum section was equipped with Slingerland equipment. Our school colors were black and gold and so our band drums were gold sparkle. I really loved those beautiful Slingerland drums. We played them in the band room, in parades, and on the field. I have one of those gold sparkle Slingerland marching snares from the band room in my collection, but I promise I didn't steal it. I will tell that story in a future issue of the magazine. I just wonder how many of you started out drumming for your school band? I really enjoyed those days. I played drums throughout my junior high and high school days.
Slingerland drums are very cool drums. The set I am showing you this month was owned by the original owner since they were brand new, and I fell in love with this five piece set the first time I saw them. I'll tell you about playing these drums at a gig for the first time after I describe them to you. They are from the mid to late 70s because this mahogany finish appears as a new finish in 1976. Other new wood finishes like maple wood, walnut wood, and violin red wood along with the Aztec finishes appear in 1976. The mahogany finish is a thin mahogany ply over the maple shells. My drums were not kept in the best environment by the previous owner, because there is some bubbling in the finish. I suppose that was caused by dampness. I have a dehumidifier in my drum room. I try to keep it cool, dry, and dark in my drum room. The set has some scratches and road scars on them. They were used as a player set their whole life. The sizes are 22X14 bass drum, 16X16 floor tom, 13X9 and 12X8 mounted toms. I also have the original 14X5 chrome snare that came with the set. I have the guarantee tags that were on the drums at the music store. That was a cool thing to keep with the set. The drums have the black and silver oval badges, and the stick saver hoops. All the rods and washers are correct on this set and the resonant bottom heads are original as well. I have the hardware that came with the set also.
Several years ago my friend Joel Carter brought this set to a gig his band and my band were playing together. I had a new set of custom drums in the trailer that I brought to play that day. My drums were silver sparkle Mojoes made by Joe Partridge and they were awesome. When I saw Joel setting up his old Slingerland set I asked him if he wanted to play the new custom set. He acted as if he really appreciated the offer, but said he preferred to play the vintage set. He asked me if I would tune his drums up for him and invited me to play them for our part in the show. I pulled out my trusty drum key and in a few minutes had the dusty old Slingerland set sounding really good. I never took the custom set out of the trailer.
As the years have gone by since that day we met Joel and I have done some drum and cymbal trading. I made my normal pitch and told him," if you ever want to sell the mahogany set, well, I want them." A short time back I got a call from Joel offering me the set. I made him bring them over, because I hoped to trade him out of them. Trading is fun and everybody keeps drums. We did work out a trade for drums and some cash. If you have a Slingerland set with a wood finish leave a comment.