It's the Valentine month, so I have brought out my sweet heart red Rogers Londoner V set to show our readers this month. It's a drum set any Not So Modern Drummer could love. Rogers drums are without a doubt some of the best drums that were ever made. This set was made as the great Rogers history was coming to an end, but the quality and craftsmanship are clearly evident in these beautiful drums. Not only do they look great, but they also sound great too. It's hard to find a Rogers set that doesn't. It is no secret that I am partial to Rogers drums. I often say they were the "DWs" of my younger days. I enjoy collecting all makes of vintage drums, but Rogers drums have a special place in my heart. I love the history of the Rogers drum company as well as the quality innovative products they built. The people that worked for Rogers were a special kind, and I salute them for their great work.
I enjoy going on the Rogers Facebook pages to see the Rogers owners' drums and reading the discussions there. One of the guys I like to question there is Jack McFeeters. I hope he doesn't mind me mentioning his name in this article. He is affectionately called the Ploughman by many of the members of the group. I don't know all the reasons behind his nickname, but I feel sure it has to do with his common hardworking appearance, and his common sense wisdom. He is so well thought of by the group that we recently joined together and raised the money to purchase him a beautiful wood shell Rogers Dyna Sonic snare drum. It is clearly evident that folks think a lot of someone when they will do something like that.
I showed Jack a photo of one of the drums from this set and asked him to give me some comments I could use in this article. His comments were; "Five ply, maple birch. Color, Mohave Red, #84. 1976 Catalog shows this color in the Studio Ten Outfit, pg4. This drum made approximately 1978, Top hoop not correct. Memriloc hardware was developed through a collaboration with Dave Donoho and Roy Burns, and Rogers, of course mid 70s. Mounts are rock solid, stand up to the heaviest of hitters. Well made drums even though there were numerous moves during the Big R period, some of them very unnecessary, and quality at times affected by this. The hardware was about the best one could have at the time."
Jack mentioned the great Memriloc hardware on this drum set. The hardware changed on the Londoner V set from Swiv-o-matic to Memriloc in 1976. Rogers has always set the pace with their hardware. While the other drum companies offered antiquated mounts, Rogers offered Swiv-o-matic mounts that were light years ahead of their competition. As soon as the other companies were trying to catch up, Rogers developed the Memriloc hardware which was a giant leap forward in accommodating the hard hitting rockers. The sizes of this Londoner V kit are; bass drum 14X22, floor tom 16X16, mounted toms are 13X9, and 8X12. The Chrome Dyna Sonic is a 14X5. The badges are the foil Big R badges introduced in 1976.
I was fortunate to buy this set from my collector friend Mike Gray. He along with Dave Clark influenced me to start loving Rogers drums. Mike and I played drums together in the high school band days. I told him a few years ago I really loved his Rogers drum set he always played at dances when we were in school. He confessed to me that the kit I was talking about was not a Rogers set. They were actually a foreign stencil set that was a copy of the American made Rogers drums. Mike had Rogers drums later, and has a script badge black Londoner V set now, but the set I always thought were Rogers turned out to be MIJs. I don't have a good eye like Jack who spotted an incorrect hoop on my set. Now I've got to get a correct hoop. Anyway, that's part of the fun in collecting.