We are approaching the Chicago Drum Show date and I'm getting pretty excited about this great event. Although there are several good vintage and custom drum shows throughout the year in various places around the country, they pale in comparison to the "Big Show" held in May near Chicago Illinois. I have only been once, and did not have a booth, but this year I will be there with partner Jack Propps in booth 129 if God permits. Jack and I have been on the phone several times in the past few months getting all our plans together. I just know it will be awesome to see all those beautiful drums and people who share the love for vintage and custom drums that I enjoy so much. I want to invite you to come if it's possible and speak to me at our booth. I will have some of the drums you have read about in my articles there for sale. More information about the show can be found here in the magazine.
My featured drum set this month is a Rogers Big R Londoner 5 set from the 1980s. It has all maple 8 ply shells with clear interiors and no reinforcement rings. These drums were called XP-8 series because of the shells. I copied the following information from a Rogers discussion forum, "XP-8s have 8-ply rock maple shells and were made from 1979 up until the demise of Rogers in 1984. They're excellent quality and comparable to modern day DWs but can be had at a fraction of the cost. The Memriloc hardware is strong and sturdy and ensures that they'll set up exactly the same every time - a real time saver. These sets are battleship tough and built to last. XP-8s are some of the best drums Rogers ever produced."
Rogers produced a catalog in 1980 to introduce the XP-8 series with Craig Krampf wailing on anine piece XP-8 set. Craig said, "That shot was used throughout the whole campaign for the XP-8s and it was an incredible honor to be put on the cover of the catalog." I met Craig several years ago and remembered his being the "poster child" for the Rogers XP-8 drums. Craig is just an amazing drummer and has played with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Maybe he won't mind me saying he recently had some health issues but is on the road to a full recovery.
The drum sizes in this set are: 24"X 14" bass drum, 16"X 16" floor tom, 13"X 9" and 12"X 8" mounted toms. The snare is a chrome 14"X 5" Dynasonic. The 24"X14" bass drum with this set was an option, but the common bass drum with this configuration would be a 22"X14". The wrap is called Blue Mist. Memoriloc hardware, beavertail lugs, and Big R Badges with serial numbers are all features of this beautiful set. They sound amazing, as one would expect, and Rogers drums lovers often say this series was as good or better than anything Rogers ever produced.