Greeting Vintage Drum Lovers and Happy Holidays to all!
For the last article of this great drum year I wanted to write about a very special drum set I recently added to my collection. This incredible find is my way of celebrating eight years of being alcohol free.
This kit is my personal "holy grail" set and as a Ludwig collector/player is pretty much at the top of the vintage list and falls, as I was told, under the "go and try to find another" category.
FINALLY I have a 1960 Downbeat Outfit No. 988P in Oyster Pink Pearl.
I have not had much experience with this wrap since these drums rarely ever surface but I did talk to some of the most knowledgeable folks about this set. And while this kit is not perfect, it really does not matter, as the only flaws are what the hands of time have done. And it's gonna get played. A lot.
This is a born together Transition Badge set with the matching Downbeat snare and the following dates stamped in red ink in the drums:
14 x 20 bass drum dated Sept 20 1960.
8 x12 tom dated Sept 20 1960.
14 x14 Floor Tom dated Sept 22 1960.
4 x14 Downbeat Snare dated Feb 17 1960.
This set was acquired from The Oyster King. Us older Ludwig folks know what page he is on in the Ludwig Book.
The drums are in fantastic shape with the only issue being the FT is not as faded as the other 2 drums. The 14 x14 floor tom is quite pristine. These are the great late 50s shells and this little kit projects immensely but even played quietly still retains the great deep tone. The original resonant bass drum head and snare batter head are still on the drums. I used Remo Coated Vintage Classic Ambassadors and a coated Powerstroke 3 on the kick with one strip of felt. I immediately put these drums into the rotation and I found myself just using this kit for a months worth of gigs. They sang.
This was truly one of the rarest kits to try to find and I am very grateful to The King! This set was also the result of myself saving my gig money for 6 months and selling some drums I just did not use. I was able because these days it goes towards something way more meaningful and musical. These drums inspire me to be a better player. And I eventually focused all that former wasted energy, time and money into my incredible vintage drum collection and becoming a much better drummer.
I don’t need booze. I need drums.
And if I can do it, really anyone can.
I hope this Holiday Season brings you all good health and some Vintage Happiness!
Until next time, play those drums!