Greetings Vintage Drum Fans!
For this installment of Vintage Happiness, we have a real slice of Americana with my first Walberg & Auge kit. I finally pulled the trigger after staring at the kit for a couple of months online. These drums were made by the company that provided the hardware for the big drum companies in the 1900's. Based in Worcester MA, Walberg and Auge is considered to be, "the biggest unknown name in the history of twentieth-century American percussion" This set is a unique, one of a kind kit and all original right down to the old school Weather Master heads. The sizes are a14x22 bass drum w/internal dampening control, 9x13 and 10x14 toms and the crazy cool 14x16 FT. Most of the pictures show how the set arrived. I've done nothing but wipe off with a damp paper towel. No issues except a good cleaning needed. I felt this was a must for my collection of vintage American made drums. Check out the unique mix of hardware vintage drum friends. This kit was hand built to 'Perfection' by Robert George Bernard (RGB) in July 1960 and each drum is signed and dated. There is an unbelievable build quality to these drums. No assembly line here. These high quality 'Perfection' drum sets were built using shells supplied by Gretsch and Keller with a variety of Gretsch, Rogers, Slingerland & Ludwig hoops, lugs and W&A hardware. W&A received the shells from hardware trades and barters. These particular shells are the 6 ply Jasper Gretsch round badge shells. So basically a 1960 RB Gretsch kit in a very rare finish. I've not seen a sparkle like this before so I contacted Walberg & Auge and was told sometimes they would acquire rejected/sample wraps from many of the big 4 American drum companies… thus making this wrap unique.
Two of the drums in the kit also have a second square badge which I was told was commonly used on horn cases in the 30's making the set even more unique as RGB made them his way. The kits were ONLY sold at the factory in MA and nowhere else as so not to compete with the folks W&A supplied.
My tradition is that the first gig be done as I got them and the old heads actually tuned up pretty well. The drums sounded fantastic with great tone and projection. If you are not familiar with these drums or the company and dig American drum history, I highly recommend checking them out. It's a really interesting read. WWW.WalbergAndAuge.com
I'd like to thank the guys (Joe & Brian) at Wood & Weather Drum Shop in Springfield, MA for this kit. A great small REAL brick and mortar vintage drum shop with some excellent kits for sale. And the drums made it all the way to CA unharmed thanks to their great packing job! THANK YOU guys!
Until next time, PLAY those old drums!