1970s Camco Drum Set

Greetings and Salutations,

It's drum show time for us in the south. I guess people will come to the show from all over the country, and the world. I have been counting the days until the Nashville drum show. I hope you are planning on going if you possibly can. It is always fun to get to see all the vintage and custom drums and a few new drums. The best part of the drum show is the people. I really enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new ones who share a love for drums. The drumming world stars will be there, but they are glad to talk drums with all us little people. Drum stars are a lot nicer than guitar stars. In fact, drummers are the nicest people on the planet. I am bringing a few great drum sets and snares to sell. My friend Bill Pace, another Georgia boy, and I will have a booth, so please come by and speak to us if you make it to the show.

Lately I have been bitten by the Camco bug. You might have been bitten by that bug yourself. There has been a rise in interest in these wonderful drums in recent times and I started wanting to own a Camco kit. I read the article about Camco drums here in the magazine with great interest. In the article the writer called them the "Stradivarius" of vintage drums. I have always thought they looked great, and wanted to own a set, so I finally made it a point to acquired a set for my collection. All the hype about these fine drums is true. They are very well built and sound fantastic. I think the first time I noticed them was when Dennis Wilson played a blue moire Camco set with the Beach Boys. The first Camco sets were made in Oaklawn, Illinois. This was around 1962. The company remained there until it sold in 1972, and was moved to Chanute, Kansas. This set I am featuring was built in Chanute. The company sold again, and the last Camco drums were made in Los Angeles where its remnants formed the foundation upon which Drum Workshop was built. Drum Workshop bought out Camco tools and dies in 1979.

My set has walnut stained maple shells with reinforcement rings. The dark stain is inside and out. The earlier shells had white sealer inside. The lugs are the Aristocrat lugs which are the large round lugs. Some models have Tuxedo lugs which are center mounted on the shell. The sizes are bass drum, 22"X14" floor tom 16"X16", mounted tom 13"X9", mounted tom 12"X8", and matching snare 14"X5". The original Camco tom mount works very well. the bass drum spurs are Ludwig influenced. The finish has a few character marks. This set was played out for many years by a rock band. They are in very good condition considering they had to work and not stay in a comfortable studio or home. They tune up easily and sound like a high dollar Drum Workshop Collectors Series set.

I was on Facebook and saw some photos of these drums. The owner asked if anybody might be interested in this set. I messaged him to tell him that I was certainly interested. I had been looking for a Camco kit, but the sets I was looking at were recovered or out of my price range. Camco kits can get very expensive. He told me they were owned by the drummer for The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. They had a couple of hits including "Jackie Blue" and the drummer sung the song. I started looking at other rock drummers who had played Camco and found that one of my all time favorite drummers, Jim Gordon had played a kit exactly like these. I started hoping that they might actually be Jim Gordon's kit he had used with Derek and the Dominoes and the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. I later found a photo of Jim's kit with a Ludwig tom mount he had put on his set. Well, any way they might really be the OMDs drummer's former drums. I haven't tried to check out their pedigree. I made the owner an offer and we made a deal. I am very pleased with the drums and the seller. Don't expect me to sell these at the drum show. I'll be holding on to these for a while.

See you at the Drum Show in Nashville. Keep checking the local pawn shop for that lost Billy Gladstone snare drum.

Phil Wilson