Submitted by Joe Gaskill...
What are you, new? It doesn’t take too long for men of certain tastes to show me their upturned nose. It happens in any sub-sub culture, really – classic cars, baseball statistics, Pokemon. When someone is new and alone, few people want to give you the time of day. Sure, you might get a cursory “welcome to the forum, poonwrangler69”, but the second you confuse a Powertone with a Dynasonic, people tend to ignore you. I’m not coughing up leprosy, here. I’m just new.
Some (embarrassing) history: Right after high school, I got me a job at Guitar Center. And for 14 months, I was that guy. Yeah, I had a side-snare on my zebra-striped DW kit. Yeah, I had suspended floor toms. Yeah, I had a china splash. Two of them. For me, DW made the best drums on the planet – and it wasn’t until years later that I realized that the only thing DW had over other drums was an enormous advertising budget. And boy did I buy into it. Looking back, I think I overpaid.
6 years ago, I was sound-checking a drummer’s vintage kit. I dug into him. “Why do you play these? What can these do that a modern company with zillions of dollars in R&D can’t?” His reply wasted no time: “Hit ‘em!”
And hit ‘em I did. The next week, I sold the Dee-Dubs at an enormous loss and paid too much for a 74 Ludwig Hollywood in peeling Black Diamond Pearl. But that’s all it took – hitting two three-ply floor toms at once shook something deep inside me (besides my lower intestine) – everything I thought I knew about drums was wrong. I was about to start a long, incredibly expensive journey into a world I knew little about – with no one to help me.
I picked up knowledge where I could. After a few embarrassing incidences where I asked questions I could’ve found the answer to on Google, I realized that reading the conversations of other collectors on vintage forums was easier than risking looking stupid. Suffering fools, I've learned, doesn't come easily to collectors of great means.
But I understand. You didn't spend years building a knowledge of minutiae that rivals a sommelier’s just to baby-sit the new kid. Hell, I wouldn't want to talk to me either. (Is it the beard? My mom tells me it looks distinguished!) The reality shows about antiquing and picking and pawn-starring hasn't done much to stem the crimson tide of non-drumming craigslist speculators looking for a quick flip-buck, either. But before you hesitate to answer a Supraphonic question you've heard 1,000 times, try and remember – the more I learn, the bigger my passion for vintage drums grows – and the more I want to spend every free cent I have on them. And you guys always have something for sale.
You using that bit of oyster pink wrap?