1960s Gretsch Name Band


I have some great friends who love, collect, and play vintage drums. It is indeed a pleasure to share this common interest.

My editor has put harsh and undue pressure on us to get an article out in time for the Chicago Show. I'm kidding about the harsh and undue part. The editor is really a nice guy, and we all love him and appreciate what he does to get us out a magazine about our passion every month. If you don't think he is doing a great job, you should try to do it. I am hoping I can be at the Chicago Show this year so I can see all my collector friends, and share some time together looking at and hopefully buying some new "toys." Getting to know and keeping in contact with friends who love these old drums is one way to know about good deals for buying, and also it opens up contacts for selling your items when you want to or need to move something. I would much rather sell to a collector friend than ship a great drum off to who knows where. I am not knocking those who sell their drums out of the country, but once that Black Beauty leaves this country it's definitely gone for good. I will get some negative comments about this for sure.

The set I am featuring this month is a 1960s Gretsch Name Band set in blue sparkle. Sometimes I have to tell you why a set is cool, but I don't think I have to tell anybody how cool this kit is. The set is made up of : 20"X14" bass drum, 16"X16" floor tom, 13"X9" ride tom and a very cool 14"X5" matching snare drum. The snare has eight lugs and the Micro-Sensitive strainer. An alternative 22"X14" bass drum was also available in the PX4015 Name Band set 1961-1976. These drums sound great. The shells are six ply with silver sealer inside. The blue glass glitter finish is still very strong and vibrant on these fifty plus years old drums. It is a joy to own and play an old "round badge" Gretsch drum set from around this era. The die cast hoops and distinctive hardware give them a distinct look. What I would call a timeless classic look. They are truly beautiful.

I was saying how great it is to have friends who also share an interest in vintage drums. I bought this drum set from Bill Pace many years ago when I was just starting out collecting. One of my oldest and best "drum friends" is Bill Pace from Forsyth, Georgia. I have been friends with Bill for a long time, and I can truly say with all our drum trading he has always been fair with me. I have tried to do the same with all my drum trading as well. We need to have some ethics and deal with people in accordance with the "golden rule." You know that one, right? "Tell all the issues with the drum to others as you would have them tell all the issues to you." I know you do that already because you don't want a negative feedback. In the old days the only negative feedback was you got a bad name if you didn't deal fairly. Bill is quite a character though. He will work hard to get a good price selling his drums, but he will work even harder to get your drums at a good price.

The funny thing about this set I am showing you is it was bought by Bill at a pawn shop. When he bought the set the floor tom I now have with the set was not with them, instead the set had a MIJ 16"X16"" blue sparkle floor tom. It was a Jet model drum. When Bill bargained with the poor owner of the pawn shop he really focussed on the Jet floor tom. He acted so disappointed that the set didn't match etc. etc. etc. The set was sold for a lower price because of Bill's whining. He sold me the set as a "One Nighter Plus" which was listed in the catalog without the floor tom. I later added the floor tom I now have to make the set a "Name Band" outfit.

Phil Wilson's 1950s Gretsch Set

Greetings vintage drum lovers,

Old man winter has finally made it. It's probably cold where you are and probably you are getting some of the "white" stuff around your home or business. Being from Georgia, we hardly ever get snow, but I like "white" drums falling into my lap.

I bought this wonderful white pearl 1950s Gretsch set a while back from a man who brought them right to my door from New York. I'll tell you more about how I was lucky enough to get them after I describe them.

I believe this set is from the late 1950s because I have been studying up on them in "The Gretsch Drum Book" by Rob Cook and John Sheridan. If you don't have this book you need it. It is a great source of information about everything Gretsch. The shells are heavy three ply with silver sealer inside that dates them in the late 1950s. There are no orange labels inside that started in the early 1960s. The round badges were used from the 1930s through the 1960s. These "round badge" Gretsch drums are very collectible. They are also great sounding drums. The sizes of these drums are bass 20"X14", the ride tom is 12"X8", the floor tom is "16X16". The matching snare is 14"X5". The snare has the Micro-Sensitive strainer. There is a diamond plate cymbal mount on the top center of the bass drum. The distinctively Gretsch bass drum T-rods have been used since 1958. Another cool feature is the long lip extension rod to raise the tom tom.

One good thing about having my name out there as a collector is I get calls when someone wants to sell a vintage drum set. I can't buy them all, but I try to give advice to everyone who calls or E-mails me. A man from New York E-mailed me to try to get some advice about this drum set. He had no idea they were valuable. He had listed them on Craig's list trying to trade them for a Kayak. He said he had twenty responses all wanting to buy him a Kayak and get these drums. He ask me if I wanted to buy them. He told me I was his second call.  He had already called a very well known drum seller. This drum seller is a friend of mine, and he had given him a dollar amount that he felt they were worth. I ask him if my friend had offered to give him that much. He said well,no, but he said "that's what they are worth." I said," they are only worth what someone will give you for them." He laughed and asked if I would like to see them. He said that he and his family rode right by my town going to Florida for vacation, and he would bring them if I wanted them.

I was very excited when he arrived at my door and we unloaded this set. It was very dirty and needed a lot of love and attention, but I could tell it was a very desirable set. I made him an offer of cash and he accepted it. He said,"I have another old drum I want to give you". He reached under the seat and pulled out a 1960s Keystone badge  Ludwig Supersensitive. It was in excellent condition. That was just a bonus to the deal. I was smiling when he left.

Every now and then do a roll, Phil Wilson