So I’m at Guitar Center recently and they’ve got a nice 1966 Ludwig Champagne Sparkle 4pc drum kit for sale. They’ve knocked a ton off the price and I am seriously thinking of picking it up. (You can check out pics on the Moblog). And with that, I ‘ve recently dipped into the land of vintage drums and drumming. I can’t believe how much information is out there on this gear. There are magazines, websites, and societies and has left my head is spinning with all there is to learn. I’ve dug up a lot about the actual kit I’m looking at, but there’s just so much out there – which kit is which, what color was released in what year, is 1966 a good year (like wine), what were the innovations that were happening at the time, where do the serial numbers place the kit? All this stuff!
So I really got to thinking … I feel this is a natural progression in the life of a serious musician. Think about it. As we grow as professionals, we delve further into study our instrument and that will always lead backward to the great teachers of the now great players. As we dig further, we find there’s a heritage to be discovered. You then feel like your part of something much bigger than yourself, you start getting the urge to own a part of history. That’s what this kit is for me. It symbolizes a transition of “gear-head” to lover of the instrument – the instrument itself: it’s history, heritage, and lineage. I want this vintage kit not because I need another drumset, but because I want to play and perform with a piece of history. I don’t want this kit to sit on a shelf and collect dust as an artifact. No! I want to play this drumset and I want to feel the woody sounds my “ancestors” heard, and overcome the technological limitations. I am influenced by the playing of the greats of this era, now I want to play as they played, on WHAT they played.
Will I buy this kit? I dunno. I’m leaning towards yes, and GC is going to work with me, big time, but I can’t ignore the money aspect altogether. Plus, I think Shannon may put me on the couch!!