Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The 21st Annual Chicago Vintage Drum Show (revisited)

The 21st Annual Chicago Drum Show is now in the books. It seems like the show gets bigger every year with more exhibitors and more drum companies joining the fold. Attendance, though, seemed down this year. I'm not sure if this was a result of the economy or perhaps the foul Spring weather.

In any case, it was good to see friends, check out the various drum clinics, and vintage drums. There were plenty of bargains. Some incredible kits and snare drums were sold to aspiring drummers and collectors. But it was meeting again with old friends that really sparked the event for me. Ron Dunnett brought his usual stable of snare drums. Terry Hawkins, the owner of Skins and Tins Drum shop in Champaign, Illinois had some nice drums for sale. Steve Maxwell, of Steve Maxwell Vintage Drums, seemed to be everywhere, chatting up his new shop. Bun E. Carlos had a pristine Ludwig Top Hat and Cane complete drum kit on display. And, yes dear reader, I too took plenty of pictures and video which will all be uploaded in the weeks to come.

The drum clinics were informative and entertaining. I didn't get to see all the performers, but, I did see Clayton Cameron, Bryan Hitt, J.R. Robinson, and Les DeMerle. Francine Bellson was there keeping the Louie Bellson legacy alive. It was quite touching when Les DeMerle dedicated his drum solo to Louie. He then proceeded to play up a storm.

As for me? Well, I purchased the drum you see pictured. This WFL beauty was known as the New Classic Snare Drum. For a short time, it was also known as the Ray McKinley model. It was produced from 1947 until 1956. It came in only one size, 6 1/2 x 14. It isn't a particularly well known model and it's history isn't exactly star studded. But it's a fine snare drum and it occupies center stage in one of Buddy Rich's finest photos. It graces the cover of Buddy Rich's drum book, Modern Interpretation of Snare Drum Rudiments. I've also seen this photo silk screened on t-shirts.

In any case, it's a drum I've wanted to add to my collection. I've seen them before, but not in this condition. I feel lucky that I finally own a WFL New Classic Snare Drum.

No comments:

Post a Comment