My first kit was a very cheap hand painted no namer with paint going all over the hardware that I bought from a second hand store. I could not use it as a trade in nor sell it as it was so bad, so I gave it to a local boys club to bang on .....
My first set was a 5x14/12/16/20 blue sparkle, no-brand MIJ kit, which I later added a 14" floor tom to. I had my uncle re-paint it in a cool blue sunburst finish.
One of the kids a year or two behind me in high school wanted to buy it off me, so I sold it to him when I got my next kit, which was a Yamaha Stage Custom. I think his name was Dan, and I think he paid me $200 for the set.
I got my first set while I was in middle school (late 90's) for around $300. I ended up selling them while I was in high school so I could get a brand new Tama Rockstar Custom set that I still have. I don't know who purchased them but I still have the original advertisement that my Dad, who is not a drummer, helped me put together to post online.
My first set was a red sparkle Pearl President from early 70’s. Sold it to a high school friend, he moved to the US after me and gave the kit to his uncle and I think he still has the kit, not in the US...
this is the picture of it on my wall currently, oh and that was a 20” heavy 60’s Zildjian A ride that came with the set...and a Ludwig bell that came with it too...
20/16/13/12 with 14” Pearl steel snare, maybe it was Jupiter, I didn’t know at the time.
I clearly remember the day I got home from school (14yrs old) and the kit was set up in the living room because my dad bought it for me from my older cousin and the cousin had brought the kit to our house and set it up before I arrived, Probably happiest moment of my life..I was a kid with no money but a big desire to have a drum set and play...same day my pianist and guitarist cousins came over and we jammed 4pm-10pm, yea I had practiced a lot on a pillow and had watched and listened to a lot of local drummers so I knew some patterns and movements...no youtube back then...
Cool fact, my cousin had bought this kit from his cousin’s husband and when I moved to the US I saw the original owner, he had opened a sandwich shop here in LA and I showed him the picture of the kit, for sure he got a flashback...
By the way this kit was being played in an apartment with a band by this same guy and I could hear him from our balcony playing on this kit when I was a kid...we all lived in the same neighborhood...
So, when I got the kit at 14 I realized this was the same kit I (9-10 yr old) could hear from our balcony when the original owner jammed with his band...
My very first set was a Kent 4-piece kit in silver sparkle. My parents bought it for my older brother from Montgomery Wards. He passed it on to me when he bought his Gretsch kit. I was 9 or 10 at the time. I eventually sold the Kent kit to a young kid down the street who had just started taking lessons at school. He eventually sold it to another kid in town who was just beginning to play. It would be interesting to learn where it ended up from there.
My first kit was a rescue that a friend was going to throw away in 1992. The snare was also a rescue from a home recording studio guy. I put a lot of time into it, re doing the edges and replacing broken and missing parts, injecting glue into voids and ironing and glueing the wrap. I bought Bob Gatzen's VHS on tuning. It was a blue sparkle cheapo import branded Premium, and the snare, I was told was Slingerland. I bought a snare stand for the rack tom and old (very cheap at the time) Zildjian cymbals. It was kinda awesome.
I left it at my parents' house for a few years while i moved away (got a beater Slingerland finished in mahogany contact paper in the same sizes while i was away, not as awesome.) When I got back it was still there, and it became the band kit for my next group, our drummer was kind of a bum and had no kit. I still hadn't ever considered that i could be a drummer.
I gave it away to a neighbor who didn't want it when I moved here eleven years ago just after my first daughter was born. There was no space in the container for them and I was not a drummer anyway.
Then my wife put me out, and I moped for a few years. Then three years ago I was thinking about that kit and decided what the heck, and bought a kit and started learning drums for real (what a joy!) Never would have thought to do that if not for that rescue kit years ago.
My memory may be skewed by nostalgia but I think maybe that was kit the best sounding kit ever.
My first kit was a $50 "Coda" brand from Craigslist. It included a top hi-hat cymbal that would often flip inside out, among other features.
I released it back into the wild (sold it on Craigslist). A high-pitched, boyish voice left a message inquiring about the kit. My family was amused by the cute voice. An older man came and picked it up for him.
I got to high school and met the kid. He was a year older than me! He still hadn't hit puberty yet. If I had to describe him, he was in many ways the human embodiment of Chris Griffin from Family Guy.
I asked how the kit was doing. He said it was set up on the top of a hill and his sister kicked it off.
DJ, of DJ's Music. A very well respected music store in my area.
I traded my no-name generics for a black CB700 5-piece kit; 22/13/14/16/14x5.
I didn't like how high the 14x10 sat, so I took the kit back and traded for a 22/12/13/16/14x5 kit he had that was $100 more.
Yep, I remember, sold it to a coworker for her son, 1994. I saw her 5 or 6 years ago and asked about them. He is still using and gigging them...I should call her and ask again. 1963 Blue Sparkle Rogers.
My very first kit began as an E. W. Kent 3-piece BDP (20/12/5" snare) I bought when I was 13 from a guy who's still my best friend. I gradually added to it over the next 6 years until it was a 7-piece (22/20/16/16/13/12/5" Super-Sensitive). I stripped off the BDP and had that same friend's artist girlfriend hand-paint it psychedelic (she copped-out after doing the rack toms and one floor tom, so I had the remaining drums painted by different people). This was the kit I first hit the road with in '72. I still own this kit, although it hasn't been played or even set up since 1973, when I replaced it with an 11-piece Vistalite kit with a Fibes SFT690 snare.
Sorry, I only have black-and-white photos of it:
P.S. Out of all the stuff in the photo, the one thing I wish I still had is...