Drum Ads Seared Into Your Memory

Radio King

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Believe it or not, this entirely unflashy picture of drums gave me pause every time I turned to it back in the 80s. There’s no over-the-top eye-candy about this unassuming little kit, and there’s nothing influential about this no-name drummer who’s probably just an actor anyway.

But as a drummer who lugged six drums and five cymbals to every gig he ever played back then, I was consistently taken aback by this ad every time, secretly aware this limited set-up was more than enough for the best of drummers to blow me out of the water, and daring to wish I could let go of everything I lusted for in a kit and be the kind of drummer who could handle myself behind something so concise.

For being an ad for gear, it’s one of the only ones I ever saw that effectively sold the idea there’s way more to drumming than gear.

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Man, I've been looking for that ad for years!! Not because of the drums themselves (I'd forgotten the brand advertised), nor because I was young and easily influenced (I was already in my 20s and playing full time), but because I could totally relate to the kid staring at his drums in appreciation and awe, taking note of the angles he chose, the way the light hit them...just being mesmerized by the uniquely personal assembly of them. I love that you tracked this one down. I still see me there.
 

nk126

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Dude, I want to know if anyone here as ever actually seen, heard or played any of these. Especially the shells, a hickory mahogany blend...that could be a helluva sound.
 

Elvis

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...the ad that convinced me to finish my then-new Ludwig kit in Cherry Stain.....

 

Elvis

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I saw one in a pic at a forum. Owner said they sounded pretty good, but the hardware was total low grade generic stuff.
 

lrod1707

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I saw one in a pic at a forum. Owner said they sounded pretty good, but the hardware was total low grade generic stuff.
The R.O.C stands for Republic of China! (I just learned that. I did a search and found a couple of old threads)
Since that's the case, they probably really were low grade because in the 80's China was cranking out pretty bad stuff. Not just in drums but pretty much everything. I believe that they started getting decent QC in the 2000's.
 

DrummerJustLikeDad

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Man, I've been looking for that ad for years!! Not because of the drums themselves (I'd forgotten the brand advertised), nor because I was young and easily influenced (I was already in my 20s and playing full time), but because I could totally relate to the kid staring at his drums in appreciation and awe, taking note of the angles he chose, the way the light hit them...just being mesmerized by the uniquely personal assembly of them. I love that you tracked this one down. I still see me there.
Yeah, this has been a hard ad to uncover. I’ve wanted to post this one before whenever the subject comes up, but it doesn’t seem to be one the Internet remembers as well as some others. The guy had just uploaded it five days ago so I got lucky. I was starting to think I was going to have to go downstairs, find my own copy and just scan it.

I like how you, Neal Pert and Elvis all remember this ad the same way I do. A simple kit, but a strong statement about a drummer’s relationship to his drums.
 
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Mongrel

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This one with Buddy and Louis…seared for a reason not so obvious beyond its iconography. The fact here that Mr. Rich is wearing glasses affected me. I’m quite myopic, have always hated that, and hated wearing glasses. Seeing such a giant wearing glasses, any type of glasses, somehow normalized my visual disability.

We can add Colaiuta and Porcaro that list.
Joe Morello too...
 

gkrk

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I loved these three ads - they never moved me to purchase the advertised equipment, but I just liked how they looked, the Buddy one especially. I was a kid, he was a sophisticated grown up playing stuff that boggled my mind, and I wanted to be him when I grew up. Maybe my favorite drum (related) ad of all time.



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Buddy Rich Plays Rogers Drums Exclusiv...no Wait! Buudy Rich Plays Slingerland Drums Exclusiv...no Wait! Buddy Rich Plays Ludwig Drums Exclusiv...oh, well, Buddy Rich Plays Drums!
 

RobbiefromAtlanta

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I can't find the ad but the DW ad with Vinnie Colaiuta sitting at his kit but the kit is facing the other way where you can see his pedal setup. Tommy Lee and Dennis Chambers are in it as well with their drums. This was the ad that made me want a DW 5000 pedal and hi hat stand. Finally got them a year or two later and never looked back.

The ROC ad I will never forget cuz I think I actually bugged my parents about getting it for me.
 


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