Drum Industry Past/Present/Future

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
20,897
Reaction score
3,724
Location
Illinois
Correct, BUT, back when endorsers were generally respected, talented, and lauded, their endorsement meant something. Today, an endorser can flout their endorsement of a brand as a badge of honor. In effect, their endorsement is a validation. This can be perceived as an "approval" or endorsement of them by the brand.

I understand that and see your point. However most of the "world class" drummers have achieved their validation through much more concrete means than whatever association they may have with the company that makes their equipment. Either they are famous from their own talent or the fact they are in a successful group or employed by a successful artist or whatever. I'm sure Steve Gadd doesn't think his fame and reputation is linked to his Yamaha endorsement deal. Perhaps some small portion of it actually is from the ads he appears in or the clinics that Yamaha sponsors but for the most part he is a famous drummer because of his abilities and that is the reason Yamaha wants him as an endorser (as would most any other drum maker). I don't think you'd ever hear him start a conversation with "You know... I have an endorsement deal with Yamaha" (or even less likely "I'm endorsed by Yamaha").

Every bigger company likely has a roster that includes many drummers you've never heard of. Sort of the farm team of folks who either have some modicum of fame or show potential to perhaps become more well known. Even these folks usually have some degree of talent or notoriety that got them the deal and usually are not bragging about their endorsement deal.

In my experience it's the nobodies you encounter that will say things like that. I've met my share of them through the years and no one who ever brings that up is a "somebody". It's always "yeah. I have an endorsement from GKS Drums*" and it's never quite right as it is always "I'm endorsed by them" and not "I endorse their drums". More often than not it will be a young guy who only plays in local bars (if he even gigs at all) that bought into the endorsement sales scam that I outlined above. They received a totally meaningless "endorsement" deal in return for buying a set of drums. This little bit of ego stroke sealed the deal. They bought a set of "custom" drums just for the bragging rights of being able to say that one sentence and having their picture and maybe their bio appear on a website somewhere along with every other customer the company is similarly endorsed by. As I see it anyone who says stuff like that isn't worthy of my interest. I mean I'll politely listen but that's as far as it goes. I guess if it makes them feel good or their friends and parents then that's fine. They may be in for a rude awakening when they go to sell their endorser set and find it's worth about a quarter of the "wholesale deal" they thought they were getting.

If you haven't yet read Bermuda's article that bpaluzzi linked above you should check it out.


* Generic Keller Shell Drum Co.
 
Last edited:

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
The problem occuring today in the industry is not the Steve Gadds or World Class drummer endorsement deals. Again, those are very easy to defend and understand. Please address the question of the children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that obviously have no authority on the subject of the product they are claiming to endorse. One scroll through Instagram in a day following drum activity will reveal this reality, a saturated industry of endorsements of people that are being endorsed not because of their authority but for something else entirely. This fact reveals the state of the industry today, contrary to the industry before social media existed.
 

bpaluzzi

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
1,563
Location
SF Bay Area
The problem occuring today in the industry is not the Steve Gadds or World Class drummer endorsement deals. Again, those are very easy to defend and understand. Please address the question of the children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that obviously have no authority on the subject of the product they are claiming to endorse. One scroll through Instagram in a day following drum activity will reveal this reality, a saturated industry of endorsements of people that are being endorsed not because of their authority but for something else entirely. This fact reveals the state of the industry today, contrary to the industry before social media existed.
Once again: endorsements have nothing to do with any authority, real or perceived. It's about reach and advertising. That's ALL. This isn't hard to grasp.
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
Once again: endorsements have nothing to do with any authority, real or perceived. It's about reach and advertising. That's ALL. This isn't hard to grasp.
I hear you. You don't think the fact that children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds being endorsed by major drum companies for something else other than their authority on the subject of drums and cymbals, is a problem. For you this is fine. Ok, you have been heard. Does everybody else think its fine?
 

Tornado

DFO Master
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,381
Reaction score
3,775
Location
Dallas
I hear you. You don't think the fact that children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds being endorsed by major drum companies for something else other than their authority on the subject of drums and cymbals, is a problem. For you this is fine. Ok, you have been heard. Does everybody else think its fine?
I think it's more than fine, but it's really none of my business. But why shouldn't a young player who's done enough to attract a following have an endorsement deal? Why does that threaten you? They have eyeballs on them. They are playing drums and cymbals. Drum and cymbal companies also want eyeballs. This is a simple equation. I don't know if you're feeling nostalgic about old Modern Drummer ads or something, but I remember in the 80s and 90s seeing drummers in advertisements that were only there because the band they were lucky enough to play in had a hit song. Guess what? That was fine too.
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
I think it's more than fine, but it's really none of my business. But why shouldn't a young player who's done enough to attract a following have an endorsement deal? Why does that threaten you? They have eyeballs on them. They are playing drums and cymbals. Drum and cymbal companies also want eyeballs. This is a simple equation. I don't know if you're feeling nostalgic about old Modern Drummer ads or something, but I remember in the 80s and 90s seeing drummers in advertisements that were only there because the band they were lucky enough to play in had a hit song. Guess what? That was fine too.
Ok, I hear you too. You don't think its a problem that the industry is endorsing children, teenagers and young twenty year olds for the sake of something else other than their product. On the contrary, you express you even think some of it is good. Anyone else agree?
 

Whitten

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
495
Reaction score
802
There have always been pop drummers who endorsed gear.
A huge amount of people still think Ringo is a joke musician (he is not), but overnight after the Ed Sullivan Show, thousands of kids wanted to buy a Ludwig drum kit. That is the power of popular musicians playing recognisable gear - to the gear manufacturer.
I was about 25, playing in a sort of left field less popular band, when I started endorsing Zildjian cymbals. I had the one set of Zildjian cymbals I could afford to buy. I was on a session with another more successful drummer (who was playing bass actually), he was a Z endorser. After the session, unbeknownst to me, he went to his Z rep and said "you gotta check this guy out". I eventually signed a deal with Zildjian. The absolute best thing that happened is that the rep brought a couple of bags of cymbals to a studio, cymbals he thought would be right for me. I was using some rather loud rock cymbals (in ignorance). He brought down K Dark cymbals. I had no idea what the advantage would be, but he told me the K dark would sound better on record than the rock z's I was using. I took his word for it and he was right. The big endorsement advantage was that I got his advice, and I had about a dozen cymbals to choose from, rather than less choice in most stores at the time. It wasn't a freebie extravaganza. I ended up with one ride, one pair of hats, and four or five crashes. Five years later I was using the same cymbals on stage with Paul McCartney. So, the other drummer and Zildjian's foresight paid off for them.
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
I hear you and I'm happy for you. Would you like to express your thoughts on the current question directly? The endorsement of children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds for something other than their authority on the drum and cymbal?
There have always been pop drummers who endorsed gear.
A huge amount of people still think Ringo is a joke musician (he is not), but overnight after the Ed Sullivan Show, thousands of kids wanted to buy a Ludwig drum kit. That is the power of popular musicians playing recognisable gear - to the gear manufacturer.
I was about 25, playing in a sort of left field less popular band, when I started endorsing Zildjian cymbals. I had the one set of Zildjian cymbals I could afford to buy. I was on a session with another more successful drummer (who was playing bass actually), he was a Z endorser. After the session, unbeknownst to me, he went to his Z rep and said "you gotta check this guy out". I eventually signed a deal with Zildjian. The absolute best thing that happened is that the rep brought a couple of bags of cymbals to a studio, cymbals he thought would be right for me. I was using some rather loud rock cymbals (in ignorance). He brought down K Dark cymbals. I had no idea what the advantage would be, but he told me the K dark would sound better on record than the rock z's I was using. I took his word for it and he was right. The big endorsement advantage was that I got his advice, and I had about a dozen cymbals to choose from, rather than less choice in most stores at the time. It wasn't a freebie extravaganza. I ended up with one ride, one pair of hats, and four or five crashes. Five years later I was using the same cymbals on stage with Paul McCartney. So, the other drummer and Zildjian's foresight paid off for them.
for ou.
 

bpaluzzi

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
1,563
Location
SF Bay Area
I hear you and I'm happy for you. Would you like to express your thoughts on the current question directly? The endorsement of children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds for something other than their authority on the drum and cymbal?
for ou.
Your question is flawed and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the musical instrument industry. Endorsements have never been about "authority on the drum and cymbal". It's about reach and influence. That's all it's EVER BEEN ABOUT.
 

Whitten

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
495
Reaction score
802
I hear you and I'm happy for you. Would you like to express your thoughts on the current question directly? The endorsement of children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds for something other than their authority on the drum and cymbal?
for ou.

Ugh, I actually did. In fact I have in several posts already. I haven't seen any 'children' endorsing drum gear. If there are it's because they are an outstanding future prospect, a prodigy. NO ONE ever endorsed a product because they were an 'authority'. They teamed up with a company because they could mutually benefit. The two things the company gets is exposure, plus in some instances RnD, help in stress testing and developing new products.
The problem I personally have is with inexperienced musicians on Youtube and social media, which has absolutely nothing to do with endorsements. It has to do with online educators, the clinic circuit etc, etc...
For example, there are a number of popular online drummer/educators with huge numbers of subscribers on Youtube and instagram, who have NEVER toured, NEVER played on a record, but are publishing weekly videos on drum technique, how to tune drums, how to record, what a working drummer needs to know, etc, etc. It's like a lot of other things in social media - it is opinion not fact and often misinformation. Actually, virtually none of these guys endorse any drums or cymbals (yet!).
 
Last edited:

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
I hear both of you very clearly. For the moment there are 3 people who clearly don't think the endorsement of children, teenagers and young twenty year olds for something other than their drumming authority is a problem in the industry. One of which finds it good sometimes. Anyone else?
 

Whitten

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
495
Reaction score
802
1) Why would you misquote and mischaracterise us.
2) You haven't backed your criticism up with any facts.
When has endorsing ever been about age and authority? Just as many young pop musicians have endorsed as Neil Peart's and Dave Weckl's have.
Age is not a marker of either skill or authority anyway. You can be a 50 year old who has been gigging five days a week for 30 years and have less skill and knowledge as an 18 year old Jeff Poracro or Steve Jordan.
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
How am I misquoting or mischaracterizing any of you?
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
I have backed up my statements by inviting you to scroll through Instagram to see for yourself that their are children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that are being endorsed by major brands for something other than their drumming. If you need further proof, turn on the TV.
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
Incidently the comment screaming that no one ever endorsed a product because they were an authority, from where I'm sitting, that was an insult to Vinnie, Jeff Porcaro, John JR Robinson, Gadd, Weckl, Chambers, Erskine, Elvin Jones, Blakey, Rich and all the others that are authorities on the subject.
 

Whitten

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
495
Reaction score
802
I have backed up my statements by inviting you to scroll through Instagram to see for yourself that their are children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that are being endorsed by major brands for something other than their drumming. If you need further proof, turn on the TV.
I am active on Instagram. I'm not seeing any major drum or cymbal brands in an endorser relationship with children. Yes, Zildjian may 'like' a kids video, or repost it, share it. Is the kid endorsing Zildjian. The problem is you've reached a conclusion and only want to hear it agreed with.
 

Whitten

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
495
Reaction score
802
Incidently the comment screaming that no one ever endorsed a product because they were an authority, from where I'm sitting, that was an insult to Vinnie, Jeff Porcaro, John JR Robinson, Gadd, Weckl, Chambers, Erskine, Elvin Jones, Blakey, Rich and all the others that are authorities on the subject.
What a lot of nonsense. As was mentioned before, there are virtuoso musicians who aren't in an endorser relationship. You don't think all of those drummers you mentioned above were regularly on TV, regularly interviewed in magazines - and in the modern age all over social media and Youtube?
Whenever Dennis Chambers was interviewed in Modern Drummer, the next page was a full page ad for Pearl drums "as used by Dennis Chambers".
 

ARGuy

DFO Master
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
1,368
Location
Minnesota
I hear both of you very clearly. For the moment there are 3 people who clearly don't think the endorsement of children, teenagers and young twenty year olds for something other than their drumming authority is a problem in the industry. One of which finds it good sometimes. Anyone else?
Are you going to keep a running count and keep hammering away at the same point until you get the result you're after?
Alright, here's my thoughts - do I think the endorsements BY children, teenagers, and young 20 year olds is a problem? I know that that's the way it is right now, and there's nothing I can do about it, so I'm not going to get worked up about it. If I happen to buy a product that one of them endorses it won't be because they are endorsing it. Whether that's a problem or not will take some time to work itself out.
 

Drums94

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
34
I'm not hammering away. Three people disagreeing doesn't mean anything. I'm talking. I'm hardly mad nor aggressive. And that you disagree is your right. I'm simply asking others here what they think. I'm not even trying to change your opinion. I accept it entirely. For the moment three people are dominanting the responses and very aggressively. Thats hardly an adequate conversation.
 


Top