Eames gold sparkle drums - look like 1950's or 1960's

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
1,434
Location
SE Connecticut
Saw these pop up in the Boston area CL. Sold pretty quick for the $100 asking price. Guy got lots of calls on them. He knew he sold them too cheap after the 3rd phone call. They look pretty early. No idea what exact vintage they are....but look 50's/early 60's. 12 lug bass drum must be pretty big. The snare drum looks a bit altered to accept a marching leg mount. Floor tom but no rack tom. Not the norm. Nice gold sparkle finish.


eames 3.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:

dtk

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
8,780
Reaction score
556
Location
Needham MA...
I had one eames w/that badge which I flipped. Solid as you'd expect. I emailed about these but was clearly too late...you missed them too?
 

studrum

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,177
Reaction score
699
Super cool! A video/sound file of them being played would be dee-lightful!
 

drumstuff66

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
464
Reaction score
303
Location
Framingham, MA
Yup, I missed them, too. Dang.

The guy still has the ad up with a $75 asking price - he must like feeling popular with all the calls he's getting!
 

cafunko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
466
Reaction score
76
Location
Amesbury, MA
This kit looks typical of Ralph Eames... Joe McSweeney had told me that Ralph and his wife would search yard sales for single drums just about every weekend. Ralph would then put a set together made from single drums and wrap them to match and build a drum from a Keller shell if it was needed to complete the set. Ralph's students would purchase the completed sets from him.

I had one a few years ago that was a 1940s WFL kick, snare, and rack tom with a 16" floor that Ralph made.
 

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
1,434
Location
SE Connecticut
Yup, I missed them, too. Dang.

The guy still has the ad up with a $75 asking price - he must like feeling popular with all the calls he's getting!

The seller told me he has no means to take the ad down. His brother posted the ad and left him to fend for it while he was out of the area. So the calls will continue. I was shocked that the price was lowered from $100 to $75 for no real reason at all. The drums sold almost instantly. And the buyer from Rhode Island couldn't get there fast enough to pick them up. Seller told me as soon as that guy showed up he knew they were worth well over his asking price of $100 based on all the calls he had been getting. So he told that guy right away, they are $100...period. Don't even ask for less. In talking to him I said that was the wrong approach. You should have said nothing at all. And if the buyer tried to weasel another $20-$25 out of you "on bad condition" you had every right to end the deal right then and there.... esp. with the phone ringing off the hook (ie make me an offer I can't refuse).
 
Last edited:

retrosonic

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
3,432
Reaction score
391
Location
NYC
Man, those are nice!! You get a Gold Sparkle Tom with the old 2 hole hoop mount thingy, some clip on spurs for the bass drum and away you do to a gig!~!!
 

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,456
Reaction score
1,715
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
If that's this Eames, then they're killer Birch shelled drums.....my only question would be, how many plies?

Elvis
 

cafunko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
466
Reaction score
76
Location
Amesbury, MA
If that's this Eames, then they're killer Birch shelled drums.....my only question would be, how many plies?

Elvis
They are Eames, but not the current shells. Notice that the badges say "6 Drummer Ln Wakefield, MA". That badge was used when Ralph Eames was building drums at his house in his garage and was using Keller shells for his builds. The Birch shells we know and love didn't start until the mid to late 70s when Joe started working with Ralph in the Saugus location. I hope that helps!
 

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,456
Reaction score
1,715
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
It does. I was not aware of that....but....hasn't Birch always been Eames's "thing"?
Isn't their famous self-titled Chair laminated Birch (with an outer ply of something nice to look at)?
I pretty sure I read somewhere it was and it goes back to the 1950's.
 

cafunko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
466
Reaction score
76
Location
Amesbury, MA
It does. I was not aware of that....but....hasn't Birch always been Eames's "thing"?
Isn't their famous self-titled Chair laminated Birch (with an outer ply of something nice to look at)?
I pretty sure I read somewhere it was and it goes back to the 1950's.
From what I remember, Joe had told me that Ralph did build kits (even though they were mongrels of different companies' shells) starting in the 1950s. Ralph was a member of N.A.R.D., the National Association of Rudimental Drummers, and his passion was rope tension drums. He built kits to sell to his students. When they started to make the birch shells, it was originally meant to be for rope tension drums. Joe was one of Ralph's students and Ralph took him as an drum building apprentice. It was Joe that recommended they started building kits with the birch shells because the demand for rope tension drums was diminishing.

Except for the name, the chairs are not related in any way to Eames Drums. :)
 

wflkurt

Deafus Maximus
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
9,485
Reaction score
742
Location
Chichester NH
From what I remember, Joe had told me that Ralph did build kits (even though they were mongrels of different companies' shells) starting in the 1950s. Ralph was a member of N.A.R.D., the National Association of Rudimental Drummers, and his passion was rope tension drums. He built kits to sell to his students. When they started to make the birch shells, it was originally meant to be for rope tension drums. Joe was one of Ralph's students and Ralph took him as an drum building apprentice. It was Joe that recommended they started building kits with the birch shells because the demand for rope tension drums was diminishing.

Except for the name, the chairs are not related in any way to Eames Drums. :)

Nice info Mike. My friend Mark Kohler currently owns Eames drums as he apprenticed through Joe and eventually bought the company so Joe could retire. Mark knew Ralph well and it was pretty well noted that Ralph really did just as you said as in he just bought old drums to make into his own thing. I heard it was much like creating Frankensteins in a garage. Lol... Though I never met Ralph or his wife, my mom grew up in Wakefield Mass in the 40'-50's and her mom was good friends with Ralph's mom. I'm glad to see that Mark is still keeping things going. For anyone that is wondering about Mark? He is one of the most detail oriented people I know. He would never be able to rest unless something was perfect and I also know that not only has he been friends with Joe for years, he worked with Joe for a solid six months learning the craft. I have no doubt that Mark is making drums every bit as good as Joe has made them for years.
 

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,456
Reaction score
1,715
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
Except for the name, the chairs are not related in any way to Eames Drums. :)
...that explains a lot.
I have always been under the impression that the maker of the Eames chair also made drum shells, since they're actually a lamination company and not necessarily a furniture or drum maker, per se.
Apparently I was misinformed.
Thanks for taking the time to lay all that out. :thumbup:

Elvis
 

Tomb

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
118
Location
Boston, MA
Nice info Mike. My friend Mark Kohler currently owns Eames drums as he apprenticed through Joe and eventually bought the company so Joe could retire. Mark knew Ralph well and it was pretty well noted that Ralph really did just as you said as in he just bought old drums to make into his own thing. I heard it was much like creating Frankensteins in a garage. Lol... Though I never met Ralph or his wife, my mom grew up in Wakefield Mass in the 40'-50's and her mom was good friends with Ralph's mom. I'm glad to see that Mark is still keeping things going. For anyone that is wondering about Mark? He is one of the most detail oriented people I know. He would never be able to rest unless something was perfect and I also know that not only has he been friends with Joe for years, he worked with Joe for a solid six months learning the craft. I have no doubt that Mark is making drums every bit as good as Joe has made them for years.
Kurt, I met Mark at Joe's retirement gathering when Nate still had his shop in Beverly. He seems like a great guy. In fact I was in touch with him just before the corona hit, he's going to refinish my kit and make me a matching 8x12. really looking forward to it but of course it's on hold like everything else
 


Top