Elvin Jones

chrisemt74

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I recently read that Elvin Jones used an 18 bass drum, because the twenty wouldn't fit in the trunk, and he hit the bd so hard, they had to nail it to the floor through the wooden hoops!
 

Osahead2

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chrisemt74 said:
I recently read that Elvin Jones used an 18 bass drum, because the twenty wouldn't fit in the trunk, and he hit the bd so hard, they had to nail it to the floor through the wooden hoops!
Elvin Jones was certainly a fantastic hard hitting drummer! Although nailing his kit down seems too much, I doubt that ever happened don't you think. Over the years, I have seen several YouTube videos of him pulling his kit back because it wasn't nailed down.

Nobody really knows the "real" story why he played the 18" vs 20" but my guess is... the 18" bass drum became the jazz drummers choice of so many because of the unique SOUND which, I would guess for working drummers it would be SOUND first over practicality.

But nonetheless he was one hell of a good drummer!
 

davidh

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I saw his Japanese wife Keiko nail his bass drum to the floor in Ronnie Scotts Club in London in the 1980s - he certainly hit hard and tuned the drum up high
 

Boomer

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A number of years ago I had the opportunity to go to an Elvin Jones show and have dinner with him and the band afterward. I also was able to invite up to five people with me. I put the offer on this forum and, surprisingly, only two folks took me up on the offer. What a missed opportunity.

BTW, his bass drum wasn't nailed to floor.
 

dilbertfan1

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chrisemt74 said:
I recently read that Elvin Jones used an 18 bass drum, because the twenty wouldn't fit in the trunk, and he hit the bd so hard, they had to nail it to the floor through the wooden hoops!
I got to play three of his kits and there were definitely no nail holes in the hoops. If she did, maybe she drove a nail right in front of it? Any way, here's is the video Donn Bennett did of those three kits:
 
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kip

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got to see Elvin in the 90s w the Jazz Machine.... damn...when he would wind up for a crash...BAM!!!!!!!

i heard the 18" drum was popular because it fit in the trunk of a car.
Roy Haynes said he used it because it fit in his sports car!
 

Griener

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I saw Keiko doing that before a gig Elvin did in Hamburg in 1986.
Two nails in front of the bass drum, of course not through the hoops.
She also did his sound check and played the drums to make sure everything was good to go for him.
Just the kind of wife a drummer needs.
 

Skyrm

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I saw Elvin in concert, and of course it was fantastic. Then Keiko came out, put on white gloves, and started tearing down his kit.

My wife said "no" when I told her this story. :)
 

VintageUSA

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Nailing a board to the stage right in front of the reso hoop is often the answer................I've done it myself...............that bass will not move !

Elvin played Gretsch.................
 

SwivoNut

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I got to see Elvin perform at The King Cobra Jazz Fest in Flint, Michigan back in the 80s. I watched when they set up his kit and again when the tore it down and I can assure you that they didn't nail the bass drum rim to the stage. The show was a yearly event put on by Joe Freyre, a popular local jazz drummer. When Joe played he usually set his drums on a carpeted riser that had two nails in front of the bd rim. Although Elvin's set was not on a riser, I wouldn't be surprised if Joe had driven a couple nails into the stage beforehand seeing that his band was also on the agenda.
 

donnbennett

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I've actually owned 8 of Elvin's sets and none of them had nail holes in the front hoop. I still own 3 of them. I've had many long dinners with his wife Keiko where she talked about Elvin non-stop for several hours at a time. She told me more amazing Elvin stories than I will ever be able to remember. She definitely confirmed that the reason he used an 18" bass was because "he could get the Mother F***** in a cab". Those were Elvin's words, not hers. Early on, when he was playing Gretsch drums, she would sometimes drive a nail into the stage in front of his bass but not into the hoop, to keep it from sliding. She would never damage a drum like that. To her it would be the same as driving a nail into Elvin's foot. When he switched to Tama and Yamaha drums the bass spurs were solid enough that she no longer need to use nails.
I do have a single Gretsch bass of Elvin's that has a factory single spike anchor mounted to the front hoop. Maybe Keiko's nails in front of Elvin's bass inspired this invention??
 

Ickybaby

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Osahead2 said:
Totally subservient... sounds cute... but not my type of woman/relationship... please tell me Elvin didn't support this kind of behavior?
Why would that make her "subservient"? Is it out of the realm of possibility that she was part of a team, or just wanted to?
 

devinw

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The Japanese culture is VERY misogynistic. I worked for a Japanese company for a few years and they treated my woman engineer boss (who knew more about the product than any of the men, including myself) like total s**t.

Not saying anything about the particular relationship with Elvin and his wife, but just saying I get where Osahead2 is coming from with his comment. I've got no time for that kind of thing either.
 


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