I feel like I've betrayed a friend

MidiFinger

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
11
Location
Indianapolis
There is nothing like the dull thud of the ringed Slingerland toms. I love it. I know which kit I would get behind.
 

Tony Radford

Member
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
2
Location
Geneva, Switzerland
To add insult to injury, I had taken my ride cymbal off the Slingerland set and put it on the Gretsch. I can still see the image of the Slingerland set, an empty boom stand reaching out to me as if it was saying "come back, please!"
That is cold blooded. You need to go on a vision quest and get yer mind right.
 

Robert Albiston

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
24
Location
Knoxville, TN
I have several vintage sets, plus two contemporary. The set I play on the most is my DW Performance set. It tunes very well, the ring and sustain are good, and I can play it for every music type I play. But I also enjoy playing on my vintage sets, and my favorite of those has been my 1963 Slingerland. Two of my favorite drummers (Phil Ehart and Danny Seraphine) played Slingerland for many years, and my 1963 set is barely two months older than me. I like to play it when I want to relive my jr high and high school days, when I was learning to play, and lusting over the professional drummers' kits.

But about a month ago, I bought a 1953 Gretsch set, and it's stolen my vintage time. I don't play on the Ludwig or Slingerland set anymore. I like the tone and sustain of the Gretsch set, it's very close to the DW but has a mellow vintage vibe as well. With the Gretsch set in the mix, now I understand what people say about the "thuddiness" of the vintage Slingerlands. It seems weird that I never really noticed it when comparing to the DW set. From a physics perspective, the difference is probably the absence of rerings in the Gretsch (the DW Performance doesn't have rings, either) but there is also a special tone as the Gretsch toms sing.

Last night, I played on the Gretsch set for nearly an hour. After warming up to Woody Herman's "Corazon" and then playing along with the Blues Brother's first album, I finished up feeling very happy. But then I looked across the room to the Slingerland set. It was sitting there alone, staring back at me, and suddenly I felt guilty. The music I had just played was music I played on the Slingerland set. They were "our songs". But now I was playing them on a different drum set and enjoying it more.

All the memories of restoring the Slingerland set rushed over me: finding the set, regluing the rings, light sanding on the bearing edges, cleaning and polishing, tuning. I remembered how excited I was to bring the Slingerland set back to life, and the thrill when it was finally assembled and I played it for the first time (Woody Herman's "Corazon" in fact.) All I did with the Gretsch set was to horsetrade for it and put new heads on it. To add insult to injury, I had taken my ride cymbal off the Slingerland set and put it on the Gretsch. I can still see the image of the Slingerland set, an empty boom stand reaching out to me as if it was saying "come back, please!"

I felt like I was betraying a friend.

What shall I do now? I always thought that I could be a polygamist drummer, but it seems there is sadness and jealousy in my house. Oh yes, there was always some rivalry between the Slingerland and the Ludwig set, but in general the Slingerland was the queen of the sets. But now, the pecking order is broken.

What shall I do?
 

Robert Albiston

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
24
Location
Knoxville, TN
You've got nearly my high school kit, the 1963 Slingerland Modern Jazz with a COB Krupa Sound King. I refurbed it to a beautiful, but not pristine condition and fitted it with the Evans Calftone 56 heads. As with most kits, the parameters are evident, though that is part of their soul. I am also an audiophile builder who has discovered we have a basic drive for novelty which is stimulated by much that is new and of good quality. Drummers are the brightest of musicians among the groups measured (though I revere pipe organists and great B-3 performers); therefore, we probably have a greater curiosity level and stronger drive for novelty than most. I also have a '67 Ludwig Hollywood from my CBGB incarnation and those occasonal Santana gigs. I'd love a spin on that Gretch, but wouldn't be too hasty to part with my old sparkling "Little Girl Blue" (or other long term romances). She's turned the heads of some very accomplished cats.
 

Attachments

Old Drummer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
492
Reaction score
345
Yeah, history, experience, and sentiment become embodied in objects--or at least humans invest objects with these attributes and more. From totem poles to drums, it's all the same.

One practical compromise is to save a piece of the object while discarding the rest. One feature of symbolic value (as opposed to other forms of value) is that a piece of it continues to contain the entire value. Symbolic value is irreducible. You save a lock of hair, a ring, or some other part, and that stands in for the whole.

When I sold off my original 1967 Ludwig set, I sold it in pieces in order to keep one 12" tom. That was my practical compromise. More recently, when it came time to do something with all the trophies I'd won playing drum solos as a kid that were in my recently deceased mom's attic, I removed the front plates to keep and threw the trophies in the trash.

Of course, some people can't bring themselves to make even these kinds of compromises. These people are collectors.

Meanwhile, a lot of us just haven't made up our minds yet. I often find myself in this state of indecision with regard to cymbals. I'm just not sure that the one getting the stand time at the moment is the one I want, so its rivals stay packed away until I've reached a final decision. But eventually either a decision is reached or financial necessity intervenes and the cymbals in the bag get sold.

There actually aren't easy solutions for the OP, though there is hope.
 

bob meyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
76
Reaction score
29
Location
New York
Take a deep breath and wait a bit... play them all over a period of time... Record then in a consistent environment and then decide which kits are essential to you.. Personally, I've recently sold a Gretsch RB 12, 14,18,4 kist and a Camco Oaklawn 12,12,14,18,5 kit... both REALLY rare and valuable, but not my sound and feel...thinning out the herd.. and I still have 3 sets to play out that are truly my sound and feel. .
 

Robert Albiston

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
24
Location
Knoxville, TN
Take a deep breath and wait a bit... play them all over a period of time... Record then in a consistent environment and then decide which kits are essential to you.. Personally, I've recently sold a Gretsch RB 12, 14,18,4 kist and a Camco Oaklawn 12,12,14,18,5 kit... both REALLY rare and valuable, but not my sound and feel...thinning out the herd.. and I still have 3 sets to play out that are truly my sound and feel. .
What did you keep?
 

Jazzhead

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
781
Reaction score
255
Location
Los Angeles, CA
If I were you and I had that feeling, I’d stick to my best friend that I have come a long way with..the Slingerlands...you are the only one hearing the difference in sound between your Ludwigs, Slingerlands, Gretsch, and DW lol
That’s why I decided to stay with my Premiers, they look and sound beautiful, AND they have seen me when I had hair!
 


Top