Jeff Porcaro Kit History

Groovemaster

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I noticed that in the Vinnie / Ludwig thread that Vinnie had bought an old Luddy kit that Jeff Porcaro used on the Toto stuff. Well, Jeff Porcaro started endorsing Pearl in 1982, and I know from Ross Garfield that Jeff used Pearl and Gretsch kits in the studio from 82 onwards, so perhaps Vinnie has bought himself a dud??

Around 1982, Live with TOTO, He began endorsing Pearl Drums and felt that most all drums felt good to him stating; “Drums are drums, depending on the kind of head and how you tune them. Sometimes just the look of one will make me partial to that one for two weeks; just because it looks different and it's new. I always set up differently. Sometimes there'll be a lot of tom-toms, sometimes just two, depending on what I'm doing. Or sometimes I'll go into something where usually I'd have a bigger kit and the music kind of demands it, yet I'll go in with completely the opposite, which is kind of interesting. In the studio, my set changes for every tune” On heavier tunes, he used a Gretsch 24" bass drum and a 14 x 12 mounted tom and a 16 x 16 floor tom.
On Toto IV, his drum sizes used to record were 10", 12", and 13" rack toms of standard depth, 16" and 18" floor toms, and a 22 X 16 bass drum. He also used a 6 1/2 X 14 Radio King snare drum. The cymbals were all Paistes, and included a 20" Formula 602 ride, 18", 19" and 20" 2002 crashes, a 16" Formula 602 crash, and 14" Formula 602 hi-hats. Basically, he used the same setup for Isolation and also used it live.

On, The Seventh One, he used his standard sized Pearl Maple kit. No power toms. 10", 12", 13", 14" and 16" floor toms. His bass drum was oversized, about 18"x22". He used a variety of snare drums--a Pearl Piccolo, and a custom Valley Drum Piccolo. The choice of snare changed with the texture and style of each tune. Also, the popular Modern Drummer ad at that time was somewhat bogus. When Jeff went to the photo session, it was with a set of drums that weren't his. The toms seemed deep. Pearl said that in the past couple of years, the power-tom sizes became their standard drum. They have the super power toms, but the standard drums that have been around since the '20s and '30s, they call them jazz drums. So when you see pictures of him behind a drumset in the ad, it's deceiving. It's his setup, but those aren't his sizes. He used Pearl jazz-size toms, 10", 12", 13", and 14" and 16" floor toms, an 18 x 22 bass drum, a Pearl piccolo snare, and a Pearl standard-size metal snare. His hats were a pair of 602 Paistes and also a pair of 13" Zildjians--a Z on the bottom and a K on top. Another was a pair of an old, old, old A Zildjian 14" on top and an Italian Tosco on the bottom that has four quarter-inch holes drilled around the bell and two sets of rivets on each north, south, east, and west point on the bottom cymbal.

Lastly, on Kingdom of Desire, he used a Pearl MLX (maple), alternating between: 3 1/2" x 14" Pearl Free-Floating brass piccolo, Pearl 5 1/2" x 14" steel, 5" x 14" Solid/Select maple, Brady 10" soprano snare drum with his toms.
 
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FWIW: In 1978 and 1979 I recorded at the Record Plant in LA. Each time, I used drums from Paul Jamieson, who did rentals and cartage. I used a 3 ply B+O badge Ludwig Hollywood set, 22/16/13/12 sizes. Paul did a lot of work with Jeff. Paul told me Jeff used the same set on Toto's first album.
 

Trey Gray

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I worked at Pearl for about a year when I first moved to Nashville. The Pearl kits that Jeff was using at that time were not Japanese Pearl, they were made at the old Pearl warehouse. The true giveaway is the air vent groments. Just my two cents...........

cheers & Blessings,
Trey
 

BonzoBonham

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In the videos of him with Boz Scaggs in 1976 he's playing what appears to be a black cortex (or Black Panther?) Ludwig Pro Beat kit...
 

Jolo

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Jeff was also an early fan of RIMS Mounts along with Jim Keltner.
Inventor Gary Gaugers' new product called Flex-Frame seems to
have solved another problem.
http://www.gaugerpercussion.com/
 

Sonorholic

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In Jeff's first MD interview he talked about having a lot of sets. Ludwig, Gretsch, Slingerland, Camco. Remember he did plenty of recording way before he went with Pearl. I would bet that he always used whatever he wanted to record.
 

Drumbelly

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Good info Bun. I also seem to recall that Gerry Brown used that Ludwig kit on the Chick Corea RTF Musicmagic LP. Jamieson brought that kit in the studio when nothing else seemed to work out, they were his personal drums at the time. Soooo...definitely not a dud.
 

nickg

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after Buddy, Jeff is my 2nd all time favorite drummer!!! 'nuff said. :)
 

nickg

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Jeff gave his Camco set to David Hungate, who gave it to his own son, Noah.
tommy....is hungate still doin' session work down in Nashville?? that's was the last i'd heard he was doing after Toto.
 

sillyilly

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i once heard that porcaro had given a gretsch kit to abe laboriel jr.
 

JCKOriollo

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I think groove master is just having a hard time dealing with the fact that vinnie might actually like the sound of Ludwig drums that usually don't sound better than a pearl export right? ;)
 

MustangMick

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Sad lonely keyboard jockey with 30 minutes on Google, plus the Gear credits on Jeff's Instructional DVD................don't feed the troll.

Mick
 

Luddite

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Jeff was definitely a Ludwig endorser prior to going to Pearl. I can recall seeing him in a Ludwig snare drum ad along with Simon Kirke of Bad Co., among others.
 

DanRH

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I love this stuff. And throw some crumbs out...Would JP be considered "a crusty old rock drummer"? :twisted:
 

tamadrm

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I love this stuff. And throw some crumbs out...Would JP be considered "a crusty old rock drummer"? :twisted:

Certainly possible Dan.But he could also be considered a "Ringo fanatic",since he did love Ringo's playing,as does Vinnie C.I think there's someone on the Vintage forum,who either sold or knows who sold the Luddies to Vinnie.So being that Vinnie played quite a bit of rock in his day............ :D

Steve B
 

BonzoBonham

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Taken in 1978 when recording Janne Schaffer's "Earmeal" album. Is that a familiar kit he's playing?
 


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