Jim Gordon's Camco set

Rich K.

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There was a forum member here who was looking to get Gordon's sound and got the new DWs.

This looks like it may have been Gordon's set. When I saw $1500 I thought it was a steal, but realized it's just a starting bid.

 

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Rich K.

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There was a forum member here who was looking to get Gordon's sound and got the new DWs.

This looks like it may have been Gordon's set. When I saw $1500 I thought it was a steal, but realized it's just a starting bid.

Looking closer, it doesn't look like his set.
gordon.jpg
 

Mackermanesq

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I believe Jim Gordon's set is in a studio in Hollywood
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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One of his interviews said that he had a 24” bass, then later a 22”. Assuming they were both Camco. I’m thinking he had two Camco sets.
 

Radio King

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I would normally scoff at a vague listing like that, even though I do see the hose clamps in the original pic. Hardly enough there to convince me, but I went back and found the Jan 1983 issue of MD that the pic comes from, and lo & behold, there are the same extra holes on the tom around the Ludwig bracket. Also, notice he'd removed the BD reso hoop back then, which might explain the replacement?

jim g.jpg


jim g 2.jpg


s-l1600.jpg
 
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Tama CW

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Cool that the hole in the 13" tom shows up in your photos....but it cannot be seen in the Ebay vintage photo. A corroborating piece of evidence.
 

Rich K.

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On the 13 on the Gordon photos, the mount seems lower than on the ebay ad, and there's no badge seen on the 13 on the ebay ad.
 

JDA

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Just get Duane Allman Eric Clapton Carl Radle and Bobby Whitlock all in a room together and you'd have something there. One good thing: they are asking a fair not lunatic price
 

Radio King

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That's likely because the Ebay set has its toms turned further inwards towards the batter side of the BD than Gordon had them in the original photos. The badge is there, just further around the corner. ;-)

I'm "watching" this set. Should make for an interesting auction.
 

owr

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I have no info on this set or special knowledge on Jim Gordon, but the seller Gelb music has been around the bay area for decades and is solid. They admit not being able to confirm but if it isnt legit, I highly doubt its the current seller making up the story.
 

bellbrass

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I think that "forum member" was me; I eventually ended up getting a DW Santa Monica kit, which is an homage to the first LA-era Camcos. For those of you into Camco, you will know that LA-era Camcos are a different sound than the Oaklawn kits. I love the DW kit, but it's not Jim's sound.
I did get a wrapped Camco kit; Chanute, but made with leftover Oaklawn shells. It's in great shape, and has "that Oaklawn sound."
I saw that auction last night, and right away, I knew it probably wasn't Jim's kit. The first thing: Jim's kit was a late-60s Oaklawn kit with Oaklawn badges, if my sources / research is correct. The eBay kit is a Chanute-badged kit. Second thing: the kit in the auction doesn't really look like a Walnut finish; more like a maple finish that has darkened over the years. The fact that it has a 70s Ludwig mount and Ludwig tom brackets means little; many kits back then ended up being converted to Ludwig mounts. Jim did have Ludwig mounts on his Camco kit after he was in The Dominos, but that means little, and seems to be what the seller is banking on.
I have no idea where Jim's Camco kit is, but I'd bet all my drums that the kit in this auction never belonged to him. I think most of us know that if a kit was listed on eBay that was reliably Jim's iconic Camco Oaklawn kit, the starting bid would be north of $5,000.00.
I still wouldn't mind having that kit, though.
 
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thin shell

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Bellbrass, I'll send you my address so you can ship them to me...

The big detail everyone has missed is that the 12 is installed right side up in the auction pictures but the drum in mounted upside down in the MD pictures.

The nuts on the tom mounts both face the drummer in the MD picture. The seller installed the 12" right side up so the nut faces the front of the bass drum and the badge is now visible but isn't in the MD pictures.

Wood grain is like a finger print. The grain has several visible details which I have highlighted they are present on both the current picture and the MD picture.

I got a picture from the seller showing the 12" mounted the way Jim had it mounted which was with the badge upside down. This hides the badge and shows the grain as it is seen in the MD picture. It also shows the veneer seam to the right of the mount and inline with the lugs. You can just barely see it in the MD picture that they used in the auction.

Jim Gordon 12 upside down today.jpg
Jim Gordon  12 upside down.jpg






The Getty Images picture that someone posted shows the 12" mounted correctly when it still had the Camco mounts. Again there are several grain elements that are very visible and match in both the old picture and the current picture from the auction.

Jim Gordon 12 right side up today.jpg
Jim Gordon 12 right side up.jpg


As to the color, it doesn't seem that far off from the videos online. They may have been a color other than Walnut and have faded somewhat but to me they look very much like they did in the videos. They also may have been refinished at some point while he had them. My thought is that they were not Walnut finish to begin with.

EDIT: the picture below would be of his Oaklawn kit since it was from a Derek and the Dominos video.

Jim Gordon.JPG


EDIT: The kit below was from '77 and has the Ludwig tom mount so would be of the Chanute kit.

burton cummings 1977.JPG


So the 12" is certainly a dead ringer for Jim's 12" as seen at two periods in the past on with multiple grain matches on two sides of the drum. The chances of two Camco 12" toms having the same grain details on both sides is pretty much impossible.

Rich said the 13" has no badge. The 13" has a badge visible but they have the drum so skewed backwards that you can barely see it in one of the pictures.

The mount is in the same place in relation to the original Camco mounting hole in the second MD picture.

 
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bellbrass

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I still don't think that is Jim's kit.
Jim had an Oaklawn-badged kit; most of all because he was playing that kit on his solo album (Hog Fat, made and released in 1969). Jim then toured with Delaney & Bonnie with that same kit (there is video of this tour on YouTube; Jim used a 1 up / one down configuration for most of the tour, but it's still a Camco Walnut kit). He then used that kit to record & tour with Derek & The Dominos.
From what I can tell, Camco was purchased in 1971 by Kustom Electronics, and production began in Chanute sometime in late '71 or early '72. This pretty much eliminates the eBay kit being "the" Jim Gordon Camco kit.
I don't think Jim got another Camco kit, but he might have, and the eBay kit might have been owned by him at some point....but from what I've researched and been told, Jim only had that one Camco kit in Walnut, and it was an Oaklawn-made kit.
 

Ludwig26

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The other toms are Tama
He augmented these with his Camco kit,
There's excellent footage of him playing with Jim Keltner,
As part of the "Mad Dogs&Englishmen" early 70s tour, with the late&great Joe Cocker &Leon Russell,
The footage is taken from behind,
So you can clearly see what he's playing,
I'm talking about the DVD.
 

thin shell

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I still don't think that is Jim's kit.
Jim had an Oaklawn-badged kit; most of all because he was playing that kit on his solo album (Hog Fat, made and released in 1969). Jim then toured with Delaney & Bonnie with that same kit (there is video of this tour on YouTube; Jim used a 1 up / one down configuration for most of the tour, but it's still a Camco Walnut kit). He then used that kit to record & tour with Derek & The Dominos.
From what I can tell, Camco was purchased in 1971 by Kustom Electronics, and production began in Chanute sometime in late '71 or early '72. This pretty much eliminates the eBay kit being "the" Jim Gordon Camco kit.
I don't think Jim got another Camco kit, but he might have, and the eBay kit might have been owned by him at some point....but from what I've researched and been told, Jim only had that one Camco kit in Walnut, and it was an Oaklawn-made kit.
From the January 1983 MD interview with Jim.

"SF: How many different drumsets did you use.?
JG: I had two. I would use one as much as I could, but when there would be a conflict I'd have them bring the other one over so I could go to another date. I had two sets that basically sounded alike and, luckily, two sets of cymbals that were pretty close too. I started out with a a Ludwig set. My first set was a little 20" maple bass drum, an 8x12 tom and a 14x14 tom. Real good little set. I used that a lot. Remember "These boots are made for walking"? I used that set on that record. Then I went to a 22" bass. 8x12 and 9x13 toms and a 16" floor tom.

Now I've got two sets of Camco that I play. Camco's a marvelous drum. I just bought a little 10" Tama rack tom that's marvelous too. I mount it on a cymbal stand."

Later on he says: "I use a one headed bass drum. I'd love to use two heads. I used two heads with Derek and The Dominos. I had a 24" Camco. I loved that. Now I use a 22" with a blanket for miking."

So he admits to having at least two Camco kits at the time of the interview and having had a 24" Camco bass drum at one time.

Do you not agree that all of the grain elements match from two different time periods on two different sided on that 12" tom? If not how do you explain them?

EDIT: the Getty imaged picture is from July 1 1974 when he was the drummer of Souther-Hillman-Furay Band so that is a very wide range of time between those two shots.

If you do agree that they match then are you saying that the Camco set that is exactly how he describes his kit that he is seen playing with the 10" Tama tom is not actually his?
 
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thin shell

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The MD pictures are explained by Scott K Fish on his site. They were from the time of the interview which was done over the phone shortly before the article was published.

https://scottkfish.com/2015/09/25/scott-k-fish-interview-jim-gordon/

"Finally there was the issue of photos to accompany this feature interview. Again, we ran into whether or not Jim Gordon would be okay with a stranger/photographer taking a series of photos. We were also running up against the clock. If MD was going to publish this interview as scheduled, we needed photos.

Jim Keltner, I believe, suggested his son, Eric, take the photos. Eric was a young guy, but MD had used his photos in the November 1981 interview with his father. So I gave Eric Keltner the green light, Jim Gordon was okay with Eric coming to the house and taking photos, and those are the photos we used."

So the pictures were taken at Jim's house in December '82 or January '83 and we have the Getty Images picture from '74 so he had those drums since at least '74 but probably a little earlier.


If there is a Camco kit that was Jim's sitting in a studio that could very well be the second kit he mentions. This would be the other. He mentions having had two kits for flexibility for dates. That being the case there is not really one "The kit" and given all of the evidence, this kit is most surely one of Jim's two kits.
 


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