Jim Gordon's Camco set

bellbrass

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I still don't think it was owned by Jim. The grain pattern matching is a great idea, but the photos of Jim's kits are of low resolution, and don't provide for the accuracy of what you've drawn. Also - wasn't that a sticker on that tom? I'd think there would be a spot or mark on the shell, if it had been removed.
There's also the unlikelihood that a kit owned by Jim would show up on eBay as the subject of guesswork. Legacy instruments offered for sale come with of some sort of traceable pedigree. Even though Jim's incarcerated, his Camco kit wouldn't likely just pop up. It makes for a great story, though - found treasure - and somebody is going to pay a lot for a Chanute Camco kit of unproven lineage.
 

thin shell

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Suit yourself. If I had bet all my drums I probably would be reticent to admit I might be wrong. :)

The pictures are plenty clear to see the paterns in the wood. A pattern is a pattern. These are not patterns that would repeat on another drum. Those of us who know wood understand that.

Stickers get removed all the time. There were a couple of much bigger Drum City stickers attached to Ringo's Maple rack toms and they got removed and the finish is fine. I bought some Ludwig concert toms that were thermoglos and had a black spray paint finish on them that were covered with stickers and I got them all off with no problem and no damage to the finish.

Jim was a paranoid schizophrenic who spent his life self medicating himself and ultimately murdered his mother 5 or 6 months after those MD pictures were taken because the voices told him to. He wound up on trial and found guilty. His life was a complete mess. I find it entirely plausible that at least some of his stuff may have ended up getting sold quickly for cash without thinking about providing paperwork to prove it's providence. Jim wasn't exactly a household name so who would have thought they may be worth much more than just a set of Camco drums.
 
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bellbrass

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All of what you said could be true. It might be Jim's kit. I'd be willing to pay market price (Chanute) for a kit like that, no doubt - but not a collector's price, and not with the assumption that they were Jim's.
I looked at the pictures you had of Jim playing Camcos, and have a bunch more - I just don't see the grain matches you see. I agree that would be a good method for matching, but then again, I have bad eyes. I just don't see those patterns in the old photos. Also complicating the picture is that if this was in fact Jim's "2nd Camco kit", there probably are fewer good pics of him playing that kit than the Oaklawn kit. Those pictures taken by Keltner's son are probably the best out there. And if Jim bought a Chanute kit in the mid or late 70s, it might well have been a maple kit.
I winder if someone could get the original photos that Keltner's son took. I bet they would have the resolution necessary to do an exact match. And if they matched, then the eBay seller would have a gold mine.
 

p83

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this is all fun, but only one person knows the truth.....................and he ain't talking!
 

bellbrass

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I've looked and looked at as many pictures of Jim's kit(s) as I can find, and the Getty image from when he played with the Souther-Hillman-Furay band is the only one where I see similarity. Conclusive? Not to me...but it sure has been fun playing detective and reading other detective work here.
That bass drum head from Valley Arts Drums and Percussion (Studio City, CA) is almost more convincing to me than anything else. I think that store turned into Valley Drum Shop, right? I wonder if someone here could date that logo...doesn't look to be from the 70s, but certainly could be from the 80s. Anyone here from the Los Angeles area that could lend some insight to this bass head? That fact that it says "Studio City" makes me think it's an old head.
s-l1600 (2).jpg
 
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Ludwig26

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He is right up I80 in Vacaville CA
I think he should be released,
After all he's done his time
Served his sentence,
It's abysmal, deplorable, disgusting, & a travesty,
That mental illness as we know it today (even back then),
That there both wasn't a duty if care& mental health care facilities &specialists,
That he could've &should've been sent to,
Justice Department &nob-mental health people are all too quick to just lock up a person for rest of there life,
Rather then attempting &trying to find a cure, fix&resolve the problem,
Or at least,
Send him to a psychiatric hospital,
He would've been hopefully &possibly cured by now
The fact your country doesn't have a health care system,
Is against basic human rights,
Thank fuck I live here in Australia !!
 

Treviso1

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I am pretty convinced that this is the kit. I remember studying that kit as a kid, back in '81 when that MD issue came out. Also, it's not like they are asking $25K for the kit, so obviously there's not a lot of documentation other than matching up the drums, outstanding features about them and comparing them to pictures that we have documented historically. For my money, this is the kit pictured in those MD pictures back in '81.
 

Radio King

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I am pretty convinced that this is the kit. I remember studying that kit as a kid, back in '81 when that MD issue came out. Also, it's not like they are asking $25K for the kit, so obviously there's not a lot of documentation other than matching up the drums, outstanding features about them and comparing them to pictures that we have documented historically. For my money, this is the kit pictured in those MD pictures back in '81.
I'm inclined to agree.
 

fishdrummer

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A couple thoughts. I am pretty sure Jim has been financially well off and never needed to sell his equipment unless he told his lawyers to. He's indicated to those around him that he's a "retired," could that have led him at some point to sell his stuff? Maybe. He used a storage facility to house his drums even while he was incarcerated. Would the equipment have been sold with public attention? - part of me doubts it because of the sensitivity for Jim's condition and the heartbreak for his family. The parole hearings revealed Jim was in no condition to be released -- this is according to officials and reporting at the time.

The Valley Drum shop sold Blaemire's stuff which Hal Blaine used as part of the so called Monster kit. So the head comes from the vicinity of where Jim lived and worked. I believe he lived in the San Fernando Valley (I'm not from CA). Gordon says in the MD interview he was playing pinstripes--

I personally don't think the mounts or lack of front hoop is enough proof.

I do agree that the grain pattern would be an important clue with additional high resolution photos.

I hope someone connected to his actual drums ie portage co/drum tech etc surfaces to help solve the mystery.
(I'm also guessing someone did the drum mod work for him).

The gents at pro drum in Hollywood may know more.

I'd hate for someone to overpay for what is no doubt a great sounding kit.

ps. Very interesting if in fact he played and recorded with a chanute kit vs oaklawn .
 
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bellbrass

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A couple thoughts. I am pretty sure Jim has been financially well off and never needed to sell his equipment unless he told his lawyers to. He's indicated to those around him that he's a "retired," could that have led him at some point to sell his stuff? Maybe. He used a storage facility to house his drums even while he was incarcerated. Would the equipment have been sold with public attention? - part of me doubts it because of the sensitivity for Jim's condition and the heartbreak for his family. The parole hearings revealed Jim was in no condition to be released -- this is according to officials and reporting at the time.

The Valley Drum shop sold Blaemire's stuff which Hal Blaine used as part of the so called Monster kit. So the head comes from the vicinity of where Jim lived and worked. I believe he lived in the San Fernando Valley (I'm not from CA). Gordon says in the MD interview he was playing pinstripes--

I personally don't think the mounts or lack of front hoop is enough proof.

I do agree that the grain pattern would be an important clue with additional high resolution photos.

I hope someone connected to his actual drums ie portage co/drum tech etc surfaces to help solve the mystery.
(I'm also guessing someone did the drum mod work for him).

The gents at pro drum in Hollywood may know more.

I'd hate for someone to overpay for what is no doubt a great sounding kit.

ps. Very interesting if in fact he played and recorded with a chanute kit vs oaklawn .
I'm inclined to agree, especially with the part about Jim not really needing money enough to sell one of his kits. Also, from what I've heard, his Oaklawn kit is still in storage. If he did in fact have 2 Camco kits, one could have been a Chanute kit. Since Chanute kits had those famous Oaklawn shells, it should have sounded virtually identical to his Walnut Oaklawn kit.
I also don't think the mounts or lack of a front hoop is anything but typical of what a zillion drummers did to kits in the 70s and 80s.
The most intriguing thing about that kit is the head from Valley Arts drum shop. Of course, a knowledgeable seller with fraudulent intent could have installed that head to further add to the appeal.
I'd guess that kit is worth around $2,000.00 - $2,250.00, simply as a Chanute kit, with mods, dings, and scratches. If it goes for way over that, then the buyer is obviously buying into the Jim Gordon part.
I wish somebody could contact Eric Keltner so we could see those MD photos in full resolution. That would provide proof, other than Jim, or someone close to him, offering provenance.
 
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thin shell

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Who the hell would go to all of the trouble to try to fake a drum set for Jim Gordon? Outside of drum nerds nobody knows who he is.

This is a little better than what I posted before. I have messed with the settings on the 1974 picture to give better contrast. There is also a light streak that runs right down the center all the way to the badge. You can make it out on the left of the 1974 picture but I have not highlighted it since most of it is covered by the sticker.

If you can find me a picture of another 12" tom with the same grain structure then you might convince me otherwise but in my opinion these are a dead on match.



jim gordons drum today rotated.jpg
jim gordons drums today rotated grain hightligted..jpg
right side up 1974 rotated grain hightlighted.jpg
right side up 1974 rotated.jpg
 

charlesm

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The argument/presentation that thin shell is making here is pretty strong. If you can't see the obvious matches in the grain, then I don't know what to tell you.

The kit is in the right geographical region. Right drums. Right details. Right hardware. Matching extra hole. Valley Arts drum head. MATCHING GRAIN. There is certainly far more evidence in support of authenticity than not.

It's not far-fetched that Jim's legal problems might've led to the squandering of a lot of his finances over the years. Maybe he did direct family to just sell off what they could when needed.

One thing is for sure: If this really is one of his kits, and the odds seem to be in favor, it is one of the great artifacts of 20th-century popular music and really should be in the care of an appropriate museum or historical institution.
 

Rich K.

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Who the hell would go to all of the trouble to try to fake a drum set for Jim Gordon? Outside of drum nerds nobody knows who he is.

This is a little better than what I posted before. I have messed with the settings on the 1974 picture to give better contrast. There is also a light streak that runs right down the center all the way to the badge. You can make it out on the left of the 1974 picture but I have not highlighted it since most of it is covered by the sticker.

If you can find me a picture of another 12" tom with the same grain structure then you might convince me otherwise but in my opinion these are a dead on match.



View attachment 405163View attachment 405164View attachment 405165View attachment 405166
That is pretty convincing.
 

bellbrass

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One thing is for sure: If this really is one of his kits, and the odds seem to be in favor, it is one of the great artifacts of 20th-century popular music and really should be in the care of an appropriate museum or historical institution.
If Jim had not committed his terrible crime, his drums might well already be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And even if these drums could be proven to be his 2nd Camco kit, a collector might not want to brag about having them for fear of backlash.
I could easily see someone attempting to fake a Jim Gordon drum set. It would be like faking any other instrument, except that in Jim's case, nobody would be around to authenticate the instrument. Jim was a famous musician, even among the non-musician fans of 70s rock. He was fairly well-known, due to his involvement with The Everly Brothers, Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Johnny Rivers, and Frank Zappa. He was on countless recordings.
Even in the case of deceased famous musicians, family members or former bandmates will come to the rescue if an instrument is being sold fraudulently. Only in Jim's case, nobody is likely to step forward, due to his past and the fact that he's been incarcerated since 1984. It seems like the perfect scenario for a fake representation, in fact.
Still though - if someone is convinced that these were Jim's, it will be interesting to see where the price goes. If they truly were one of Jim's Camco kits, then they were used on a bunch of sessions, hit songs, and tours. He might have kept his Oaklawn kit for recording, and toured with the Chanute kit...who knows.
I'm still not convinced this kit belonged to Jim, at least until I see better pictures from the Eric Keltner visit to Jim's house for Scott's MD interview. I wonder if Scott knows how to get in touch with Eric? Even if we could see the original photos, the drums themselves might be too out of focus.
 
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Treviso1

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To think that Jim's money would have lasted essentially 40 years (yes, you can argue that he did some stuff after leaving Jackson Browne's band in '78, but nothing huge after that) after he was out of the peak of the scene is being generous. These guys made good money for the day, but not HUGE money that could have lasted in excess of four decades. His lawyer's fees alone probably ate the entire estate. Add to that his lifestyle, drug use, a divorce, etc... Trust me, nothing is left from that estate. Certainly not millions of dollars.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Okay, I've added them to my watchlist now because they're probably the real thing and I'm quite the skeptic. :icon_e_biggrin:
 

JDA

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has 8 bids so far
on their way to a mid week 1st plateau
ah and an 'assist' by someone here added into text...lol
 
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