John Siomos & His Dark Green Ludwigs

Treviso1

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Here's some great footage of Siomos and the band at the famed 2 July 1977 Oakland Coliseum concert. At 19.58 Frampton himself takes over the kit. Check it out.

 
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Treviso1

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The more I re-examine Siomos playing with Frampton, the more I really love his playing. A truly gifted musician with a wonderful touch and feel behind the kit with great chops to boot. It is such a shame that the music business screwed him over so badly that he chose to drop out of music altogether and got into a different profession. I can't imagine anyone sounding better with Frampton. In my opinion, no one has ever sounded better with Frampton than Siomos. Fortunately, we have a few well documented moments in history captured for all time.
 

Treviso1

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Nice pictures added. I know that there really isn't much out there chronicling John Siomos in terms of pictures. It's a sad story, really...He really got hosed as so many did in that era. A great player who also did quite a bit of high profile studio work as well, who never really made any money from all of that talent. Frampton's management screwed the band over big time and it eventually broke up that "Comes alive" band. They were a terrific outfit and he had the perfect ride cymbal with that out of this world bell! Thanks for adding the pictures.
 

Push22frets

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Nice pictures added. I know that there really isn't much out there chronicling John Siomos in terms of pictures. It's a sad story, really...He really got hosed as so many did in that era. A great player who also did quite a bit of high profile studio work as well, who never really made any money from all of that talent. Frampton's management screwed the band over big time and it eventually broke up that "Comes alive" band. They were a terrific outfit and he had the perfect ride cymbal with that out of this world bell! Thanks for adding the pictures.
So I hear. Yes, a sad story. So much talent. I was searching out John’s kit online when I came across this thread. I was fortunate to attend the ‘76 FCA concert in Milwaukee Wisconsin when I was 16. A buddy and I skipped school for the day and drove from Naperville Illinois to Milwaukee to catch the show. I saw Frampton up on stage and that changed my life. Went home and bought a guitar from a kid down the street, got in a band and have been playing ever since. Lol. I always remembered John’s musicality, in service of the song, never over playing. His choice of placement was so tasty. I am considering a house kit for a studio room and was curious about his drum sizes. That started me on this search.
 

bellbrass

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Count me in also as a fan of John's playing. This is also a great thread!
That finish on his Ludwig kit looks exactly the same color as Gretsch Cadillac Green.
More trivia - bassist Stanley Sheldon went back to school after the 80s at the University of Kansas and got his Master's degree in Latin American studies. A former work colleague would see him occasionally on campus, not knowing of his rock star past, but only knowing him as "Stan".
 

drumaniac

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Saw them live in '77, J Geils opened when they were still a rocking/blues band, prior to Freeze Frame. Great double bill will never forget it!
 

cochlea

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This was the one album everyone owned and played when I was in college. I've enjoyed looking at the photos posted of John's kit. It brings back fond memories. I was once waiting to get on a elevator in Rockefeller plaza when low and behold, Peter Frampton steps off with his entourage. He had just appeared on the Today Show. The girls in the lobby went wild, while I was struck by how short and skinny he was.
 

boonky

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John Siomos was great!

Paul Jamieson? Isn't he the guy that ruined so many Radio Kings back in the 70's-80's?
 

sixjune1944

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Hi all,
I know this is an old thread but for the sake of consistency I wanted to post here to keep the story going.
As a few of you may already know, John Siomos' 1970's green Ludwig kit is currently on the Peter Frampton tour that just started. This is Peter's final tour, as he was recently diagnosed with a rare degenerative muscular disease and wanted to finish while he's still at the top of his game. Since this is the final tour, he has brought out John's original green lacquer Ludwig kit to play select songs. Peter's current drummer, Dan Wojciechowski recently did an update in Modern Drummer detailing this.
I have provided John's ride and crash cymbals that I obtained several years ago, which consist of a 22" 60's A. Zildjian ride and a 15" Super Zyn crash. Peter contacted me earlier this month because he wanted to use them, and they are now in his hands (actually Dan's drum tech's hands). The bad news is the ride cymbal has a crack in the bell put there while owned by John...and it has affected the sound. They might use it in a couple of the more special shows during the tour. I have talked to Dan many times and got the following details on the original kit: The sizes were 10" concert tom, 12" and 13" mounted tom, 16" floor tom, and a 24" bass drum. For the current tour, they have brought out the 24-16-12 and they have RIMS type mounts on the two toms. As mentioned several years ago in this thread, the kit was sold with the original cases on eBay circa year 2000. As to whether John sold them himself or through a broker I do not know. Peter eventually ended up with them. By the 2000's the finish was in poor shape, and at some point in time the drums were refinished. Dan indicated he thought they were refinished before Peter obtained them. The drums were re-lacquered in the same green color as they were originally.
I plan to meet up with him when he comes to Kansas City in August and can provide more of an update then. That's all I really know at this point.
Here are two photos sent to me by Dan showing the kit with the ride cymbal.
 

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EvEnStEvEn

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PF specifically mentioned they were using those green Ludwigs during his tour kickoff concert in Tulsa the other night.
Said he "bought 'em on ebay" and there's a clip of it on youtube.
 

sixjune1944

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PF specifically mentioned they were using those green Ludwigs during his tour kickoff concert in Tulsa the other night.
Said he "bought 'em on ebay" and there's a clip of it on youtube.
Sure enough, I just watched the clip! I’m relaying the story as it was told to me. I’m glad John’s kit is getting a workout.
 

Treviso1

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Hi all,
I know this is an old thread but for the sake of consistency I wanted to post here to keep the story going.
As a few of you may already know, John Siomos' 1970's green Ludwig kit is currently on the Peter Frampton tour that just started. This is Peter's final tour, as he was recently diagnosed with a rare degenerative muscular disease and wanted to finish while he's still at the top of his game. Since this is the final tour, he has brought out John's original green lacquer Ludwig kit to play select songs. Peter's current drummer, Dan Wojciechowski recently did an update in Modern Drummer detailing this.
I have provided John's ride and crash cymbals that I obtained several years ago, which consist of a 22" 60's A. Zildjian ride and a 15" Super Zyn crash. Peter contacted me earlier this month because he wanted to use them, and they are now in his hands (actually Dan's drum tech's hands). The bad news is the ride cymbal has a crack in the bell put there while owned by John...and it has affected the sound. They might use it in a couple of the more special shows during the tour. I have talked to Dan many times and got the following details on the original kit: The sizes were 10" concert tom, 12" and 13" mounted tom, 16" floor tom, and a 24" bass drum. For the current tour, they have brought out the 24-16-12 and they have RIMS type mounts on the two toms. As mentioned several years ago in this thread, the kit was sold with the original cases on eBay circa year 2000. As to whether John sold them himself or through a broker I do not know. Peter eventually ended up with them. By the 2000's the finish was in poor shape, and at some point in time the drums were refinished. Dan indicated he thought they were refinished before Peter obtained them. The drums were re-lacquered in the same green color as they were originally.
I plan to meet up with him when he comes to Kansas City in August and can provide more of an update then. That's all I really know at this point.
Here are two photos sent to me by Dan showing the kit with the ride cymbal.
Thank you for the thoughtful update. Many of us fans of John's playing are dying for any information whatsoever when it comes to either the man himself or his famous drums. Excellent job.
 

paulbarone

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Always liked John's playing. I know he came from Sunset Park Brooklyn. Very close to where I grew up. Thats a sad story. It's another tale of those that have the talent never see what they deserve. P.S. I always thought his kit was black.
John did have a black Ludwig kit. I lived 4 doors down from Barbara and Judah from 75 thru 79. The racing green ones stayed in ny the black ones in ivyland pa. I got to play those black ones they sounded even better than the green ones. John recorded the I'm in you album and i remember the turmoil. They all agreed that they would never have a manager and believe Peter wanted him the manager. I do believe that manager had a serious issue on his hands. If you know what I mean. I was only 10 years old but i remember the crack of that snare drum. I still after playing for some time cannot find a snare drum to match that sound.
 

BonzoBonham

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Cool stories. So the green finish of John's drums was a custom job? They appear to have a green sparkle hue to them, but too dark for the actual Ludwig color. Even darker than Bonham's.
 


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