~ Los Angeles era CAMCO bop kit registration ~

Osahead2

DFO Master
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
4,039
Reaction score
368
Location
Flying to airshows across America in a B-29 Superf
OT: So this morning, I'm searching on these names Jeff Ballard and T. Bruce Willet and to my discovery, I own a red sparkle Oaklawn Camco 20/12/14 drum set with T. Bruce Willet stamp inside the shells... can somebody tell me more about him? I think he is a studio drummer?
20160609_143110.jpg 20160609_135658.jpg
 
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
106
Location
Sunny So. Cal
LA serial numbers have only been tracked as high as the 1500 range (or high 1400's) - It seems that the numbers were used in general per order - so an individual snare drum order might receive it's own number. Therefore, It is unlikely there were 1500 complete kits made at LA Camco. A better estimate might be 1100-1200 kits over the entire era.

Plenty of jazz was being played in LA at the time - even though LA Camco was known for a "studio/rock" sound, they did make a fair number of kits with 18" kicks. I've seen at least two in the past few years on the LA Craigslist (and barely missed them).

Let's say 10% of the kits ordered during the LA era were with 18" bass drums - that would be roughly 110-120 kits with that size. That may be a high estimate but we just don't know.

What is clear is how few ORIGINAL LA bop kits have made it through the years. Most of the examples on your list have been modified and refinished I believe. And a final thought - rarity does not equal value. I haven't seen the demand or high prices for LA like we do Oaklawn, even in bop sizes. Doesn't mean they aren't great instruments, just that the high collector money has not yet flocked to LA Camco like it has Oaklawn. Maybe it will in time.
 

Osahead2

DFO Master
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
4,039
Reaction score
368
Location
Flying to airshows across America in a B-29 Superf
mariosdrums said:
LA serial numbers have only been tracked as high as the 1500 range (or high 1400's) - It seems that the numbers were used in general per order - so an individual snare drum order might receive it's own number. Therefore, It is unlikely there were 1500 complete kits made at LA Camco. A better estimate might be 1100-1200 kits over the entire era.

Plenty of jazz was being played in LA at the time - even though LA Camco was known for a "studio/rock" sound, they did make a fair number of kits with 18" kicks. I've seen at least two in the past few years on the LA Craigslist (and barely missed them).

Let's say 10% of the kits ordered during the LA era were with 18" bass drums - that would be roughly 110-120 kits with that size. That may be a high estimate but we just don't know.

What is clear is how few ORIGINAL LA bop kits have made it through the years. Most of the examples on your list have been modified and refinished I believe. And a final thought - rarity does not equal value. I haven't seen the demand or high prices for LA like we do Oaklawn, even in bop sizes. Doesn't mean they aren't great instruments, just that the high collector money has not yet flocked to LA Camco like it has Oaklawn. Maybe it will in time.
Excellent information you added about the overall numbers of LA kits that were produced during that era... however, I believe the amount of 18" bass drum kits made fall well below 100 kits... I'm just not seeing them (I search every day) but that doesn't mean they don't exist in large numbers and like you sometimes, I just barely miss them...

Another LA kit, I'm not seeing these days are the "concert tom" kits in any size... anybody have one of these?
 

Prufrock

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
494
Location
USA
Osahead2 said:
OT: So this morning, I'm searching on these names Jeff Ballard and T. Bruce Willet and to my discovery, I own a red sparkle Oaklawn Camco 20/12/14 drum set with T. Bruce Willet stamp inside the shells... can somebody tell me more about him? I think he is a studio drummer?
attachicon.gif
20160609_143110.jpg
attachicon.gif
20160609_135658.jpg
Here is T. Bruce Wittet's drum website: http://www.tbrucewittet.com/
 

ronisong

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
11
Location
Los Angeles
Hello everybody,

I need your help. I'm hoping to document (register) L.A. Camco bop kits this year.

So far, I'm having a pretty hard time getting beyond the six (6) known kits that I know about. Hopefully over time more of these beautiful kits will surface and be counted.

So if you happen to know somebody that owns one please PM me or have them respond to this thread.

The only qualifying requirements to be included into this registry is; the bop kit MUST be made of all Keller shells from the L.A. era (no Oaklawn kits) AND the bass drum MUST be a real factory made 18" bass drum... that's it. All restored and original L.A. bop kits are welcomed so kits do not need to be mint to be counted.

Sorry no 20/12/14 L.A. kits at this time only 18/12/14 L.A.kits...

Again, I have listed a few bop kits below that, I know of... and just in a short period, I see a few different versions of the L.A. bop kit which is pretty cool... and the theory that parts of the L.A. era was a custom order era could defiantly be the case just seeing the six kits, I listed. You gotta love the gold hardware!

1). Walnut Finish 18/12/14 bop kit with matching 5x14 Aristocrat snare red ink serial #1043 (Osahead)
2). Reddish Brown 18/12/14 bop kit with W&A rail mount w/no tone controls no serial # (Osahead)
3). Natural Maple 18/12/14 bop kit no serial # (Osahead)
4). Moss Green finish 18/12/14 bop kit (AirborneSFC)
5). Black Lacquer 18/12/14 bop kit with matching 5x14 Aristocrat snare with all gold hardware (MikeJtone)
6). Dark Walnut finish 18/13/14 bop kit with gold hardware (harvdm) So far the only original owner kit!

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
I know this isn't what you're asking for, but I do have an LA Camco set which I purchased in Los Angeles in 1973--black lacquer finish, but it's a 20" bass drum, which I thought was more of a jazz set. Btw, to your point about the changing size of bass drums, I heard that Tony Williams got up to a 26" bass drum at one point! As for my drum set, I still play it regularly in straight ahead jazz settings as well as in other styles. I never appreciated how sought after Camco drums were until I had these stolen about ten years ago--thankfully got them back! Insurance was ready to give me A LOT OF MONEY for the drums before they were recovered. (I could have bought a custom DW set with the money and had a few thousand left over!) I've owned my set for about 40 years! The only modification I've made over the years was the tom mount on the bass drum. Switched that out with a Ludwig mount many years back. Wonderful, resonant drums. Hardly need to tune them. Think it's 12, 14, 16, 20--the drum sizes
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0459.jpg
    IMG_0459.jpg
    39.4 KB · Views: 11
  • thumbnail-2.jpg
    thumbnail-2.jpg
    15.6 KB · Views: 11

Jolo

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2007
Messages
479
Reaction score
274
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
Here's my LA 18/12/14 with red handwritten 823 inside all the shells.
I bought the three drums years ago from a guy who bought it from Ned's Vintage Drum Center years before.
It was pictured in one of their early mailings as shown in the third photo, mistakenly as a 60's set, though the Tuxedo lug snare could've been.

I also once owned a NOS very black and grainy Ebony Lacquer 18/12/14 without tom and spur mounts on the bass drum
and without a tom holder bracket on the 12" tom. Beautiful finish.

Add them to the list.
 

Attachments

  • 7D1BC937-3B95-4515-9BB5-13C1C3D05209_1_201_a.jpeg
    7D1BC937-3B95-4515-9BB5-13C1C3D05209_1_201_a.jpeg
    52.9 KB · Views: 28
  • tempImageUSPaRl.png
    tempImageUSPaRl.png
    528.2 KB · Views: 28
  • tempImageopGrBA.png
    tempImageopGrBA.png
    533.6 KB · Views: 28
Last edited:

MikeJtone

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Messages
1,283
Reaction score
162
Location
Detroit area
I got this drum set from a Minnesota drummer named Ollie Manning? Original custom ordered Black Lacquer 12/14/18 Camco LA set with gold plated hardware. Afterwards I got a black lacquer 5x14 Camco LA snare with chrome hardware from Joe Luoma. I had the snare drum hardware treated with a permanent gold colored coating from my friend Darrell Lewis who represented a company called Ionbond that had a patented process for metal coatings. I think it is “gassed” on to the surface and is scratch proof. It was a beautiful set and those drums sounded wonderful deep and throaty to me. Not sure if I remember correctly but I want to say that it was a Stradivarius.
84EEAC99-F348-4771-886C-49961C495991.png
6540C414-24FB-4EF8-9901-36DF1F6C41F6.jpeg
AFDC4F03-836A-4FCA-98AE-421FD41207B6.jpeg
 

ARGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
4,955
Reaction score
1,814
Location
Minnesota
I got this drum set from a Minnesota drummer named Ollie Manning? Original custom ordered Black Lacquer 12/14/18 Camco LA set with gold plated hardware. Afterwards I got a black lacquer 5x14 Camco LA snare with chrome hardware from Joe Luoma. I had the snare drum hardware treated with a permanent gold colored coating from my friend Darrell Lewis who represented a company called Ionbond that had a patented process for metal coatings. I think it is “gassed” on to the surface and is scratch proof. It was a beautiful set and those drums sounded wonderful deep and throaty to me. Not sure if I remember correctly but I want to say that it was a Stradivarius. View attachment 566837 View attachment 566840 View attachment 566841
Ollie Manley, I believe. He ran Dahlgren's Drum Shop back in the 70's when I first went there. A real character!
 


Top