Massachusetts

Burps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
236
Reaction score
138
Location
New England - USA
I was thinking about various types of percussion companies the other day and I realized that for a small state there are a few pretty cool companies that reside in my home state of Massachusetts. I thought that maybe I could share them here and possibly drum up (Haha! See what I did there! Haha!) a little business for them and help my home state out a bit. I do not work for any of these companies, though I wish I did! If someone knows of any other companies in Mass please let me know.

Zildjian/Vic Firth
https://zildjian.com

SJC Drums
https://www.sjcdrums.com

Eames Drums

Vater Percussion
https://www.vater.com/#!/

Grover Pro Percussion

Noble and Cooley
 

studrum

DFO Master
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,416
Reaction score
890
That's a sweet little - well, rather significant, actually- list!
 

dtk

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
8,899
Reaction score
625
Location
Needham MA...
it is pretty cool.
There was also a company in W.MA that did electronics...had the pad that looked a lil like mickey mouse.

I also discovered MA is big in trombone manufacturing (Shire)...
 

DWSlingerland45

DFO Veteran
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
2,813
Reaction score
313
Location
Mount Holly New Jersey
I was thinking about various types of percussion companies the other day and I realized that for a small state there are a few pretty cool companies that reside in my home state of Massachusetts. I thought that maybe I could share them here and possibly drum up (Haha! See what I did there! Haha!) a little business for them and help my home state out a bit. I do not work for any of these companies, though I wish I did! If someone knows of any other companies in Mass please let me know.

Zildjian/Vic Firth
https://zildjian.com

SJC Drums
https://www.sjcdrums.com

Eames Drums

Vater Percussion
https://www.vater.com/#!/

Grover Pro Percussion

Noble and Cooley
I always heard that Vater got it's start in the basement of Jack's Drum Shop in Boston ( sadly now gone) the story goes that one of Jack's employed made sticks for Buddy Rich and his last name was Vater.... Im from Chelsea Ma. originally literally right next door to Boston, I used to ask my parents to drive by Jack's anytime we were in the city just to look in the window.... Saw my first Ludwig Octa- Plus kit in that window... Natural Maple , I can see it now, just like I was there....
 
Last edited:

John DeChristopher

Very well Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
1,175
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Cohasset, Mass. USA
it is pretty cool.
There was also a company in W.MA that did electronics...had the pad that looked a lil like mickey mouse.

I also discovered MA is big in trombone manufacturing (Shire)...
That would be KAT Percussion maker of the DrumKat.
 

John DeChristopher

Very well Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
1,175
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Cohasset, Mass. USA
I always heard that Vater got it's start in the basement of Jack's Drum Shop in Boston ( say now gone) the story goes that one of Jack's employed made sticks for Buddy Rich and his last name was Vater.... Im from Chelsea Ma. originally literally right next door to Boston, I used to ask my parents to drive by Jack's anytime we were in the city just to look in the window.... Saw my first Ludwig Octa- Plus kit in that window... Natural Maple , I can see it now, just like I was there....
Jack Adams was Alan Vater’s grandfather. That’s the connection between Jack’s Drum Shop and Vater.

My dad was born and raised in Chelsea, MA. I have great memories of visiting my grandmother there in the 60s 70s and early 80s.
 

219Dave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
58
Reaction score
40
Location
Indiana
I grew up in Belmont and Cambridge. And Jack’s was The drum store growing up. A couple of other one’s in the neighborhood- Harvey something. Harvey Simon?
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,424
Reaction score
8,369
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Harvey something. Harvey Simon?
Harvey Simon's indeed.. walked up stairs door to the right..didn't barely look like a drum shop till you got in. Saw my Round Badge red glass 1968 8X12 tom sitting there in 1976 (sophmore at Berklee) alone on the shelf , bought it and still have it to this day. Integral part of my baby bop G's..Only thing I bought from there but it was integral.

i was in Jacks (and EU wullitzer) those days 75-79. EU Wulitzer in 76 was where I saw my first Yamaha set in the shop window inside on feature display white set..
Jacks was as cool a shop as could be. The day I saw Lenny White walking around inside there (with 'that' flat brimmed hat) was maybe the day I looked behind or in front of the counter and saw a very dark emerald green pearl round badge set (looked like algae green marine pearl) or spinach green.. I can still see it....It was Dark green marine pearl never saw another ....Bunken sticks in 75 were all (every drummer at Berklee) played until... the day Vic Firth's stick came out (burnished logo on the end)........ Also in 75 from Mass. The Real Book came out. I was on the sidewalk the day a bunch of guys came busting out of Berklee's side front door with the books in their hands / selling them/ for the first time like hot off the press. Almost causing a riot people were sucking them up so fast Got one
 
Last edited:

219Dave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
58
Reaction score
40
Location
Indiana
What was his wife’s name? Lil? Anyway, some big names were with you at Berklee, no? And studied with Alan Dawson? Fred Buda?
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,424
Reaction score
8,369
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Alan had gone by 75. Gary Burton was still there. My audition for Percussion Dept placement? Was in Gary's office. Yes. Him on vibes. Steve Swallow sitting on the window sill on bass and you behind the drums. (me) Gary very kindly and very respectively said to me "what were you doing with the bass drum?"
I got placed in Level 1.

That Gretsch set I saw at Jacks is still bugging me and here's what it may have been. Could it have been a Midnight Blue that faded green? That's making sense to me. But it was dark spinach algae green marine pearl.

I had a private lesson on Vibes with Gary later (one) he filled in for my regular instructor Ed Saindon.
In 1979 to get a degree you had to take 1) college courses- like philosophy Religion, some English and History. Yep to qualify for state-sanctioned Bachelors degree (that was ok ) Teachers from Mass. U. came to the classrooms at Berklee.
2) Also. Tympani, Mallets, in addition to Drum Set was required for a B.M. (which I have)
After 1979 that all changed and done away with.
So I got the last of the old hardcore regimen for "drummers".
Yes I had to arrange Scores for Big Band- I chose that course- and got to hear it played. I took a Lyrics course guest-hosted by James Taylor's brother Livingston. I was in drum ensembles with John LaPorta playing clarinet leading and other things. Private weekly lessons for 9 months with Gary Chaffee my senior year.

After all that I did a Senior recital playing 1 piece a piece on Vibes, Marimba, Multiple Percussion, Tympani, and Drumset ( with a quartet I chose.

With Dean Anderson and all your instructors out in the audience.
I passed.
Then I went home.
 
Last edited:

219Dave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
58
Reaction score
40
Location
Indiana
JDA- thanks for sharing your Berklee experiences. I was a nerd and went to Harvard. My drum teacher, Bob Gullotti, went to Berklee, but a little before you, I think. He then became an instructor there well after your time.
 

John DeChristopher

Very well Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
1,175
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Cohasset, Mass. USA
@JDA I must've just missed you when you were at Berklee. I started working at E.U. Wurlitzer at the end of 1979.

That was a great period in Boston music history...
 
  • Like
Reactions: JDA


Top