Modern Drummer...

drumstuff66

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I was 14 in 1980 and three years into school drum lessons (which I begged for) when I first saw a copy of Modern Drummer. It was at Goldie & Libro's on Chapel St. in New Haven, CT. It was the only place I could see brand new cymbals and drums up close and I just loved it. I'm sure it was small, but it seemed huge - I'd be wide-eyed just walking through the front door on those Sunday afternoons....

Anyway, I still remember the day I saw it on the counter: A magazine JUST for drummers! A Contemporary Publication Exclusively For Drummers....Loved it!

Why bring it up? IDK, in this day of a million drummer youtube, instagram, twitter, etc channels, I think younger/beginner drummers have so much access to, well, everything....

But back in December of 1980 seeing this MD cover (yeah, I bought it and still have it) somehow confirmed that it was ok to think of drumming as more than just an interest or hobby - I mean, we have our own damn magazine! Transcriptions! Pictures of real drumkits from real drummers from every angle! (NOT catalog photos!)...Buddy and Stan on the cover?? Weightlifting and Drumming?? Could I be the Arnold Schwarzenegger of drummers? It was the first time I had the realization that I wasn't alone in this "drummer thing"....well worth the $2.00 that day.

I know many came after - Rhythm, Percussioner, Drums & Drumming, Traps, Talking Drums, Stick It, etc - but MD was the first I ever saw and made wanting to be a drummer legit in my 14 year old mind...

Have a great weekend everyone...
 

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Tilter

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I'm right there with you!

35 years ago I bought my very first issue of Modern Drummer at my local mom and pop music store. There was a small table in the back dedicated to the drum gear, which consisted of a handmade wood display rack that held a handful of Vic Firth, Regal Tip, Bunken, and ProMark sticks, and next to that, a short stack of MD magazines, and that was it.

I knew I wanted to be a drummer and I couldn't resist buying the mag. I ended up taking lessons at that very store shortly thereafter and would always buy the latest issue. My dad subscribed for me in '86 and I still have every issue from there forward.

It has certainly gotten thin over the years, but I still look forward to every single issue just as I did back then. I get nostalgic and know that plays a role, but MD was a huge part of my life and I'm holding on 'till their last issue, whenever that may be.

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richardh253

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I was a charter subscriber to MD in 1977 and in our recent downsize move, I kept and brought along my entire complete run of hard copy MD. Could not bear to part with them. Remember when we only had the annual drummer issue of Downbeat to look forward to? Ok, gave away my age there

BTW the modern drummer podcast with Mike and Mike just gets better every week. Dunno, MD just has class.

But also happy to see the resurrection of Rhythm! support them!
 

carl1969

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I purchased my first issue in the summer of 82, Bill Bruford was on the Cover. I still have all issues from 77 through 85. I can't part with them.
 

drummingbulldog

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I don't remember the year but Bonham was on the cover. 84 maybe? These articles were read hundreds of times. It may be difficult to remember a time before internet & cell phones. Books & records/cassettes/vhs.
 

drumstuff66

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I purchased my first issue in the summer of 82, Bill Bruford was on the Cover. I still have all issues from 77 through 85. I can't part with them.
I still have '80-'84 (my HS years, first gig in '82, first real kit in '83, blah, blah) just can't let em go yet. I even catch myself looking at earlier issues for sale.

Anyone remember the "color coordinated concept cover" years?? They eventually stopped, but not soon enough. The one cover I can't forget no matter how hard I try...yet has an Elvin Jones solo transcription!

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XVIII Airborne

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My first issue was November 87 with Randy Castillo on the cover, bought at Krochs & Brentanos bookstore in Chicago, by the 14 year old me. Loved each and every issue. Attended many MD Festival Weekends as well.
 

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studrum

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My first issue was in their first year. It was their third or fourth one. Then somebody gave me the Gadd issue. The first two years, they were quarterly. These were most likely bought at Bill Schaeffer's Drum Shop, in or near Flint, Michigan by then, where I had taken lessons. I have them all by subscription since then, with maybe only two or three issues missing. (Hey, Scott K. Fish, I think I need that one that has Blues Drummers part one...or is it part two?).

The magazine disappoints me in several ways, but I do treasure that it is OUR magazine, OUR centralized publication of record. Rambling around through the digital landscape for its infinite yet chaotic "bounty" pleases me not.

I just re-upped again, again for the two year deal, and noted that they have a few different ways to subscribe now: the print-only (which I got) actually does include a digital version, and you get a little digital access. I think you can get the "super digital"-only, and the super digital with print. By super digital I mean it includes full archives and interactivity.

I also like Drumhead, which I also subscribe to.
 

Treviso1

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My first issue was the Danny Seraphine issue that also had Barrimore Barlow. I was just 13 years old and it was a brave new world that I was discovering. Everything was just so mysterious and demystifying this drumming "thing" was a daily adventure. No internet, no Youtube...it was very difficult to gather information and see pictures of other drummer's set ups. I was in my early days of taking drum lessons and playing a full kit...I can't begin to describe how exciting it was to have our own magazine...just for drummers. No guitar ads, no goofy teen ads...just drums. Back then, they were coming out every two months. I couldn't wait for the next issue to arrive at Percusson World in Birmingham, Michigan. I have been a subscriber for well over 35 years and I just paid the two year deal, as well.
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cochlea

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I bought my first issue in the early 1980s and then received a subscription as a gift shortly after. For years I couldn't wait for my monthly issue to arrive. I would read each issue cover to cover and then neatly pack them away, breaking them out every so often for a quick re-read. They started to take up space so in 2010 I sold them all on CL. I was surprised how much interest I received after I posted them. I'm still a subscriber but unlike the past, I often ask myself why? I just can't relate to a lot of the interviews of today's younger drummers and the product interviews lack depth and objective criticism. I get so much more from today's online resources.
 

drumstuff66

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My first issue was the Danny Seraphine issue that also had Barrimore Barlow. I was just 13 years old and it was a brave new world that I was discovering. Everything was just so mysterious and demystifying this drumming "thing" was a daily adventure. No internet, no Youtube...it was very difficult to gather information and see pictures of other drummer's set ups. I was in my early days of taking drum lessons and playing a full kit...I can't begin to describe how exciting it was to have our own magazine...just for drummers. No guitar ads, no goofy teen ads...just drums. Back then, they were coming out every two months. I couldn't wait for the next issue to arrive at Percusson World in Birmingham, Michigan. I have been a subscriber for well over 35 years and I just paid the two year deal, as well. View attachment 443020
Great cover photo!

I'd spend a half hour just looking at these kinds of cover shots from MD before even opening it up. Then I'd go right to "Ask A Pro". Famous drummers answering questions from us mere mortals? What the..?

If I had an album(s) from any of the featured drummers I'd sometimes play it while I read their interview & always if there were transcriptions - so helpful when learning "simple" radio hits or things like Brain Salad Surgery. Full immersion! Haha

Also, just look at the wealth and diversity of information on the cover photos you posted - Jazz, Rock, Progressive, Shop Talk, etc...just invaluable at the time!

And yes, I realize the internet has diminished many a printed publication's role in our lives and that today's version of MD is much different than the early years - but part of me will always like turning pages more than opening them.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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The first Steve Gadd issue caught my eye when I was taking lessons at The Toronto Percussion Center back in the late 70’s . I was thrilled to see a magazine just about drums and drumming . Prior to this I would buy Downbeat for the ocassional story on a drummer . The Danny Seraphine issue Trevino posted about was one I was really excited to receive . Danny being my biggest influence at the time .
Modern Drummer has changed over the years and not always for the better . I prefer Drumhead magazine to Modern Drummer . I no longer subscribe to Modern Drummer but I do subscribe to Drumhead . I will pick up a Modern Drummer at the newsstand if there is something or someone in it that interested me .
 

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thejohnlec

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My first was this Carl Palmer issue given to me by a friend. I subscribed shortly after through the mid 1990s. All those issues are still in my childhood home’s attic, many miles from me right now. The memory of the run to the mailbox in anticipation of the new issue still delightfully resonates.

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CSR

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I saved every issue in library binders from the earliest ones to about three years ago. At that point, I needed room and decided to move them out. No one on eBay wanted them. No one responded to my local Craigslist ad. The local library wasn’t interested. I gave two years of issues to a young neighborhood drummer and when he didn’t want any more issues, I carted them off to be recycled.

I stopped subscribing when the ads seemed to equal the number of articles. It got to the point where I didn’t recognize most of the names or bands, and I didn’t care about the always-positive reviews of new equipment.

Yeah, I guess I’m getting old. Still, I’m on a couple of drum forums several times a day. I still drool over drums and cymbals, but mostly vintage stuff. I have more than I need and don’t want much that I don’t have, although I could afford anything I really wanted.

I gig - 161 rehearsals and gigs last year, but the pandemic has really put a stop on that for the time being.

I guess the title MODERN Drummer gives it away. I just isn’t for me anymore.
 
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ppfd

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I think I got my first copy in the very early 80’s. Small music store in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio carried them. It would be a few years till the shop I took lessons at would pick MD up which was Lentines in north Akron. Sadly both shops are long gone.
I bought and then subscribed for at least 10 years. Like playing I lost interest buying copies that had appeal. When I split with my wife I had to downsize a lot and the collection went to recycling.
 


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