Modern Drummer...

wflkurt

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I first saw MD when Alex Van Halen was on the cover. I quickly subscribed and my first delivered issue was Phil Collins on the Nov 1983 issue. I still have all of them and I am still a subscriber. I'm kind of at a crossroads with it now though as I don't read them cover to cover like I did as a kid. I try to be open minded but I really don't have any clue who half of the people are anymore and the magazine itself is quite small compared to what it once was. I can't seem to let go of it as I have so many old issues including a bunch from pre-Nov 1983 that I picked up along my travels. I just seems like at some point I will be burdened with so much stuff in my later years.

I also have all the old classic drummer magazines as well as every single issue of NSMD going back to the very start!
 

drumstuff66

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i strongly suggest you check out " drumhead " magazine .. a cut above , imho .
Yup, loved DRUMHEAD since they first published, too (and Jonathon Mover's drumming as well). My original post was waxing nostalgic on the early days of MD and the effect and influence it might've had on drummers when they first discovered a magazine "just for them". As well as the memories associated with first discovering it.

In 2007 (?) we got DRUMHEAD and yes, I'd read today's DRUMHEAD before today's MD.
 

KevinD

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Hey Kevin - Gadd was 10/78, and Bruford was Jan-Feb/79. Those were the two issues before the Phil Collins one that I saw. Definitely a cool time to be getting into music.
Hey Neil thanks for filling in the blanks on that (I didn't know I was so old!
:)
 

KevinD

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I had a sub for 10 years. The early issues were loaded with educational material. Shame I couldn't do anything with it then. For example, the David Garibaldi sections contained the same material you received at Dick Grove's school of music while he was there. Gary Chaffee published parts of his system, there were 1 and 2 page articles where known and not so known guys published material that didn't become mainstream hip for some time. MD was a printed image of the art.

But there wasn't much money in that compared to retail ads. I couldn't believe when I got around to buying an issue in the late 2010s after my last copy in 1990 -- thick glossy thing favoring ads with interviews that outlined each piece of a kit in brandnames and specs. I don't know which came first, but the changes in the magazine reflect the changes in the industry.
And so in that respect I suppose MD is still a printed image of the art.
Those educational columns were great. I remember the late Roberto Petaccia's pieces especially. His column (if I recall correctly) was the first place I read about the "heel/toe" BD technique. Great stuff
 

Elvis

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Ron Spagnardi.
~~
you know a little trick? when you google an 'old MD story' (say Ringo Starr interview 1985..)
If you click it will say subscribe; however if you click on ' Cached version' the entire story unfolds..; )
In another thread, someone mentioned a Slobeat BD beater, which is something I've not heard about for a very long time now.
I decided to look it up, to remind myself what was so special about it (probably nothing) and when I clicked on images, it was all ads and article links to old Modern Drummer issues!
I spent quite a while yesterday reading the old issues.


...and in regards to the OP's opening remarks, my first MD was the February 1984. The one with Andy Newmark on the cover.
I had actually been playing for a few years at that point, but didn't know about the magazine until I found it at a now defunct music store in Silverdale, Washington.


Elvis
 

Drum Gear Review

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I still have two trunks full of MDs and can't bring myself to throw them out. I used to pour of those issues. MD introduced me to Elvin, Matt Wilson, Obed Calvaire, Chris Dave Eric Harland, and dozens of players that I still love.

And the festival DVDs still get annual screen time in this house.

The whole organization made a huge impact on my life. Great publication.
 

Tamadrummer83

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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...

WOW! THIS Brings ME back too! This was MY Very First "MODERN DRUMMER" Issue! And I still have MINE TOO! I got MINE in my St. Nicks. Stocking that year along with a pair of Pro-Mark 747's {Which would eventually become known as the "Neil Peart Signature Stick, and I STILL Use that model!}

Yea my Mom was ALWAYS my Greatest Supporter! She KNEW I would go on to REALLY Become a drummer!
And now I've been drumming for 42 yrs. come June!

I STILL Buy/Subscribe to MD! And I think it's STILL the BEST Drum Mag on the market!

One note about MD that I noticed back then too... was that not ONE AD in the magazine was for Alcohol or Tobacco products or anything NOT "Drumming/Music" related! Sadly Something you RARELY Find in ANY Magazine these days! :(

Drum On! :)

Joe Connolly
Jefferson, Wisconsin
 

Tamadrummer83

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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.

Both Danny AND Barrymore are VERY {in MY Opinion!} UN-SUNG Drummers! Both are sadly VERY Underrated!

Joe
 

Dave Patrick

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Modern Drummer changed the world for percussionists starved for information.I ran a drum shop in Memphis from 1974.I had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time,and sponsored over 30 drum clinics in my time there.Tommy Aldridge and Steve Smith did their first clinics for me.From 1978 to 1982,I wrote a drum feature(Skin Tight,LOL!) for Creem magazine,an irreverant punk and rock and roll magazine.Harvey Zuppke,editor,realized that there were very few sources for drummer info,and most importantly,nowhere for the major drum companies to advertise!They gave me 10 pages of the magazine every October to do product and artist reviews ,and sold full page ads to most of the major drum companies,as their only other place to reach drummers was Downbeat Magazine until Creem and Modern Drummer came along.I had the good fortune to do Steve Smith's first interview and publish the first photo of him with his new gig with Journey,in Creem.Younger drummers have no idea what a desert it was for drummer information before Modern Drummer came along.I have read Modern Drummer since issue one.
 

cornelius

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I had a sub for 10 years. The early issues were loaded with educational material. Shame I couldn't do anything with it then. For example, the David Garibaldi sections contained the same material you received at Dick Grove's school of music while he was there. Gary Chaffee published parts of his system, there were 1 and 2 page articles where known and not so known guys published material that didn't become mainstream hip for some time. MD was a printed image of the art.
Those educational columns were great. I remember the late Roberto Petaccia's pieces especially. His column (if I recall correctly) was the first place I read about the "heel/toe" BD technique. Great stuff
Besides just checking out the old ads and interviews - it's a trip to see the educational articles. I was just too young to appreciate the Garibaldi and Chaffee stuff - I got into that much later...

Yeah Kevin, Roberto's articles where great.
 

Elvis

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Modern Drummer changed the world for percussionists starved for information.I ran a drum shop in Memphis from 1974.I had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time,and sponsored over 30 drum clinics in my time there.Tommy Aldridge and Steve Smith did their first clinics for me.From 1978 to 1982,I wrote a drum feature(Skin Tight,LOL!) for Creem magazine,an irreverant punk and rock and roll magazine.Harvey Zuppke,editor,realized that there were very few sources for drummer info,and most importantly,nowhere for the major drum companies to advertise!They gave me 10 pages of the magazine every October to do product and artist reviews ,and sold full page ads to most of the major drum companies,as their only other place to reach drummers was Downbeat Magazine until Creem and Modern Drummer came along.I had the good fortune to do Steve Smith's first interview and publish the first photo of him with his new gig with Journey,in Creem.Younger drummers have no idea what a desert it was for drummer information before Modern Drummer came along.I have read Modern Drummer since issue one.
Creem magazine?! Boy howdy! ;)
Great story Dave. Glad to know you! :thumbup:
...do you still have the drum shop?
 

Hemant

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April 1983 -- Jack Dejonette for me. We were visiting relatives somewhere on Long Island, and I saw a copy in a mall music store. I had no idea who Jack was but I had to plunk down the $2.50 for a magazine fully dedicated to the drums (as I recall I bought a pair of 7A red "Hot Sticks" because red drumsticks -- how cool was that!). I was hooked for years and anticipated every issue. I learned so much about different styles of music and that there was a world beyond FM radio rock/pop and MTV. I stopped subscribing somewhere in the early 00's but still have all of them stored in a couple of crates. Even if you were not particularly enamored with any of the featured drummers -- the ads were just glorius drum porn every month. I have gotten several issues signed by favorites that came through town over the years -- Gadd, Smith, Weckl, Omar, Cobham among them. I don't know how long a niche magazine like that will continue to survive - but their legacy and impact will forever be secure for moving the art forward in a big way.
 

JimmySticks

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Yup, loved DRUMHEAD since they first published, too (and Jonathon Mover's drumming as well). My original post was waxing nostalgic on the early days of MD and the effect and influence it might've had on drummers when they first discovered a magazine "just for them". As well as the memories associated with first discovering it.

In 2007 (?) we got DRUMHEAD and yes, I'd read today's DRUMHEAD before today's MD.
I've been thinking for awhile about a subscription to one of the drum mags, so I went through both MD and Drumhead magazine web sites and I liked Drumhead better. Price was much easier for both print and web version as well. That, plus a couple of posts here convinced me. I figured I should support the drumming world in some small way, even though magazines have sort of gone the way of newspapers.

Can a magazine do for me today what it did for me as a kid? Doubtful, but I'll give it a go! :)
 

Formula 602

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View attachment 443198

I definitely remember seeing my first issue of MD. It was Spring of '79 and my dad took me to the Sam Ash in White Plains, NY. We lived about an hour north, but that was the place to go - we were picking up a pair of NewBeats. Phil Collins was my favorite drummer at the time, so it was great to discover not only a magazine for drummers, but Phil on the cover.

That magazine was my lifeline to the drumming world, I learned so much about drumming, and who the great drummers were. Quite a resource for someone living way out in the 'burbs... I read the magazine for many years, but lost interest after Ron Spagnardi and Bill Miller passed away. I met Ron Spagnardi at an MD dinner in the early 2000's and got the opportunity to thank him.

I have the digital archive, and it's a lot of fun to go through the old issues.
I sold a nice Cleveland Rogers set to Bill Miller.and he later told me that he had them set them up at MD..and people were checking them out....
 


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