Speedy Keen I could have wrote this. You are like me. Now I have kept 95% of what I have amassed (300 snares and 100 sets) over time and maybe you have too.Speedy Keen said:In the 1980's before John Aldridge started Not So Modern Drummer , before the Chicago Vintage Show started, before any common internet, ebay, and books on vintage drums, the attitude and awareness of vintage drums was radically different. I can't speak for the whole country and I can't speak for other collectors, of that time, but this was my observation. There was an old guy in Ankeny Iowa (north of Des Moines) who had a building, filled with some very nice vintage sets. He was getting some new cheap , white, black , red and blue sets and trading them to naive people in the area for very nice vintage sets. I was there , talked to him and saw his place. He had a lot of vintage stuff. People thought old drums were not good and "new" was better.
I think he had a booth one year at the Chicago Show. His prices seemed high and I don't remember him getting a lot of traffic. Eventually he died and some people ( I don't know who) acquired his stash. I remember seeing a store in the Norwood area of Cincinnati called "Music Store" which was filled with a lot of drums. Many of them were taken apart. It wasn't the greatest area and I was told, it was his idea, to make this stuff, less attractive to a break in. This guy was in a wheel chair at the end. Eventually he passed and I believe a daughter dealt with liquidating that stuff. The first time I saw the drum floor of the Chicago Store in Tucson was 1993 and it had probably long before been picked over, even then. That was another crazy sight. Piles of vintage drums, many taken apart, obvious leaks in the roof. The only guy up there was the drummer for Giant Sand. I asked him, "if a guy could buy anything?" He said , probably not. He was doing some work , to earn a bass drum, as he told me , his set was stashed in Europe. In the second half of the 80's, I would go to Sol's downtown pawn shop in Omaha. Seemed to never fail to come out of there , without at least, one nice snare for 40 to 50 bucks. In my opinion, the big rush of people wanting to be in bands in the 50's, 60's and 70's was over. By the 80's many drummers wanted Yamaha and Pearl sets, and turned their noses down at vintage stuff. There was a good drum shop , not too far from me, that I used to go to. Gone now and we are talking the 85 to 90 time period. The owner was cool with vintage stuff, but a guy who worked for him and wore a white lab coat, used to subtly mock me, for being interested in vintage drums. He would talk about Pearl Masters Customs. My point is that at that time, if you worked at it, you could pick up vintage drums , all over the place and often, cheap. No one had access to information about what things sold for, like ebay, etc. Kids who were not drummers, were not looking at vintage drums, to "flip" as they are today. I don't know much about Barrett Deems and the first year, I went to the Chicago Show, he was gone. It has sounded like he had a literal ton of drums, for a long time. What seems very interesting about this deal, is that he had a storage stash that was "lost" in the sense that the family did not know where it was or that kind of stuff. The people who were dealing in vintage drums in the late 80's and 90's , were finding , acquiring and selling stashs, much bigger than this one, quite often. There were a lot of old drums out there. Today, it seems like all I ever see in pawn shops , is junk drums and I mean, real junk.
My mind set if your money buys it it is no bodys bussiness what you do with it. This stuff does not breath, reproduce, eat and s**t. I used to think it does but you know what it does not. Now I say that and as stated above I keep most of mine but I will sell it all some day as I do not want to but this burden on my son.