Our gear when we are gone...

drummer5359

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The "So this guy..." thread is a vivid reminder that no one gets out alive. I've told my story here before, but it bears repeating.

I was married to a woman for almost fourteen years. We both had good jobs and no children. I believe that the term for us was "DINK", duel income, no kids. I admit fully to being a workaholic, as was she. We had new cars, the big fancy house, we were successful.

My hobby was playing music. We married at age 35, I had already been playing in bands for nineteen years. My music gear was always decent, but not fancy. I was using a 1975 Slingerland kit that I bought in 1992, two years before we married. I owned a two snare drums, my primary was a 1972 Gretsch COB model 4160, My cymbals were a mix of Zildjian A and Paiste Signature. Nice stuff to be sure, but not over the top. All of my gear was bought cash with gig money.

In January of 2008 I traveled from Baltimore to Pittsburgh on business. I lined the business trip up with a gig that my guitarist brother had, I subbed for his regular drummer. At the end of the gig I had a minor stroke. I didn't realize it at the time. I worked all day the following day and got a call that there was a business emergency that required me to get back to Baltimore. I got in my company Yukon (full of drums) and headed back toward Baltimore early the following morning. On the way there I had a massive stroke. I actually drove the rest of the way to my office, I have no idea how I got there. I had to have an angel on my shoulder that day.

I survived obviously, as I'm here writing this. My wife didn't come to the hospital. Yes, you can read that sentence again. I was hospitalized due to a major stroke and she did not come to the hospital. I realized then that our marriage might have some issues. Honestly, I had no idea. She did contact the company and check to see how much life insurance I had. (She always was good about handling those things...)

Shortly after I got out of the hospital we separated and the divorce proceedings started with her in full scorched earth mode. It was lovely.

Like the guy in the "So this guy..." thread, I might have gotten a tad carried away with drum gear once I was single. I met my wonderful current wife six months later. She saw a photo of me behind my Slingerlands on a dating site and sent me a "wink". We've been together ever since, although we did wait several years before we married.

I was still having health issues and ended up retiring at age fifty in September of 2009. My love retired as well and we moved to Pittsburgh in 2010. I started gigging right away and have had a blast. Since the stroke in 2008 a lot of gear has gone through my hands. I bought it all cash and have been flipping, upgrading and using gig money. I've accumulated some pretty cool drum gear. I have a big set of DW Collector's Series, vintage Gretsch kits, vintage Slingerland kits, and now a brand new Gretsch USA Custom shell bank. My snare drums number over thirty and include Craviotto, Dunnett, Radio Kings, Black Beauties, and all manner of cool stuff. My cymbals are all Zildjian these days, K Constanoples, K Customs, Ks, and As.

The story up to now is background...

I'm sixty years old. My dad passed at age 58, my oldest brother passed at age 63, and until recently he was the longest living male in my family ever. My other older brother recently turned 64. In my family a man in his sixties needs to have things in place to ensure his family is financially stable. We are. We live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, but live within our means.

But I have all of this gear...

I have two really close friends who are drum geeks. One is young and lives local, the other is older and lives on Long Island. I trust them both one hundred percent to help my wife dispose of my gear some day if the need arises. They both know gear as well as I do. I've helped them score cool gear over the years, they've done the same for me. I've talked to them about this and they have agreed to work together and help her.

They are good friends, I'm very lucky.
 

frankmott

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Good story, and good lesson. Even though I've been thinning the herd lately, my stuff still represents a fair piece of change. I'm 62 (but don't act it!). My wife is 13 years younger than me. She knows which friend to contact to help move my gear.

When I owned a drum-shop, I became known as a straight shooter who could be trusted to deal fairly with "drum-estates." I dealt with lots of widows, daughters, sisters of deceased drum collectors -- in some cases hoarders. Sadly, many times it was a case of suicide. I guess all that stuff didn't make them happy.

So the lesson here: Make sure your spouse knows what to do/who to contact, even if it's a trusted music store or drum shop.
 
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SwivoNut

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At one time I had 7 vintage Rogers collector's grade kits in my basement. After I retired I imagined my wife selling off those beauties at $100 a pop after my demise. I sold off my collection for a satisfactory profit and am down to one player's grade Rogers set and two snare drums. I had a trust set up and in the part that describes how my belongings are to be disposed is a page that lists the worth of the gear. It's not a lot and even if my heirs gave it away it would not be any great loss and I'm comfortable with that.
 

Polska

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I had 4 kits and am down to my 2 keepers now. Also in the process of selling of some miscellaneous gear (I don't have a ton - was never really a collector). Since I'm 55, my wife and I have finally started the process of a will and I'm contemplating my options. I will likely leave one kit with stands and cymbals to a local school music program and the other to a friend for his young son who has an interest in music (though I'm not sure about that yet). If need be, I'll leave both to schools. My other option will be if I am fortunate enough to live to a "ripe old age" I will simply sell everything at some point where I'm done gigging.

Lots of things to think about, but I absolutely don't want these out on the curb. Not sure I could "rest in peace" if that were to happen!
 

ARGuy

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The music store I work for went through about a 4 or 5 year stretch where we had family members or friends bringing in drums that had belonged to someone that had passed away. They had no idea what to do with them, so we took them on consignment at a fair price. I remember about 10 drum sets over that period.
 

Tornado

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That's how Camco and Salesmen Samples end up at Goodwill
We're about to enter an era in which almost nobody knows those are. Vintage drum collectors are kind of in a particular demographic...
 

wayne

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Almost 70, so yes, this is on my mind lately. My kids don't want it, maybe a snare drum each, and my wife says she will put up a "small"kit" somewhere in the house for me to play when I make visits to scare the crap out of them at 3 am, but other than that I don't know whether to give it away, or donate to who ever needs it?

Does it really matter at that point? You're dead and the stuff is clogging up the room. They could box it up and hide it out of sight for a grandson or daughter that could come along years from now, even a great grandson!...The more I think about it, I like the boxing it up idea. Could be worth something 50 yrs from now?....maybe?
 

Ickybaby

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I told my daughter to list everything by brand name, stating it's rare, on Ebay with $1 starting bids. The know-it-alls will send her messages telling her details and what (if anything) she got wrong. The market at the time will dictate value. She will have other things to concern herself with than my silly hobby. She will have an inheritance, she will not need to worry about squeezing every cent out of my used equipment.

There may or may not be any interest in my stuff after I'm gone. I don't have any interest in MANY drums that MANY here believe are worth a king's ransom. If I were the only market, black oyster pearl drums would be as cheap as a wine red Pulse kit......so with this logic I surmise that not too many will be into my gear from the 1980's... at least not at the level I love it. Ultimately they are toys.
 

XVIII Airborne

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I write down and update every year or two the value of my stuff. I don't have a ton of stuff, so it isn't a long list, but it will give my wife and kids an idea of where to start when that time comes. Market prices at the time will dictate value, and they are all well aware of that.
 

pwc1141

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I will leave all my drum gear in my will to a very good drummer buddy who teaches and he can use it for his students or for himself. We have been swapping and giving each other gear for a long. long time. I have no wife and my daughters are very self sufficient. That's if I don't sell or give away things after deciding I am too old to ever play out again.....
 

JDA

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anyone with an 800g-850g < 1000g type III stamp, 14", single, old K , I'll save ya all the heartache and trouble and take it off your hands Right Now. While you still have all your faculties;
It's the one piece I want
before I croak.
 

Old Drummer

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I can't be sure of its source (if memory serves, it's Hindu) but I've long been attracted to the idea that there is an accumulation phase in the life course and then a later phase when the goal is to get rid of stuff.

I myself now live in a two-room apartment. You heard that right, two rooms total, not two bedrooms. When I moved in, I thought, "Boy is this tiny." But then I reflected that it's a heck of a lot bigger than the 20-cubic-foot pine box that will be my next home. I had to get rid of a lot of stuff to move in, which was after I got rid of a lot of stuff from the big house I once owned to move first into a two-bedroom apartment.

Oddly, my very elderly mother recently died and left a huge house full of stuff. Fortunately, she had organized most of it, but I still found myself thinking that it was wrong of her to leave so much stuff. Repeatedly I told my siblings sorting through stuff that they can't do that. They're just going to have to hire guys with a truck and tell them to haul it all away.

So I say streamline on your own, and what little you're not ready to part with, list for your heir to handle easily. I confess that I'm not punctilious about this and tend to end up with unlisted cymbals, but my kid has instructions to go to a nearby drum shop and talk with the owner, as well as a general idea of what I've got as well as what it's worth. I've also suggested that she just cut a consignment deal, since I understand it's too much hassle to worry about everything piece by piece when you don't really know what you have.

As for wives not visiting you in the hospital, I handle that problem by not having wives. I prefer girlfriends. The one and only time I was near death in a hospital, my girlfriend stood crying as I was wheeled into emergency surgery. I figured that she might be the last face I'd see on this earth, but also realized it was a good way to go. Many don't have such a good sendoff when they die, and I may not either, but I was fortunate that time.

In the meantime, I've gotten rid of most of what I've owned already, and believe that's the right thing to do.
 

Carlos McSnurf

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I said to my wife that if I’m unexpectedly gone, the gear I have is worth something and she should not sell it cheaply.

I want to donate at least one set and snare to local music school.
 

mfryed2112

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Any of us can go at any time. you guys that have many sets should just put a piece of notebook paper with the details of each shellpack and price with each kit. price stuff to sell, your wife doesn’t need guys like us doing what we do to try and get a good deal.
 

cochlea

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This is an easy one for me. When my cousin generously gifted his 60's Ludwig Super Classic to me two years ago, the expectation was that I would pass it on to my son when my time comes. He's currently 18 and has become a better drummer than me. I feel fortunate because he has a passion for playing (he intends to play in the jazz band at college next year) and an appreciation for vintage drums and their history. I couldn't ask for a better way to pay it forward.
 

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