What kind of Ludwigs are Garys Drums?

retrosonic

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Ludwig Guys:

Please take a close look at Garys drums in this picture. Notice the rail consolette mount , the exact same as Gretsch used, and the leg mounts on the floor tom. Also, the mounted tom would have a diamond plate (again, just like Gretsch) rather than the luddy rectangular one with the hex nut.

Was this set with the hardware above a certain type of Ludwig model? What model would one look for on Ebay or Reverb if one wanted this exact set with the hardware listed above? (forget about the double bass drum).

I've looked on Ebay and Reverb, and I always see a different consolette mount, and the rectangular "hex nut" mounts on the rack tom and for the floor tom leg mounts.

Anyone know what this model was called?

Many thanks,
Retro (a Big Gary Lewis fan)



Many thanks,
Retro
 

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drumtimejohn

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Perhaps check old pre serial catalogs (late 50s, early 60s). That’s what the hardware looks like to me. I have WFL drums with similar hardware.
 

jptrickster

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Everything looks straight up Ludwig/WFL period correct. The stands would be refered to as Button tip models, round rubber feet are riveted to the legs. (not sure of the model number) Rail mount/tom holder is W&A. Very common to see that on all manufactures drums from that era.
 

retrosonic

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Thank you guys.......

KO.......What do you think?

Thanks,

Retro

.
 
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K.O.

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Those look to be from approximately 1958-1962 drums, either Transition badge or pre-serial keystone badges. I couldn't see a badge on any of the drums but other details fit that time frame (assuming they aren't WFL drums with Ludwig logo heads). WFL/Ludwig did use the two hole rail up to a point when they changed to the four hole version. I'm not sure when that happened exactly but it was sometime around 1958-59. It's also possible that the rail on Gary's set was installed somewhere outside of the Ludwig factory and they used the standard W&A two hole version rather than the then newer Ludwig piece. There was no cataloged double bass drum set just like that at the time (appears to be two 14x20 bass drums, an 8x12 mtd. tom and a 16x16 floor) so it's almost a certainty that the set was special ordered and therefore entirely possible that the rail was installed by the dealer.

Ludwig only made one type of shell at the time although there was some variation in the layups of those shells. Gary's drums were most likely mahogany/poplar/mahogany but there is a fair chance that the bass drums had maple inner plies which was a common variation. The poplar core was a constant but Ludwig would sometimes substitute maple for mahogany, apparently based on what wood they had on hand, but the cataloged configuration was listed as mahogany and poplar.

Many of the Ludwig hardware features that aren't seen here were introduced in the 1962 catalog, which probably came out sometime in late 1961. Generally these features would have transitioned in over time so drums made right on the cusp might have the older parts or a mixture of the two. I'd guess that Gary would have been an endorser, or at the very least his dad would have been considered an important customer to whomever sold them the drums, so one would expect that he would have had the "latest-greatest". To my mind that would mean this set would predate the hardware changes so more likely a set from 1959-61 (which would likely mean transition badges) when that type of hardware was standard.

LD62-18.JPG


The stands have the "button" feet and those were the standard up until about the same time as the above changes.

LD62-56.JPG


My best guess is that those are transition badged drums from 1958-1960, most likely all mahogany and poplar and the two hole rail was dealer (Pro Drum in Hollywood perhaps) installed on this custom made kit and they just had the more common two hole version on hand. I'd try to find other pictures of the set where perhaps you can see one of the badges and that would narrow it down more. Unlikely that you could find this exact outfit for sale as it doesn't line up with any of the cataloged sets of that era. If it had regular Keystone badges then they almost have to be from early 1961.
 
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retrosonic

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KO........As always, thank you for the fantastic information. I knew you would have a much better handle on this than me, since I've been a Gretsch guy for 46 years!!

So based on your note, and by my doing a bit more research, I have come up with some more information:

1) In a different picture I can see the Badge on the mounted tom. Its "big", and looks to me like a Transitional badge from around 1960-61. here is the link:


2) The color picture I posted comes from an album cover that I happen to have. I looked VERY closely at the cover just now, and now I can see the badge on the floor tom , and on the two bass drums and they match the mounted Tom.

3) The mystery is the timeline. Gary didnt start playing drums till very early '64. He actually took lessons from Jim Keltner, who was working in a Pasadena music store. But Gary was playing Disneyland in June, July and August of 1964. He got signed to Liberty Records from that gig, around August 1964. So this set would have been purchased sometime between Jan and June 1964.


4) So, my take on these drums are that they are Transistional Ludwigs (and not WFL) , and may have simply been sitting in the music store for a couple of years (almost certainly the Same one where Keltner worked, since Gary was taking lessons there).
At that time, 1964, all the young drummers wanted the Ludwig Beatles set in Black Oyster, blue sparkle wasnt their color of choice. So, my guess is, these drums were sitting there, unsold for a couple of years, with the W&A two hole rail consolette mount, etc, when Garys mother bought them for him.

Sound right?
 
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K.O.

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That was one thing that had me a bit puzzled as I didn't think Gary was recording prior to the Beatles breaking out, when suddenly every kid wanted to have a band...and being the son of Jerry Lewis probably helped make that happen quickly.

My guess would be that either these were some new old stock that had been in a store for a while or they actually bought some other pro drummers slightly used set. I would lean towards the latter, but yeah, these drums definitely pre-date Gary's music career by at least a couple of years.

Is it possible he got these drums right when he started taking lessons and then used them later on when he started a band? Rich parents might have bought junior a "state of the art" set right from the outset.

Makes me think of a time I was visiting a friend in L.A. back in 2001. My buddy and I went to a big Sam Ash store on the main drag and there was a mom in there with a kid that looked to be around 8 years old. The kid didn't even seem to want to be there but the mom was discussing a big fancy expensive DW set in some exotic finish with a salesman. Her big concern was whether those drums would be "good enough" for her precious son to "learn on". The oddest part was that kid couldn't seem to care less and sort of a snotty little brat to boot.
 

retrosonic

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Hi KO. Well, according to an interview with Gary, he got the set when The Playboys first formed, and his mother agreed to finance Garys band dream. I'd say by that time, he had been taking lessons for a few months and could actually play.

I am curious if you have a late 50s or early 60s ludwig catalog and see any sets with the 2 hole rail consolette mount.

Based on everything I've learned, my best guess is that these drums were NOS in the store, and most likely Keltner got Garys mom a good deal on them being a couple years old.
 
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JDA

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whats that:

from:

here:
 

retrosonic

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Thank you brother JDA!

Quite interesting, the 1963 Ludwig "New Yorker" seems to have the diamond plate on the rack tom and the Gretsch style rail consolette holder, just like Garys! The Cymbal mount is different tho, actually looks like what the MIJ sets had.
 
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BonzoBonham

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I don't know which got my attention the most, the drums or seeing a pre-Clapton, Derek & The Dominoes Carl Radle. who, in 10 days would have been gone 39 years...

Back to the regularly scheduled thread....
 

retrosonic

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Bonzo....you are correct about Carl. He got his big break with Gary.
 

K.O.

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Thank you brother JDA!

Quite interesting, the 1963 Ludwig "New Yorker" seems to have the diamond plate on the rack tom and the Gretsch style rail consolette holder, just like Garys! The Cymbal mount is different tho, actually looks like what the MIJ sets had.
My 1959 New Yorker has a diamond plate on the tom but has the four hole rail. The cymbal mounts were originally the "telephone dial" style at that time although someone replaced it with a newer type on my set.

I don't recall if Gary is included in this book


and I can't seem to locate my copy just now. If so there might be info about his drums as well. The author used to be a member here but I don't know if he is still around.
 

el_37

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According to the Wikipedia entry for Gary Lewis, he received a set of drums for his 14th Birthday which would have been in July 1959 or 1960 (I see his birthday listed as 1945 or 1946)- right in the middle period of the Transition Badge.

All of the other hardware also seems to be the same stuff you would have gotten with a 1957-61- set so it is likely that these are his drums that he received as a gift before he started playing.

Could always send him an email and ask if he remembers any particulars- https://www.garylewisandtheplayboys.com/contact
 

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