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Though I think electrostatics do cymbals better than Maggies (except perhaps the models with the ribbon tweeter), I'm with Billy on them for drums, especially the 3-panel Tympani's. I also share with him a love of Gretsch drums. It wasn't mentioned, but I'll bet he plays old Zildjian Turkish-made K cymbals.
I had to sell my Gretch kit about 20 years ago during my first marriage. I was crest fallen. I ended up selling them to a jazz drummer in NYC. It was brokered by the same store and owner who sold me my original kit in the very early 70's. Ironic that the drum store I took lessons at was right next door to the high end audio store where I got started a few years prior at age 9, lol. For those of you who know Billy, he's just a great guy and so into great sound.
I left a message for him last night and hopefully he'll come post on the thread. Charles, do you know Billy from Johnny's or just from his work?
CT, if you decide you want to get another Gretsch kit, I would consider selling one of mine. I have a couple, both "Stop Sign" badged era, early 70’s. And each has a 24" kick! Hard to find Gretsch’s with 24’s. One is finished in genuine Brazilian Walnut (old growth, no longer available at any price), no plastic wrap. The toms are 12 X 8, 13 X 9, 14 X 14, 16 X 16, and 18 X 16, the wood-shell snare 14 X 5-1/2. Big kit! The other is wrapped in Black Diamond Pearl, the finish I collect and play on stage. It is not for sale, unless you offer me silly money ;-).
I'd love another kit, however I have MS and am numb from the waist down, lol. I also have lost so much coordination that I couldn't even sound good on my old Ludwig pad, lol. Nice kit though. Mine was the stop sign badge of course and I too had the 24" bass. LOVED that bass. I did the larger snare, but of course chrome because that's what all the other kids were using. There were still the hickory shells I believe. 6 ply, right? I did the Peacock swirl flame finish and it was cherry. Dusted them with vacuum all the time and polished the chrome all the time. Had 12x8, 13x9 mounted and 116x18 on the floor. All Zildjian's. The hi hat was the larger one. I want to say 14", but don't remember as that was long ago. I do remember upgrading to the 'new' solid bass pedal (no leather straps) and the upgraded hi hat stand. Had the heavy duty stands and tom tom connects. Built for great rock back in the day ;).....I could get a TON of sound out of those. Mom hated me in the basement blaring my system and trying to play along, lol. Loved me some 5th-12th grade. I was either listening to music, playing drums, cooking, riding the bike or playing ball/hockey in the winter. Your sets sounds great. Post a pic
Loved that Black diamond pearl. Gretch were really cool back then. All my friends had Ludwig or a couple of Slingerland (Gene Kruppa right?). Buddy Rich was Ludwig if I recall. May have that messed up, but those were my two favorite back then, but I wanted a rock set with a real rock flavor, hence the swirl of the 70's.
Ooo CT, Peacock Flame! That wrap is pretty rare, and has become very collectable. That snare you had weighed a ton, didn't?! The 6-1/2" Gretsch Chrome Over Brass snare drum is killer, but the snare pictured in Billy's kit is Ludwig's current COB with tube lugs, a great drum---it was my main snare for years, but I sold it a couple of years ago.
The 70's Gretsch shells were 6-ply, usually alternating layers of Maple and Gumwood. Billy's are round-badge Gretsch from either the 50's or 60's. The 50's shells were 3-ply (outer ply's Maple, center Gumwood), and are a bitch to tune; the shells were made for calfskin heads, which were put onto the shells to dry after the skin was mounted in wooden hoops. When Remo started making plastic heads on aluminum hoops in the late 50's they were slightly too small for the Gretsch 3-ply shells, so Gretsch changed their shells to slightly smaller 6-ply ones. A lot of pro's play whatever drums they have an endorsement deal with on stage, but record with Gretsch. Jeff Porcaro (studio, Toto), for instance.
I, too, saw this article and was totally charmed by it--for multiple reasons. For one thing, Billy Drummond is one of the best drummers on the East Coast and has been for a long time. I've seen/heard him half a dozen times and he's the real deal. For another, few musicians I've known care too much about the quality of sound reproduction in their homes--though they often DO care that recordings sound good enough not to distort their compositions/solos, etc. I remember having some jazz players over to the house in the early '90's when I had my big audiophile system set up...these guys looked at me like I was insane (they totally understood making music, but not obsessively consuming it in the manner I was doing).
What shines through in this story is that Billy Drummond, before he became the great jazz drummer he is today, started out by listening to music with passion & curiosity--and continues to do so now in his home. Who among us can't relate to that?
thanks bdp. I haven't been keeping up on drums in so long and I've forgotten so much. Gumwood not hickory, yes! I got the ply correct though, lol. My first instructor shared the story of Gretch shells. That just brought me full circle, thanks.
The irony for me is that I only know Billy as Billy. We just talk Vandersteens stuff as he loves him some Vandy's and we talk audio. I didn't know how accomplished he is as a drummer, but now I know. I'll have to get some of his music now. I'll let him pick out what I need to listen to, lol.