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AGiampa 08-16-2013 10:11 PM

1st post: Back from the dead?
Hey all!

I haven't taken the time to really peruse this forum yet to see if there's anyone I know, but I was an RMMP subscriber 10 years+ ago. Hung around there quite a bit and knew a bunch of the guys. I think I even made an attempt at reuniting with RMMP but by then I didn't like how newsgroups worked by then (god, newsgroups seem like such an ancient concept now, haha).

But anyhow, I think this is my second attempt to re-jumpstart my interest in drums. Late 2011 I found out a friend is a good singer who plays guitar, and we fooled around with the idea of getting together to play. It kind of fizzled when we couldn't keep a place to play. We're co-workers so we've always kind of held on to the idea and it's possible we might try to get something going again because another buddy has a rehearsal lockout we might be able to use. Because of this, all the sudden I have drums back on the brain again.

I haven't played with any regularity since 2007 =(, though I never quite playing in my head (which as we all know is not the same haha). I've literally only sat down at a kit maybe... 3-4 times in the past 5 years? It killed me to abandon my beloved hobby of nearly 10 years, but circumstances of moving out on my own meant I no longer had a garage to play in, and I just simply can't afford to rent a place to play on my own. It was hard at first but I eventually got used to it. My drums have been in storage. I have most of my useable stuff here where I live now; some in the attic, and some stuff downstairs where I grab it if I ever needed it (and a grip of shells and heads and I think random misc parts in my storage unit). I've been digging around lately getting stuff out for my *maybe* project, and I'm reminded of how many of the details of my gear have now escaped me. My gear is mostly 60's Ludwig and Gretsch, with a little bit of Slingerland, WFL, and Leedy mixed in, plus a couple of other misc or custom maple drums in the mix. My thing was restoring/customizing vintage drums (NOT ORIGINAL CONDITION GEAR! =) I generally only modified stuff that I bought already modified, or stuff that didn't have much value; I'm no monster, lol), making them playable yet still 'vintage'.

I'll get into my latest little idea later in a different post... mostly I just wanted to say what's up and see if there were any folks around that remembered me from the RMMP days. I also wanted to ask, if there were any threads anyone can recommend on busking or 'street' kits? That's what my new idea is basically. A tiny little busking kit. I got an idea from a Guitar Center (of all places, lol) ad and have been searching through my various parts caches to put something together that's super-portable. Will post pics later!

Peace, y'all!

AGiampa 08-17-2013 11:24 AM

Re: 1st post: Back from the dead?
I suppose I could add more to my story... I've just had drums so intensely in my brain over the past two weeks or so and it just feels good inside, I just want to talk and think about drums. I want to bust out all my old gear again, I just don't have anywhere to do it. That's my situation for now...

Basically, I played drums from 1998-2007. I began to want to play as a teen, probably like 14 or 15, circa mid-90's. My buddy fancied himself a guitar player and we thought we wanted to start a band even though we listened to different music. He was into popular grunge and heavy/dark rock stuff which I didn't like for some reason and I was into 'surf rock', which he considered dorky and repetitive, dismissing virtuosos like Dick Dale 'because he has a stupid name'. We never respected the musicianship in each other's music taste. Long story short -- too late -- he and I never started that band and that lifelong friendship kind of disintegrated about the time we were 20. But that's where the drum idea came from.

Aside from all that, the parents just would never allow it, for obvious reasons (cost, noise, space, noise, neighbors, noise). I remember going through the whole 'you're stifling my creativity if you don't let me do this!' thing. Haha, the machinations and rationalizations we dream up when our parents won't let us have things we want. =) I never actually touched drums til I got my first kit and it's still kind of fuzzy how that happened. I was 17, about to be a senior in high school. I just was out one day with a buddy, playing pool at the youth center. When I got home, my brother (who played guitar and bass and who had been in bands -- further ammo for my drum argument at the time) was lugging in a bunch of drum gear, and for some reason, it now belonged to me! A friend of his or something had given it away. It was incomplete, but complete enough to play with some tinkering and minimal investment. It was a generic overseas no-name kit, 10x12, 11x13, 16x16, 14x22 in 'red wine metallic', 5.5x14 metal snare. Yea, one of those. Missing the bottom heads and a few other parts, but there were stands, hi-hats, a half-functional double kick pedal (still to this day have not tried double kick, to my own detriment). My parents weren't thrilled, but somehow, they let me play. My brother showed me how to play a 4/4 basic beat and that was pretty much it. The first record I played to was an original 60's vinyl of The Ventures 'Surfing' that was my dad's.

While the drumming was mostly a hobby, I took lessons for about a year and played with other musicians a few times over the years. Only a half-dozen or so times actually in front of audiences, but it was always awesome. I had a guitar player friend with whom we almost got a surf band thing going. We practiced and jammed tons of times over a year or two and tried bringing other people aboard, but we were met with every stereotypical musician trope. Flake, thief, lazy, wouldn't learn the material, were too weird, wouldn't take it serious, etc etc etc.

Though the performing aspect was awesome, I never quite got a regular gig thing going and so a lot of my drum time is just me playing/practicing on my own and just doing the gearhead thing. Buying the cheapest stuff I could find on eBay and fixing it up or customizing it or collecting. I always loved tinkering with stuff, and looking at parts and figuring things out. Vintage drums seemed to have more character than shiny new ones, though there were plenty of awesome new kits. Vintage drums were basically cheaper and on a drum by drum basis. They sounded good, had history, had a huge community. To this day I have tons of spare parts laying around. If I went to my storage unit and grabbed some shells, hoops and heads, I could probably piece together a complete and playable vintage Ludwig/Gretsch kit completely aside from the rest I have that are already complete. =) I should really take inventory. I mean it's not like I could open a shop or anything, I just bought a lot of drums in that 1998-2007 period, haha. I think I have 5 or 6 complete 4-peice kits, at over a dozen snares, cymbals abound... my parents let me use the garage from 02 through 07 basically all for my drums. It was a pretty rad time in life actually!

But by the start of 08, my parents were living in Texas and that house had to be sold. I didn't want to leave So. Cal so I had to suck it up and move out and store my drums. And I've hardly touched or seen them since. =\

Don't know if anyone will read this, but if you did, thanks. I just wanted to gab. Here's a couple pics from that awesome period.

IDrum-dueling myself in the garage in this photoshop job =0
The champagne Ludwig kit (12/14/20) is my A1-favorite will-never-sell pride and joy. I don't remember how long I had that BMP Ludwig kit and I don't remember why I sold it either... that's like 1 of only 3 or 4 kits I ever bought and then re-sold...

Me and my weird late 60's/early 70's Yamaha kit (12/14/20). It was sort of a light blue Onyx. I still have it, great functional player. That event was a 'surf jam' in Leucadia, CA, I think put together by the guy attached to that Stratocaster. I was volunteered to provide the kit for the event (I was crazy nervous for what people would to it, luckily there weren't more than a couple drummers there). Everything went fine, and people actually loved that wacky kit. Most people there hadn't seen anything like it before.

nightraider43 08-17-2013 11:41 AM

Re: 1st post: Back from the dead?
Love the old Yamaha kit. Very retro looking of course. Welcome to the forum!


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