Originally Posted by bobdadruma
Calfskin heads will last a long time. (many years) They have to be tuned every time that you play the drum. Changes in weather, humidity, and temp affect them a lot.
Back in the day some drums had sockets for electric light bulbs inside of them. The bulb was kept lit to keep the heads dry and tight when the drum was not in use.
The bulb and socket could be removed through a small door in the side of the drum for playing.
I've heard about the lights in the drums but never saw any up close. I saw some old movies that had lights inside the drums, but thought it was just decoration. When I was a kid, I hooked up a switch on the bass pedal that activated a light I installed inside the bass drum when I pressed down on the pedal. I did it just for the fun of doing it.
I am glad they will last a while, I was not sure if they had a longer or shorter life then the mylar heads. I knew of how the changes in weather would effect the heads. I thought I would take a chance because I do not have to tune the conga drums too often.
The tuning issue was the reason given by the mylar head manufacturers to display their products. I suspect the cheaper price was also a consideration.