Meazzi Hollywood

mikyok

Platinum Member
I've had this kit for 10+ years after being given it to practice on. Thinking about refurbing it as a nice little jazz kit but don't really know that much about them if I'm honest.

It's 18x14/12x8/14x14 in dark wood finish.

The drums are in good condition for there age, only problem is they haven't survived the 70's intact. The bottom rims on the toms has been removed but the rims don't have holes in them, they're clamped on with the tension rods like a bass drum hoop.

Does anyone have any info on them or where to look to get parts, I know Max Roach used them, but wood wise I'm presuming Beech?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
You need to provide more info. For example, we can't tell you the wood type without a picture or manufacturer/model. We can't recommend the proper hoop camp unless we know if the hoop is wood or metal, and it's measurements.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Sorry I have no pics of the kit, it's currently stacked on a wardrobe at my parents house. Only just saved it from the tip when my dad cleared all my old drum stuff out after I'd moved out.

Only info I've found is:

http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/meazzi_history.html

and

http://www.vintagedrumguide.com/meazzi_drums.htm

Which has close up pictures of the clamps and tension rods. But even this website doesn't give any specific wood types.

Just hoping someone might have one on here or know a bit more about them than I do!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Learn something new all the time. Never heard of these. They look like nice quality drums from what I can tell from the pics. Sorry I have nothing to contribute in the way of help for your dilemma.
 

sacco

Senior Member
Meazzi Hollywood - or at least their flagship, the President model - were great sounding drums, and in their various outfits they presented several very interesting things:
  • the hoops with clamps, which are now being offered e.g. by Volume Drums (http://www.volumedrums.com);
  • the tunable floor tom, i.e., a floor tom with a mechanism similar to the one found on orchestral timpani: Max Roach continued to use such a floor tom even after he switched to Ludwig;
  • amplified and "triggered" snare drums (i.e., snare drums containing a microphone and presenting some kind of buttons aiming at modifying the sound.
Billy Cobham did also use Meazzi Hollywood for a while (there are some videos on YouTube where he plays them). A couple of years ago I had the chance to spend some time with him after a workshop and he told me that those drums were good, even if the wood was a little too soft for his taste. He also told me that even Tony Williams used Meazzi Hollywood while on tour in Europe in the 60s when Gretsch was unable to provide him drum sets for a whole tour. Another great Meazzi Hollywood endorser was Jack DeJohnette, who used them for years.

One thing to be mentioned about those drums is that almost every Italian drummer has used them: during the 60s and the 70s all of us had a Meazzi Hollywood until enough money had been saved to buy a more expensive Ludwig or Gretsch or Slingerland set. I also started playing drums on a Meazzi Hollywood President, and then switched to a Slingerland set: to be honest, I never regretted enough having sold the Meazzi …

Concerning spare parts I suggest you have a look at this FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/333825753428/?fref=ts. It is in Italian, but I am sure you can ask for help in English and you will get all you need. One last thing: the company that produced the Meazzi Hollywood shells is still active and still makes excellent drums: it is called Villa and here is its FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Villa.fusti.cerchi.batteria?fref=ts
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Thanks for the info, much appreciated!

Definitely a project worth doing! I've since seen one sold for £700 recently.

I know the feeling selling a kit you loved. I had an original Tama Superstar in tobacco sunburst (Birch). Emphasis on the word had :(.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
So I finally got round to this little project.

I had a gig in April at a venue with a ridiculously sensitive noise limiter and needed the smallest kit I had. I figured it was time to make the old girl gig ready.

When I stripped it down I found out that the kit is a Meazzi President. The front head has been painted black for some reason unknown to me.

Decided to tip the cap to Hal Blaine's timbale kit and go concert tom 12x8 and 14x14, plus I wanted the Derek and the Dominoes kit sound Jim Gordon had. The 18x14 bass drum is wide open and sounds great. The shells are unvarnished so I polished them with beeswax polish.

Out of all the kits I have this is getting the most comments at the moment as it sounds way punchier than it looks and I'm having a lot of fun playing it plus it fits into 2 cases.

I'm using 10" Sabian AA mini hats, a 10 A splash as my crash and an 18" giant beat for my ride and we still got moaned at for being too loud!
 

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