Those giant bass drum spurs from the 70s/80s

TK-421

Senior Member
Does anyone know what's up with those comically large bass drum spurs from the 70s and early 80s? I was watching Santana at the '82 US Festival, and Michael Shrieve's Gretsch kit had those ridiculously oversized spurs. And for the life of me, I can't think of why anyone would have designed spurs like that.

Does anyone have any insight into this?

Gretsch spurs.jpg
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
Aren’t those support legs too. As he plays without front head. To keep the kick from getting out of round with the weight of the toms on it.

Yamaha had a support beam for this too.

 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
They are supported by the shell at the entry/exit point by the floor and also by the shell at the top. The spurs ride in those tubes. Obviously someone at the time felt they were needed and they have since been outvoted. I have seen other brands with that same configuration.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Hardware started becoming a little sturdier as drummers began playing harder by the late-'60s, and the trend escalated from there to the needlessly beefy in some cases. Eventually, companies learned that stands and mounts didn't need to be so heavy-duty - and that drummers didn't like it anyway - and began marketing light and med-weight hardware. Bass drum spurs have mostly stayed the same for 40 years though.

Bermuda
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That was how Gretsch did it back then when they big and beefy. They were the only ones who did that. But everyone primarily still had the spurs that went through the shell. Pearl and Yamaha were the first to use the spurs we use today. Is that Shrieve or is that Graham Lear? I believe Graham was Santana’s Drummer during that time.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
That was how Gretsch did it back then when they big and beefy. They were the only ones who did that. But everyone primarily still had the spurs that went through the shell. Pearl and Yamaha were the first to use the spurs we use today. Is that Shrieve or is that Graham Lear? I believe Graham was Santana’s Drummer during that time.
That’s Shrieve. It’s harder to tell from this pic, but I was watching the full concert and there were plenty of close-up shots of his face.

My post wasn’t really in regards to those old-school spurs in general, as I’m quite familiar with those. My very first kit, a Slingerland, had those. It was more about how ridiculously oversized these particular spurs appear to be. But it sounds like those aren’t really the spurs, but are support tubes to which the spurs go inside. I guess that makes a little more sense, but it still looks ridiculous. And is it really necessary given that practically every other bass drum ever made doesn't have those and seem to be holding up just fine?

Not railing on Gretsch in any way, as that’s by far my favorite drum brand. But that time period was the “decade of cocaine”. Who knows what may have influenced some of the more “questionable” decisions made back then.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That’s Shrieve. It’s harder to tell from this pic, but I was watching the full concert and there were plenty of close-up shots of his face.

My post wasn’t really in regards to those old-school spurs in general, as I’m quite familiar with those. My very first kit, a Slingerland, had those. It was more about how ridiculously oversized these particular spurs appear to be. But it sounds like those aren’t really the spurs, but are support tubes to which the spurs go inside. I guess that makes a little more sense, but it still looks ridiculous. And is it really necessary given that practically every other bass drum ever made doesn't have those and seem to be holding up just fine?

Not railing on Gretsch in any way, as that’s by far my favorite drum brand. But that time period was the “decade of cocaine”. Who knows what may have influenced some of the more “questionable” decisions made back then.
Agreed. The early 80s were the “we can make it bigger and better than before” spurred by Tama in the later 70s. I remember Ludwig at the time went with stupid heavy shells then too. Rogers with their Memriloc system included a pole for the tom mount to go into to help strengthen the shell. It was a reactionary time since everything up to that point was so flimsy and drummers wanted more adjustments. It made us all “modern” 😉
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I wonder if they were used to prevent the bass from moving forward? Back in the early 60s the legs were pretty flimsy and my bass would creep forward while playing. One thing I find interesting is the hardware used between the 2 kicks on Moon's kit. Kept them from separating which was another problem I had back in the day when I had 2 kicks. moon.JPG
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I dont know who designed the bass spurs on Moon's Premier kit, but it certainly wasn't a drummer.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
On their way back & stronger than ever. :) My favourite Drum Manufacturer.
Not quite sure about that, the brand has taken quite a bashing in recent years and impact in the market is pretty much non existent.

Would be great to see them back, just don't see any visibility of them since everyone jumped ship.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Hardware started becoming a little sturdier as drummers began playing harder by the late-'60s, and the trend escalated from there to the needlessly beefy in some cases. Eventually, companies learned that stands and mounts didn't need to be so heavy-duty...
You don't say. The Tama Titan Telescoping Boom #6904T. And yes, I still have one of these in storage. (image taken from online)1593371610959.png
 
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