Very First Kits

According to a professional drummer my parents knew, my first kit was a red sparkle mid-60s MIJ with no identifying logos or badges anywhere. The cymbals were horrible, thin things, prone to be dented just by looking at them. When I got my first Zildjian cymbal, it took months before I really believed I wouldn't dent it just by hitting it medium-hard. (I was a scrawny kid, so using all my strength, I still wouldn't have been able to—40 years later, I've still got the same cymbal set up on my kit.)
I wish I had a photo of that kit.
This isn't actually it, but other than mine only having one rack tom, it's essentially the same.
 

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Captain Bash

Silver Member
My first kit was a secondhand four piece Hayman vibrasonic in gold wrap with a 18“ crash ride and a set of super zyn hi hats. Saved up all my paper round money. Decent sound (I think they were 20, 12, 16 and a no brand snare I have photos somewhere in the attic). However, the tom mount mechanism was actually a re-purposed hand mangler from a torture chamber And the bass drum crept under my Doc Martins.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
My first real kit was a used silver sparkle Rogers 5 piece kit with really old heads. The resonator side hoop was missing from the bass drum and one tom. I had some no name high hats and a hi hat stand that did not work well. I didn't care. I was happy that I had a set of real drums to play on. I sold it when I moved. I wish that I still had it.
 

Rotarded

Senior Member
In 1976, after years and years of beating on anything and everything, my Mom and Dad told me we were going shopping, yet my twin brother was not going with us. We jump in the car and head out arriving at Hauer Music (Dayton, Ohio) minutes later. There were 2 Ludwig kits on the showroom floor. One blue Vistalite (5 pc) and a Sky Blue Pearl Pro Beat (6pc). I was asked which one I wanted, and chose the Pro Beat. 13,14,16,18, 24 with LM400, stands, A Zildjian New Beats, and 18" crash/ride. I had that kit for 30 years, but sold it when I finally relented that it was apparent that it's just too big to haul around/set up at regular sized venues. I hate that I sold it, but it would be furniture in my basement if I still had it.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I can't specifically name my first kits. We're taking early 1970s. I can't use the words that we used in the 70s to describe low end kits. But, I had a 35 dollar used low end kit - without a snare - for my first kit, and a new full very low end kit for my second kit. Until I graduated to - a legit, new, Ludwig kit for very big bucks. [Thank you Mom and Dad for generosity and sacrifice that I could not contemplate at that age.]
 
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gdmoore28

Gold Member
I think I was about ten years old when my parents finally relented to my begging and bought me a new Apollo three-piece set. Maybe I was twelve. 1965.

GeeDeeEmm
Christmas 1966 (2).JPG
 

Mustion

Senior Member
After starting out on a hodgepodge of my dad's old drums, he bought me a white Remo Quadura kit at a garage sale. You know, with the compressed particle board shells. I still have them, almost 25 years later! They sound great--the kick is awesome--but unfortunately the toms are power tom sized and are just too impractical. And I did a number on them in my teenage years so they're kind of beat up. But I keep them around...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think I was about ten years old when my parents finally relented to my begging and bought me a new Apollo three-piece set. Maybe I was twelve. 1965.

GeeDeeEmm
View attachment 89350
Love the bass drum spurs. And check the encyclopedias. Your bedspread is so 1960's lol.

Apollo drums, but what cymbals? I don't even remember my first cymbals. I must have blocked them from my mind.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I had my dad's 55 Ludwig, which I still use now as my jazz kit.

It was frustrating as a tween/teen metalhead in the early 80's...trying to play Rush, Maiden, Queensryche etc on 4 pieces, but I also knew of thew "coolness" surrounding it, so I had mad respect for it. I didn't get my own rockish set till 94, at 25 years old.
 

Rhythm666

Member
My first kit was a Ludwig olive green with blue batch red sparkle drums. Don't know the exact model name for it.
16x22 bass, 12 and 13 inch toms and a 16 inch floor. All cymbals were the Paiste 2002, 14 inch hats, 16 and 18 inch crashes and a 20 inch ride.
Got the kit when I was 8(am 51 now) and still own the kit. It has retired now thought :cool:
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Circa 1966 my parents surprised me with a new Stewart kit in Black Agate finish: 12/12/16/22 with a 14" metal snare. Cymbals that came with the kit only lasted about 2 months. I mowed yards and bought used A Zildjians (pictured). Only part of the kit I still own is the original first generation Ching-Ring on the hi-hat.

StewartKit1966LoRes.jpg
 

BillH2121

Junior Member
Mid -60's in Pittsburgh, PA. My dad took me to a drum clinic where the presenter played a Gretsch 4-piece, blue satin flame kit (12, 14, 20). After the clinic, my dad talked to presenter and ended up purchasing that kit. We later moved back to Oklahoma where I found that my good friend had the identical kit. He later bought my kit to add to his and I moved to a Sonor tear-drop 4-piece (red satin flame). Funny thing, I never liked the satin flame look but I guess those were the sets that we could get a "deal" on!
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Love the bass drum spurs. And check the encyclopedias. Your bedspread is so 1960's lol.

Apollo drums, but what cymbals? I don't even remember my first cymbals. I must have blocked them from my mind.
The cymbals were those typical brass junk that came with MIJ kits. The drums themselves were not too bad at all - a Japanese version of Slingerlands.

My mom was persistent in buying encyclopedias. She was almost fixated on them, and regularly bought the yearly update volumes that supplemented the full set. I have to say that I did actually use those a lot in school. No internet!

GeeDeeEmm
 

Drum Note

Junior Member
A wine red Pearl Export 1986 my lovely mother paid new for me. I'm grateful. Took the whole thing apart, drum by drum, Rods, Boxes, Spurs, Strainer, Hoops with every bolt and screw and greased up everything and put all back together. I just wanted to see the inside of everything and how it worked. Man the set sounded good and big loud sustain. That's the beginning of my first drum set. The most fantastic gift I ever received thanks Mammy.
 

fess

Senior Member
Funny you should ask. The very first drum I got was a Ludwig champagne sparkle snare back in the 60's.
And I just picked up these a couple of weeks ago: 1969 Ludwigs in Champagne sparkle.
My band-mates question the color and refer to as my Barbie Dream House Kit, but admit they sound great.

small ludwig.jpg
 

Pootle

Well-known member
In the late 80s after I had hammered mums’s various cushions, pots and pans to death with chopsticks, my dad bought me a snare drum. When he saw I was fairly serious he got me a Tama swingstar bass drum followed by a set of rototoms and pearl crappy cymbals. What a sound..
 
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