Great Gear Shines at 2013 Chicago Show

The 23rd annual Chicago Vintage and Custom Drum show is in the record books. The show, started and still run by Rob Cook of Rebeats, is the world's premier collectible drum event. This year we met vintage drum fanatics who came from as far as Japan and Finland for the show. In part 1 we present a gallery of drums from the event. Part 2 includes people and clinicians.

Steve Crabtree

The Chicago Show is not only a great place to see vintage drums. It's a hunting ground for the weird and wonderful Steve Crabtree of Beat Boogie made a voice drum. Blow to raise the pitch.


Just what you want to see at a show like this. A beautiful set of Ayotte drums, probably from the early '90s.

Tank drums

The Tank drum is made from, well, propane tanks. This one's been tuned like a slit drum.

Chicago Drum Exchange

Chicago Drum Exchange had a great booth with loads of vintage gear.

Detroit Drum Company

Detroit Custom Drum Company's Sam Ogin made this sweet marine pearl timbale.

{pagebreak} Detroit Custom Drum

Detroit Custom also raffled off this snare to raise money for fresh water projects in Cambodia. The badge is in the shape of the country.

Cold Mountain Drums

Cold Mountain Drums made its public debut at the show. They have a line of Italian veneers that we've never seen before. They look beautiful on this kit.

Daville Drumworks

DaVille Drumworks, in Louisville, Kentucky, makes high-quality stave drum shells and kits.


Eric Sooy of Dynamicx was quite proud of this little beauty. Rightly so.

Crescent Cymbals

This rough cymbal from Crescent caught my eye.

{pagebreak} Ludwig vintage

I don't know about you but I think it's time to own a set of vintage Ludwigs.

Gary Asher

Gary Asher says "Walk softly and carry a big stick. Literally." He owns a drum school and music store in Alabama. Collecting is his obsession.

Ancient Tree

Ancient Tree makes drums that are older than any vintage drums here. They use fallen cypress from Florida that can be up to 1500 years old. The drums sound incredibly good. Ed gives them clear finishes that really bring out the beauty of the wood.


This 1936 Slingerland kit in sea green pearl was striking. While I was shooting a guy walked by and said "I don't like green as a rule, but I'll make an exception." Note the bass drum size.

Vintage Slingerland

The cymbal on the Slingerland it is a little worn but we'll take it.

{pagebreak} Trick mounting system

Trick always makes first class accessories. This is their new free-floating mounting system carved from a single chunk of aluminum. It doesn't have a product name yet.

Bello Drums

Bello is a fiberglass drum company located in Greenville, Pennsylvania. The drums are light with a clear, glass tone.

Nate Brown's Nate Brown testing out the Bello fiberglass set.

Camco Drums

Classic '60s Camco set with 20" bass drum. I think I'm trippin'.

MBW Drums

MBW Drums makes these amazing distressed finishes. I wish we had more to show you. Oh yeah, they sounded pretty good, too.

Out Of The Drawer Drums

Out of the Drawer makes these interesting vaguely ashiko-style stave drums from scrap wood. They were an interesting new addition to the show.

{pagebreak} Out of the Drawer Drums

Because the show is not too large, there's plenty of time to meet people, make new drum friends, and find out about the drums.


Phil Dedman of Deddrums has a mission. To apply some fine art techniques to drum making. Looks like he's succeeding.

Boom Alley

Long winters must be the reason there are so many good drum builders in Minnesota. David Hanzel of Boom Alley makes great drums and has designed innovative composite lugs to enhance shell vibration.

Jenkins Martin Drums

I knew they'd have great looking fiberglass drums at Jenkins-Martin, who also make the Blaemire shells. Their process allows them to embed these great colors.

Bernie Stone Drums

Bernie Stone of Stone Custom looks pretty happy. Someone had just placed a big order for his custom shells.

{pagebreak} Baltimore Drums

Keith Larsen of Baltimore Drum Company is one of the most respected longtime custom drum builders. Easy to see why.

Nick Kapka

Nick Kapka is a Chicago fireman, gigging drummer, and a fixture at these shows. He's also a great friend of the magazine who owns all 207 issues produced so far. Thanks, Nick. Here he's testing a beautiful Carolina Drumworks snare..

Carolina Drumworks

Here's another Carolina Drumworks product. It's a beautiful deep figured maple snare.

Beatles Drum

Ringo played Ludwig on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ludwig tattoo

Best tatt of the show, hands down.

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Hit Like A Girl 2013 Winners Celebrate

Champs Crowned At Drumchannel Show

The 2013 Hit Like A Girl Contest concluded last night with a live global webcast on Drumchannel featuring the winners in the Over 18 and Under 18 divisions. Valeria Sepulveda of Chile was the winner in the older category while 10-year old Alexey of Las Vegas, Nevada won in the Under 18 category. The event was hosted by DRUM! publisher Phil Hood, Tom Tom Magazine publisher Mindy Abovitz and judges Meytal Cohen, Shauney "Baby" Recke and Jess Bowen of the Summer Set (via Skype).

Alexey Poblete

Under 18 winner Alexey Poblete of Las Vegas won with her rendition of a Five Finger Death Punch tune.

Gals in the greenroom.

Fooling around in the green room before the show. From left judge Shauney "Baby" Recke, Marlhy Murphy, Valeria Sepulveda, and Alexey Poblete.

Tom Tom

Valeria Sepulveda of Chile, winner in the Over 18 category, discovers Tom Tom Magazine in the green room.

Marlhy Murphy

Marlhy Murphy, one of four drummers chosen for special recognition, eventually won the Most Inspirational Award. Cool hat.

Valeria Sepulveda

Judge Meytal Cohen makes her entrance, with dog Django.

Drumchannel studio

Getting ready for the show: Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom, Bob Terry of Yamaha, Shauney Recke, and David Levine of TRX Cymbals.

Drumchannel studio

Pre-show milling around the set. Drumchannel's studio is a great size for professional production.

Drumchannel control room

Upstairs in the Drumchannel control room.

Cue Cards

Got the cue cards in place.

Meytal and Django

Meytal and Django check out the script before the show.

The Winner

Now we're live. Over 18 winner Valeria Sepulveda was introduced by Jess Bowen of the Summer Set (via Skype on the screen). Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom (left) and Phil Hood of DRUM! (right) were the hosts.


Shauney presents 10-year old Alexey with her award. She says "I wanted drums when I was six but my mommy and daddy wouldn't buy them." Fortunately they relented.

Marlhy Murphy7

Marlhy Murphy wins a PDP snare drum with the Most Inspirational Award.

Industry roundtable Hit Like A Girl Contest

Sponsors from the industry discuss the background to the contest. Scott Donnell, marketing director of DW Drums; Bob Terry of Yamaha DTX; Mindy Abovitz; Phil Hood; David Levine.

The Drumchannel Crew

The Drumchannel crew (minus David Veillon) really knows their stuff.

The winners Hit Like A Girl Contest 2013

The winners: Alexey (Under 18); Mindy Abovitz; Valeria (Over 18)

End of show Hit Like a Girl Contest

Bye Bye. From left Phil Hood of DRUM!; Valeria Sepulveda; Mindy Aboviz of Tom Tom; Alexey Poblete; Shauney "Baby" Recke; Marlhy Murphy; David Levine ofTRX; Bob Terry of Yamaha DTX.

Hit Like A Girl 2013 is produced by DRUM! Magazine in conjunction with Tom Tom: The Magazine Of Female Drummers and TRX Cymbals and sponsored by leading drum companies including Pacific Drums & Percussion, Drum Workshop, Yamaha DTX Drums, Evans Drumheads, Vater Sticks, and SKB Cases and Bags. Additional prize sponsors include Alfred Publishing, Online Drummer, and Tunebot. Media sponsors include Robert Downs Photography, Drummercafe, Drumchannel,,, idrum (UK), Drums & Percussion (Germany), Indian Drummer (India), (Canada), and (Chile). Nonprofit sponsors include MEOW (Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women) and Drum For Goodness Sake.

A Los Angeles Diary Part Two

Andrew And Phil's Excellent Trip To Yamaha

We got down to LA last week to spend a day with Yamaha, visting their corporate office in the morning and their stellar artist relations facility in Hollywood in the afternoon.

Yamaha Drum Room

Yamaha's Buena Park, California headquarters houses sales, marketing and corporate offices for all its US divisions, including guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, recording, band and orchestra. Drums have a big room to display all their main offerings for artists and dealers.

Dave Jewell

Jim Haler and Dave Jewell (lower left) were our hosts. Dave's got a tough job which forces him to get out of his cubicle and demonstrate drum sets every few hours. By the way, that finish is paint, not a wrap.

Oak Custom

The beauty of a room like this is that customers can really hear the product in a cleaner listening environment than a typical music store. The oak customs sound amazing when A/B'ed against woods you're more familiar with. Electronic drums and other instruments are demonstrated here as well.

{pagebreak} Elvin's drums

In the back warehouse there are parts, some backline kits, and rare treasures such as kits formerly played by Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes and other greats This was Elvin's last kit, from his final gig in San Francisco.

Premier Yamaha drum

Some of you may remember that twenty years ago Premier Drums was briefly owned by Yamaha. This tall tom carries a "Made in England" label. Neat purple stain, too.

Yamaha ASB

After a morning in Buena Park, Andrew Lentz and I drove north to Hollywood, to see Yamaha's latest artist services facility. Here they try out prototypes, customize guitars and drums, and generally take care of their artist endorsers.

Greg Crane

Greg Crane handles drum set artist relations at the facility; Darryl Anderson is the drum designer who customizes, builds, and prototypes kits.

{pagebreak} Drum Room Yamaha ASB

In the drum room Darryl has set up four drum sets with identical trim. It helps artists evaluate different drums without being swayed by finishes and appearance.


That's not all the drum room holds. In addition to some rare color options we saw an amazing new model that will be introduced in January. We'd show you but Yamaha's security Ninjas take a dim view of product leaks.

Artist lounge Yamaha ASB

DRUM! Assistant Editor Andrew Lentz checks out the artist lounge outside the guitar room. Kitchen (hey, you gotta eat) lower right.

Kirk Covington, Greg Crane

Great drummer (and human) Kirk Covington of Tribal Tech dropped by in mid-afternoon to hang with Greg Crane. A long-time Yamaha endorser, Kirk says, "Endorsements are not just about drums. They're about relationships."

Weckl snare

In the back we saw lots of parts and instruments that are kept on the premises. Andrew reminisced about his time playing this 3" piccolo snare with Chick Corea. Oh wait, that wasn't Andrew, that was Dave Weckl!

A Los Angeles Diary: Part One

Our trip to Tycoon, Paiste, and Taye

Last week we had the opportunity to spend two days in Los Angeles, visiting manufacturers and artist relations facilities. On Wednesday we landed in Ontario, California and headed off for a day exploring what's new at Tycoon Percussion, Taye Drums, and Paiste Cymbals. Come along, and see what we found.

Tycoon Percussion

Last year Tycoon moved into a new larger warehouse in Ontario. This office houses US sales, artist relations, and shipping.

Nicole Abucejo

First contact: Nicole Abucejo holds down the marketing coordinator position at Tycoon.

Ivy Yu

Ivy Yu, shown here at last month's PASIC event, must be about the youngest company President in the DRUM! business. She is responsible for Tycoon's US operation.

Conference room

Next stop, the conference room, which also houses an artist demo space. By the way, if you ever need a nine-foot tall Khong Yao drum, Tycoon is the place..

{pagebreak} Tycoon congas

One of the best things Tycoon has introduced are high quality, carvings, shavings, and other techniques for finishing their high-end congas.

Tycoon cajons

Tycoon manufactures all its products at its own factory in Thailand. It offers a dazzling array of cajons, including acrylic models.

Tycoon Warehouse

Into the warehouse. Tycoon's facility is large giving the still-young company room to grow. This is Tycoon Music's 30th year, but as a global percussion brand it is much younger.

Wall of Cajons

No trip would be complete without the ever-popular wall of cajons. Maybe they should rename the warehouse!.

Artist gear

Looking slightly forlorn in a corner of the warehouse, seconds, and artist's instruments in for repair, await attention..

{pagebreak} Todd Trent

After visiting Tycoon we headed just down the road to Chino, California to visit Todd Trent at Taye Drums. Todd was formerly the music of Ontario Music and now handles marketing for Taye. It's also a woman-run firm: Katy Chen is the US President.

JLo kit

"What is that sweet mirror-finish kit?" you might be wondering. It's one that Taye endorser Charles Streeter used last year on the Jennifer Lopez tour. He's currently out with JLo on the road until January.

Paiste folks

After leaving Taye we grabbed a quick bowl of Pho for lunch and headed south to Brea, California, US home of Paiste. From left to right, that's Andrew, Julie, Arturo, Kelly (Paiste), Jace, and April. Paiste's US office includes a warehouse, in-house sales, dealer services, accounting, and artist relations. In short, all these people have pretty cool jobs. Our powerful female theme continues: Erik Paiste, great grandson of the company founder Michael Toomas Paiste, lives in the US but commutes regularly to Switzerland and the Paiste factory. His wife Kelly Paiste works in all phases of the business from store sales to events to being the company ambassador. She's been called the "first lady of cymbals."

Paiste warehouse

In one corner of the warehouse they have a drumset with families of cymbals (Alpha, Signature, etc.) set up for artists to educate themselves on Paiste sounds.

Paiste Twentys

Andrew Shreve who handles marketing explained that though the Twentys have been popular the company has been experimenting with more focused ride sounds, and a wider array of sounds. A dozen rides are setup for testing. We'd love to hang around with our Paiste cohorts but there are stories to file and plans to make. Tomorrow we have to be up early for a daylong visit to two Yamaha locations.