Caught in The Act

Chicago Drum Show 2013: The People

The 23rd annual Chicago Vintage and Custom Drum show is in the record books. The show, started 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 we present a gallery of clinicians and people at the event. Part 1 focuses on the drums.

Jim Haler

People of the Chicago Show: Jim Haler of Yamaha showed up to talk and answer questions with the crowd. The first Yamaha drums appeared in 1974.

East Hall

The show has two halls. The East (pictured) is all exhibits, while the west one has exhibits and clinics.

Taloose drums

Francine Bellson, Louie's widow, shared a booth at the show with Terry Loose of Power Wrist Builders.

Louie Bellson portrait

Louie Bellson was commemorated in a portrait done by Michael Del Priore. Michael's day gig is painting portraits for politicians and other luminaries. This one is headed to a museum, no doubt.

Louie Bellson portrait

Rob Cook of the Chicago Drum Show, artist Michael Del Priore and Francine Bellson with the Louie Bellson portrait.

{pagebreak} DRUM! Booth

Eric Frank of DRUM! works on the booth for the show.

Brad Schlueter and Nate Brown

DRUM! Magazine superstars contributors. Nate Brown of who does the "Groove Analysis" video for the mag and Brad Schlueter, who transcribes and writes product reviews. These guys are the best.

Louie Bellson portrait

Paul Wertico walked into the show Saturday morning and was asked "Can you do a clinic right now to replace an artist who didn't show?" So the ex-Metheny, Roosevelt University percussion prof stepped right up and gave a clinic on learning to be free behind the kit. Beautiful.

Daniel Glass

Daniel Glass of Royal Crown Revue and The Century Project wowed us with a tour of 1940s drumming..

Daniel Glass

Daniel Glass' work, in books, DVDs, and live performance, is about bringing the history of American music to life through drums.

{pagebreak} Dick Markus and Paul Wertico

Old friends Dick Markus of Evans Drumheads (left) and Paul Wertico.

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..

Vosbein, Greg Potter, Cathy Rich

(L to R) Michael Vosbein of Crescent Cymbals with Greg Potter and Cathy Rich (Buddy's daughter). Greg is the drummer for the Buddy Rich Big Band which is about to go on a Japanese tour with Peter Erskine and other drummers.


After the first day of the show we got together for a night of vintage drumming discussion with Dennis Brown, a legendary student of early jazz drumming (lower right). The others are (L to R) Michael Vosbein, DRUM! Publisher Phil Hood, Daniel Glass, Leann and Bob Hyams of the Black Widow drum rug. (Front row) Eric Frank of DRUM! and Dennis Brown.

Master class Daniel Glass

Master classes also run during the show, giving attendees the opportunity for more in-depth instruction. I think Daniel Glass is teaching advanced stick balancing.

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.

Beautiful Day In LA: Los Angeles Drum Services

I took a day trip to Los Angeles last month to visit various companies in the drum business including Alfred Publishing, Guitar Center, and Los Angeles Drum Services. We had a particularly good time at Los Angeles Drum Services--LADS for short.

Drum Services just scratches the surface of what these guys offer. For their clients they do everything from cymbal cleaning to kit building to metal fabrication. They offer rehearsal space, drum storage, and career consultation.They rent back line equipment for events and productions and set it up, so when a client shows up to play a show like "Ellen" his kit is ready to go. If a client calls ahead they'll take his or her kit out of storage, set it up in a soundproof rehearsal studio, and then return it to storage when they are done.

The owners, Bobby Boos and Chris Achzet, have five decades of combined experience in artist relations, touring, drumteching and more. They joined forces in 2011 to form LADS. The pictures tell the story.

Dave Black

The day started at Alfred Publishing, where publisher Phil Hood got to present Dave Black with his Drummie Award for his Alfred Method book--the best-selling method book of all time. Well done.

Glenn Noyes

Next stop: Guitar Center headquarters. Here I'm getting the photo I always wanted. Years ago there was a series of ads that showed Guitar Center drum buyer Glen Noyes with various celebrities. Now I've got my Glenn Noyes celeb shot.

2013 Musik Messe

Glenn's office is classic. Here's a shot of the walls. That's David Levine of TRX Cymbals sitting at the conference table.

Los Angeles Drum Services

Los Angeles Drum Services is located near Burbank Airport on a nondescript street. Inside is where the magic happens.

Bobby Boos and Chris Achzet started Los Angeles Drum Services to provide a variety of design, building, storage, and support services to touring drummers.


Every good drum services shop needs a hallway jukebox and gold records on the wall.

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!