George Flores lives by the proverb: If you want something done right, then do it yourself. Need proof? First look at this old, forlorn, beat up Slingerland kit from the 1970s given to Flores by a fellow drummer in Riverview, Florida:
Now check out what it looked like after Flores finished restoring it:
Barely any resemblance, huh? Well, Flores – a youth minister by day, drummer by night – has had plenty of experience restoring drums, having breathed new life into 20 vintage-y kits and just as many snare drums over the past decade.
“I never had a lot of money growing up to buy nice drums,” he says. “So I would get cheap drums and make them look good, and got really good at tuning, so I could make them sound as good as they look.”
Flores definitely had his way with this particular kit, converting the single-headed concert toms to standard double-headed toms by retrofitting Gibraltar counterhoops and nabbing some lugs from the 13" tom.
Which bring to mind a question – where’s the 13" tom? Well, it’s now the kit’s 13" snare drum. “I chopped it, plugged the old holes, drilled the new ones, and put in the snare bed. The snare is a beast – it’s rowdy.”
Flores re-cut the maple shells with authentic round bearing edges, and kept the original bass drum hoops. “I didn't want to mess with them so all I did was replace the wrap.”
Clearly excellent choices, and the end result is a beautiful retro sparkle kit with a 12" x 8" mounted tom, 16" x 14" floor, 22" x 14" bass drum, and 13" x 6" snare. “These are truly beautiful, and will be used for my home studio,” Flores says, before adding, “The guy who gave me the kit told me, ’I’m going to regret giving this to you.’”
Well, can you blame him?