This drum set is possibly the greatest thing I own. As you may well have already guessed, it too was acquired at a criminally low price by an unusual set of circumstances. Clothing is far from the only thing to be found on the cheap for the tenacious and creative shopper.
I started playing the drums when I was in the sixth grade, about 11 or 12 years old. After about a year of taking lessons with only a snare drum to prove I was serious, my parents bought me a second hand drum set. It was a basic level Gretsch from the 1980's that they found for $200. Nothing to write home about, but certainly a decent set of drums. I immediately stopped practicing my lessons and began to teach myself every song on my Dad's Beatles albums by ear.
Fast forward 15 years. I'm playing in a gigging band, the fourth or fifth serious one I've been in, on the same drum set. By now I'm pretty damn good and deserving of a better instrument on which to practice my craft. Ebay and the like are loaded with vintage drum sets, with vintage price tags of a couple grand or more. I call it "drum porn"; I know I can't afford them, but I keep tracking these things down just the same. Then one day I come across a cryptic ad on good old craigslist, which says something like "old Slingerland drums $325". I sent an email, expecting for that price some junk form the 90's. What I get is an email from an angst-ridden teenage goth girl in the suburbs, saying "they're kinda old and crappy, you probably don't want them" with a number if pictures of the above beauty attached. I nearly passed out.
Four days later, I'm at her house in a certain exclusive suburb of Boston, with Pasquale and a pick up truck, $350 in hand. The young girl says she promised to hold them for some lady from Rhode Island who's coming in two days, so I offered her the $350, $25 above the asking price, and practically ran out the door with the drums. Her Mom seemed awfully glad to have those damn things out of the house. Her Dad, I suspect, was getting toasted on single malt Scotch while reading the paper in the study.
It's exactly the same drum set Buddy Rich used to play: