Your Host, 1989
Today’s post is a very personal one. That said, I will venture to guess that many of you have had a similar experience. In fact, if you’re reading this blog I would be willing to bet that you can relate. The subject that I am speaking of is the memory of your very first drum set. I was very fortunate to have parents that not only supported my drumming by paying for, and driving me to lessons, but also had the financial means to make my dream a reality. I remember going to my lessons at the local drum store and staring at every display in the place. Those shiny drum sets were the most beautiful things I had ever seen up to that point and I often pretended that one of them was mine. For Christmas one year I received the Synsonic Drum Machine and a new rubber practice pad. Although I appreciated those gifts they paled in comparison to an actual drum set.
The following year (1985 or ’86) I was surprised with a drum key that belonged to a beautiful white Pearl Export kit that they hid downstairs. That holiday surprise became the best Christmas ever and I still recall my excitement and gratitude. I used that kit for many years in various bands and school-related performances. It was my pride and joy and I cared for it like no other possession. Cleaning and polishing it became a routine that I immensely looked forward to as it enabled me to take it all apart and then try a new configuration when I reassembled it. Today I use the same philosophy with my custom PDP kit.
It’s very easy for a drummer to become attached to his/her instrument and drummers seem to be especially enamored with their gear. Why? Is it the physical size that surrounds you? Could it be the endless variations of setup and tuning that makes it the most versatile instrument? Or is it simply the primal release that happens when you beat on them? Maybe all of these reasons apply. Regardless as in most things, your first of anything can often be the best. I miss my first kit immensely.