Drum History

A podcast all about the rich history of the drums - and how they became what they are today! Join Bart van der Zee as he speaks with experts about the curious journey of the ever-evolving drum set.

Music History
The History of Q Drum Co with Jeremy Berman and...
Jeremy and Max discuss cutting their teeth with OCDP, the origins and rise of Q Drum Co., and also Jeremy's recent heroic battle with stomach cancer that has brought his career as a successful drum tech to a halt, but has brought the drum community together to rally around him like never before. Jeremy Berman and Max Cuzor have built drum kits for some of the biggest drummers in the world, and Jeremy has been a tech with bands such as Slipknot, Muse, Norah Jones, Nine Inch Nails, Katy Perry and many more.
99 min
The History of Power Toms with Kyle Schneider
Was there anything cooler than a brand new gigantic Power Tom Drum Set in the 1980's? The answer is a no! Kyle Schneider is a power tom enthusiast who has put together a great history of this iconic type of drum set that has got a large and passionate following. Kyle is a listener of the podcast who took it upon himself to do the research and put together an episode that would explain the origin story of Power Toms! We talk about the genesis of power toms, famous brands and models, the current status of power tom drum sets and players, and we talk about Kyles dream set that he had built after years of saving. Enjoy this episode!
54 min
A Look at John Bonham's Gear with George Fludas...
This episode is an in-depth look at John Bonham's drum kits, cymbals, heads, and sticks through his prolific career with Led Zeppelin. Terry Keating (Bonzoleum) and George Fludas (Bonhamology) are experts on all things Bonzo and made this episode a ton of fun and very informative. We start with his rusty old Premier kit, then go through his Trixon and Slingerland sets, then go into extreme detail about his iconic Ludwig drum sets and Paiste cymbals. John Bonham lived a very short 32 year life but has a HUGE impact on musicians still to this day.
90 min
Counting Stick Control with Barry James
Barry James has just released a book that he co-wrote with Joe Morello all about how to count the famous "Stick Control" book from 1935. This book is the top selling drum lesson book of all time, and majority of the teachers throughout history haven't known how to properly count this book of R's and L's. Joe Morello and Barry were both students of George Lawrence Stone and they were working hard to keep Stone's lessons alive until Joe passed away in 2011. Barry carried on and took all the knowledge he gained from Stone and his time writing with Morello, and created "Counting Stick Control - The Key to Understanding Counting, and Playing the Exercises in 'Stick Control', The Classic Drum Method Book by George Lawrence Stone".
70 min
(The Vault) Bringing the Slingerland Drum Shell...
This is a great classic episode from Dec 2019 - Bernie purchased the original Slingerland radio frequency drum shell making machinery on an Ebay auction in 2001, and that began his decade long quest to figure out how they work. He went through hundreds of attempts to figure out how these incredibly complex machines created drum shells before he got help from from Jack Moritz, a former Slingerland employee who ran the machines for 22 years. Once that happened, Bernie was off and running and making drum shells in under 5 minutes under his new company, Stone Custom Drum.
51 min
OCDP Builders Roundtable with Corey Manske, Nic...
Orange County was one of the most popular drum brands in the world in the early 2000's, and I am joined today by Corey Manske and Nick Turner who were some of the original builders during the heyday. Jarrod Fallon is a restorer and buff on all things OCDP and he co-hosts the episode with me. This is a follow up to the first Orange County episode with Jarrod and Michael Kelley and we answer tons of great questions that were submitted by fans of the brand. This is a fun one with a bunch of great behind the scenes stories that makes you feel like you are a part of the original crew building one of a kind drums for greats like Travis Barker, John Otto, Adrien Young, Chad Sexton and many more.
73 min
The Evolution of the New Orleans Beat with Robe...
Robert Cataliotti is a music historian, critic, and educator and co-curator of the Drumsville! Evolution of the New Orleans Beat exhibit at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Bob also wrote the companion book to the exhibit that is a great historical look at the birthplace of Jazz. Bob does a great job in this episode describing the history and importance of the African culture that was at the core of the birth of Jazz and the New Orleans sound at Congo Square, and the famous players from originators like Baby Dodds up to Herlin Riley and Stanton Moore, and much more!
57 min
The Biography of Keith Moon with Tony Fletcher
Keith Moon is one of the most explosive drummers in the history of Rock and Roll. This episode is an in-depth look at the short life of this incredible musician who packed more of the good, bad, and ugly bits of life into 32 years than anyone else. Tony Fletcher is the author of the definitive Moon biography and takes us from Keith's post-war upbringing in bombed out England, through his rise as a gigging drummer around the pubs, to his rise to extreme fame and untimely death in 1978. We cover the fun and cheeky "Moon the Loon" stories about his hotel room antics and automotive shenanigans, but also the very dark and sad side of his life which included depression, addiction, domestic violence, and his overdose.
78 min
The History of KAT Percussion/Alternate Mode wi...
Mario DeCiutiis is not only the co-creator of KAT Percussion who made the iconic MalletKAT, but he also played vibes at Radio City Music Hall for almost 40 years! We learn all about the process of developing an innovative E-Percussion instrument WAY early in the advent of electronic instruments and how that morphed over time to become a staple in the industry. Mario is full of stories and experiences from starting a business and being licensed and sold around to a number of larger companies and remaining the constant that keeps people buying his great product.
58 min
The History of Dixon Drums with Jim Uding
Jim Uding describes Dixon as "the best kept secret in drums" and I completely agree after hearing the history of this unique company! Dixon is the house-brand of a very well established manufacturer in Taiwan that has created drums or hardware for most all of the major players in the drum industry since the late 1970's. We discuss the launch of the relatively new Dixon brand, the partnership with drum legend, Gregg Bissonette, and a few of the partnerships that the factory has had with the largest names in drums. Not much is known about Dixon as you search around the internet so this is a great opportunity to learn more about this brand that is absolutely on the rise.
69 min
A Look at Why Drum Brands Sell with Mike Dawson
Mike and I start by discussing the DW/Roland acquisition that has been on everyones mind since it was recently announced. He uses his industry experience and knowledge to shine some light on what might be happening with this shocking announcement that took the drum world by storm. We then go through some historical examples of what happened to the big four drum brands (Gretsch, Ludwig, Slingerland, and Ludwig) and hear about the ups and many downs of those acquisitions. Mike was the managing editor of Modern Drummer for many years and is now the Chief Creative Officer at Drum Factory Direct.
79 min
(The Vault) Moeller, Gladstone & Stone - The Le...
Dom Famularo teaches us about Billy Gladstone, Sanford A, Moeller, and George L. Stone - the godfathers of drumming technique. He also shares many great stories from his journey through learning from the students of these great teachers including Shelly Manne, Jim Chapin, and Joe Morello. The lineage of educators that run from these three men runs so much deeper than I ever imagined.
63 min
Hal Blaine: The Story of an American Drum Legen...
Hal Blaine is one of the most recorded drummers in history and is an icon from the golden age of session musicians. We learn about Hals parents heroic journey to America, Hal's early years and time in the Army, and his meteoric rise as a first call studio drummer. Mike Megaffin's business card says "Hal Blaine Disciple" and he definitely lives up to that title with this very in-depth episode. Mike spent lots of time with Hal and learned tons of great stories about the years that Hal Blaine spent working for mafia types in seedy nightclubs through his rise to the top and love of all things luxurious.
83 min
Franks Drum Shop Est. 1938 with Rob Cook
Franks Drum Shop was one of the four original drum stores in America and was a Midwest hot spot for drummers like Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson and many more as they passed through town. From 1938 to the mid 1980's, It had a world class repair shop, amazing sales floor, and a lesson program that had teachers that were absolute legends like Roy C. Knapp. Rob Cook wrote his first book in 1993 about Franks Drum Shop which originated from his life being changed by a visit to Franks as a very young man. This is a very interesting episode that his information that only someone like Rob Cook can provide!
68 min
(FREE BONUS) Gigging Horror Story Turns into Vi...
Join Patreon to hear 65+ bonus episodes for only $2 a month and great perks up to $15 a month. This was a really cool bonus with Chris that I wanted to share so everyone could hear what the bonus episodes are like, you can also watch the video on YouTube to see the "No Rhythm Man" which he talks about in this episode.
9 min
Gigging Drummer Survival Guide with Chris Georg...
Chris has come up with a great list of tips and tricks for gigging drummers of all levels. He shares how his Honda Fit has been converted into a mobile drum repair shop and everything that he keeps on hand to make sure he never misses a beat. Not only is Chris a long time gigging drummer around the Boston area, he is a successful animator going back to shows like "Dr. Katz", and "Home Movies". Now he works as a presenter for Adobe by day and a gigging drummer by night.
59 min
A Look at the Northup Drums Museum with Timothy...
The Northup Drums Museum is one of the only "PlaThe Northup Drums Museum is one of the only "Playing Museums" in the world where you can play some of the most rare drums known to man. You can walk in the door and play a Slingerland Black Beauty, a Ludwig Top Hat and Cain kit and 30 other rare drum kits, plus cymbals, traps, and great memorabilia! Tim is an antique dealer by trade and has taken his families historical dairy barn and turned into an antique store upstairs, and one of the finest drum museums in the world downstairs, Enjoy this episode!ying Museums" in the world where you can play some of the most rare drums in the world. You can walk in the door and play a Slingerland Black Beauty, a Ludwig Top Hat and Cain kit and 30 other rare drum kits, plus cymbals, traps, and great memorabilia! Tim is an antique dealer by trade and has taken his families historical dairy barn and turned into an antique store upstairs, and one of the finest drum museums in the world downstairs, Enjoy this episode!
56 min
Drums and Ethnomusicology with William Johnson
Will takes us on a fascinating deep dive into what Ethnomusicology is and how it applies to drums and percussion around the world. We learn the process of how to study different cultures and learn about the music, the instruments, and how to appreciate and apply the styles. Will is a cool guy who has a great way of explaining an interesting educational topic. Enjoy this episode!
62 min
A Look at Wood and Weather Drum Shop with Josep...
Joe has created a very unique drum shop in Massachusetts that offers some extremely rare drum sets that are presented with his unique style. He is a young guy but has accumulated a vast knowledge of instrument through years of hunting down vintage drums and presenting at the drum shows. Every drum shop is different and it is fun to speak with the owners to see what makes their shop different and special - I look forward to doing more in the future!
54 min
The History of Orange County Drum with Michael ...
OCDP is one of the most iconic brand of the late 90's/Early 2000's with endorsees like Travis Barker, Chad Sexton, Adrien Young, and Taylor Hawkins. My guests are Michael Kelley who was a part of OCDP from the very beginning through the mid 2000's and Jarrod Fallon who is an OCDP enthusiast, collector, and restorer. These two guys together cover the somewhat mysterious background of this iconic brand that was a part of the rock and roll zeitgeist of the early 2000's. We discuss the early days as a So-Cal drum shop, the wild designs, vented snares, famous endorsers, the rise and fall of the company and much more!
75 min
(The Vault) The History of Leedy Drums with Rob...
Rob Cook, founder of the Chicago Drum Show and Author of "The Complete History of Leedy Drums" and "The Leedy Way", gives us the complete history of the Leedy Drum Company. The amazing story begins with U.G. Leedy producing snare stands in his apartment in Indianapolis and evolves into becoming the largest manufacturer of drums in the world. Rob also teaches us about George Ways involvement in the rise and fall of Leedy.
56 min
A Look at DrumArchive.com with Andy Youell
Drum Archive is the online home of more drum catalogs in one place than you will find anywhere else in the world! Andy has created a resource that I personally use multiple times a week and has become essential for vintage drum enthusiasts to learn and research about the instrument that we love. He shares the story of how and why he created this site and why he has such a passion for archiving drum catalogs.
42 min
The Biography of Chick Webb with Chet Falzerano
Chick Webb fell down the stairs as a child and smashed multiple vertebrae which left him with a serious physical handicap, but he still managed to become one of the best drummers in the world in his short 30 year life. Chick Webb is one of the god fathers of modern drumming and was revered by Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and every top drummer of the 1920's and 30's. Chet is the author of a great Chick Webb biography book and has extensive knowledge about Chick, Billy Gladstone, and vintage Gretsch drums. Chick died very young but accomplished an incredible amount in that time - enjoy this great underdog story!
50 min
(Drum News) Robbery at Gretsch Drum Co. in 1927!
A group of armed bandits robbed the Payroll at the Gretsch Manufacturing Co. in 1927! This article has never been seen by the modern Gretsch family or Gretsch employees and is a glimpse into an exciting and scary situation that happened in Brooklyn at the factory!
3 min
Gretsch: The Eternal Brand with Lucas von Gretsch
Lucas takes us back to the Victorian Era when Gretsch was founded in 1883 and gives a family members inside scoop on this iconic drum brand. Lucas covers the origins of the company up to the 1950's in this episode which includes the birth of the drum set, the explosion of jazz, the great depression, and surviving through World War 2. We hear about all of the Gretsch family members and the important role each person had in the development of the brand over the last 138 years.
76 min