In the beginning...
If we cast our minds back to the the 1970's everything in rock n roll was getting bigger, better & generally more flashier with drum kits being no exception! Kits got bigger in sizes to fit in with the colossal stadium stage shows. It wasn't just the finishes that were being more 'out there', drum companies were looking at more eye catching materials to make kits from, from the bizarre looking fibre glass Staccato drums that broke the rules in the conventional drum shape & size. These drums look a cross between an elephant's trunk & a trumpet!... Yes strange indeed. These drums were popular with the 70's glam rock bands at the time and are very collectable Today. Stainless steel drum kits were another choice for those 70's bombastic rockers. John Bonham's last kit was a Ludwig stainless steel kit. Carl Palmer of ELP had a huge custom built stainless steel kit with foxes very impressively engraved on the entire kit. Palmers half-inch thick drums meant this kit was so heavy it had it's own truck to transport it on the road!-
Carl Palmer's stainless steel kit.
For me, the most eye catching & best sounding of these non wood kits were the acrylic drum kits. Zicos were the first company to produce acrylic kits then the likes of Slingerland, Sonor, Fibes and the most popular of acrylic kits were the vistalite range from Ludwig. John Bonham brought this kit to the attention of the world when this was his kit of choice for the recording of the live album and film 'The song remains the same.' The filming took place during the summer of 1973, during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. Other drummers in the 70's that made the switch to acrylic kits include Elvis' drummer Ron Tutt, Billy Cobham, AC/DC's Phil Rudd & Karen Carpenter. Keith Moon of The Who on one of his few televised solo drum performances (for ABC's Wide World), played a five-minute drum solo dressed as a cat on transparent acrylic drums filled with water and goldfish!
Great news!!.. With the re-introduction of Ludwig's classic Vistalite kits a number of years ago, lots of Drum manufactures are now producing clear perspex drum kits. From Pearl crystal beats.. Natal Originals acrylic.. Tama silverstar mirage.. DW design acrylic.. to Sonor SQ2 acrylic drums and many more, there are plenty of stunning clear kits on the market to make you stand out of the crowd.
With their great attack and dry punchy sound some top rock 'n' rollers have been calling on these see through gems such as - Eric Singer (Kiss), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Thomas Lang (independent), Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin/Black Country Communion), Brian Tichey (Dead daisies/Whitesnake), Joey Kramer (Aerosmith).
Here are some images of these beautiful kits in all their finery.
Natal Arcadia acrylic
Pearl Crystal beat
Tama silverstar mirage
There are some great deals on these kits right now so call us on 0191 2210301 or come into the shop see them for yourself!