one day my old boss says, "we're going to go pick up some of karen carpenter's kits". this was cool in the fact that karen was a good drummer, we were going to clean up 3-4 of her ludwig kits, and that i originally lived around the area we were going to pick them up when i was a kid. this was in 1999.
we get to richard's wherehouse (karen's brother of course) were he stores all his vintage muscle cars, which for me was a additional coolness factor. he's real cool and friendly and takes us to the back of the shop were some of the carpenter's gear was. he has to take a call or something, so we have to wait til he's done.
while in the back room, i look around and there's all these awards from around the world-on the floor or in boxes.
like it was a garage sale or something. all the RIAA awards, a few grammy's in boxes and what i guess was memorabilia like old tapes or interviews,etc...
he comes back and takes us over to a bunch of road cases he set aside with the kits he wants us to clean up and repair if needed. they were going to be put on display in the cerritos preforming arts center since they were from the area. i remember 3 kits (possibly a 4th kit) :
-the famous early silver sparkle kit she played on when she was a young drummer and not yet a singer (see above)
- the jellybean acrylic kit
-and another silver sparkle kit with the fiberglass concert toms
the concert toms were gifted to karen by hal blaine if i remember correctly (richard is holding one tom below)
only 3 sets of those famous concert toms exsist. karen had a set, hal had a set and ringo had a set. these were made on a custom rolling "rack", predating rack systems as we know them today. i have pics of these other kits but i don't have a scanner to post them. sorry. maybe another time.
anyway, i get to work on cleaning them. they didn't need anything replaced but just cleaned up and i had to make sure everything functioned as they were going to be on display. the old foam inside the road cases were sticky and clinging to the drums. that was quite a task. it was just a clean up job but it was cool to be able to have a piece of ludwig history in my hands.
above i have a scan of a actual photo (remember those?...) of the early ss kit after the cleaning. its a rough pic but its all i have. below is a pic of richard holding one of the fiberglass concert toms, and a pic of the early ss kit on display at the arts center as well.
my old boss made a new logo bass drum head for the kit and a duplicate one for richard to sign which he did. that head was hanging in the shop from 1999 until we closed last year. i now have that signed head and it is FOR SALE. click the "heads/sticks" page above and click the pic to enlarge. with this particular head, a little acitone or fingernail polish remover will take off todd's name with ease if you desire.