The Basement

Vol. 1 Issue 2, Feb. 1999-March 1999

OK, here we are again for issue number 2 of "The Basement." This zine idea just came to me and I kind of like it. I'll be adding issues when I feel like it, about every other month or if something big comes up. Nothing big is on the horizon, though.

Take a look at these drummies. They are aluminum chains, sizes 31" and 24". I got them from the same place I got the Ringers in Issue 1. The bowls were originally on Jenco Dresdens, I believe, and they were converted to chains by Rich O'Donnell of the St. Louis Symphony over 20 years ago. The mechanism is really clever: the chain is below the rim and you can adjust each lug individually without messing up the overall tuning of the drum. Unfortunately they are in pretty bad shape. The counterhoops are a bit warped and the lip on the big drum is all dinged up. Still, I've played many jobs on them with no problem.


I'd like to sell them this year, though, and in order to do that, I need to get them to sound good and work smoothly. So to that end I'm really changing things around. First, I'm trying to get new counterhoops made. This is going slowly, as my machinist has me pretty much at the bottom of the pile, as far as his projects go. Also, I'm also putting the chain on top of the counterhoop instead of below. Though the original design is elegant, it's also unwieldy for someone without a lot of time to spend adjusting set screws and generally maintaining them all the time.
With the chain on top and an idler added to adjust chain tension (like a Goodman drum) I can get rid of some moving parts. OK, are you still with me. Do you give a rat's ass? Sure you do! You wouldn't be here if you weren't a drum schmoe like myself!

Notice the Renaissance heads in the above photo. My experience with them has been mixed; on a good professional drum they can sound fantastic, though the coating is a bit too "sandy" for my taste. It's as it they have a brush coat or something. On funky gig drums, which I have four of, they can be a nightmare. For some reason they are not very forgiving of funky rims or counterhoops.
What else is new. On the audition front, I'm not going to the National Symphony audition in February, as it conflicts with concerts I'm playing on with the St. Louis Symphony on their east coast tour. This happens a lot and it's a drag, but I have to take the bird-in-hand at this point. I'm not doing Montreal for the same reason--it conflicts with a week of concerts here in St. Louis. Well that's about it from the bowels of my house. Come back later this spring to see if there's any action down here!

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