Originally uploaded by MarkieG
My first drum kit! Cost £65 including some cymbals! It lasted me from the age of about 13 or 14 and finally fell apart many years later when I was pro and earning my living with it! I don’t think we would find quality like that today.
The snare drum was so good, that when we played on the same bill as The Ted Heath Band in Chatham Kent, Ronnie Verrell the drummer with Heath (and probably more famous for being Animal in the Muppets) offered to buy it from me for £15! Which was more than our band were getting for the gig. I was very tempted but then I thought if Ronnie Verrell want’s it, it must be good enough to keep!
Many years later I worked a lot with Ronnie on ABC TV and also depped for him on a couple of occasions. Even more of a coincidence, when I eventually gave up playing and went to work for CBS/Arbiter, Ivor Arbiter bought the John E Dallas company complete with their factory in Shoeburyness, Essex, and at one time for about 18 months I was put in charge of drum production at the plant. To my surprise the guy on the shop floor who was responsible for the actual hands-on production, was the same guy that made my drum kit all those years earlier, his name was Cyril and he was a real ‘old soldier’ and gave me the ‘young whipper-snapper’ a run for my money. God Bless him.