What dreams are made of pt. 1

I was cleaning out my shelf today and took out my collection of catalogues over the past 10+ years. It brought back fond memories of studying those shiny pages cover to cover late at night and dreaming up my ultimate drums setup. Most of my collection came from local stores (Thanks L&M!) , some direct from US, one even came all the way from England.

You know you are a gearhead when you have 30lbs of these glossy goodness lying around.

Left: Brochures from the past 10 years.
Right: Free drum mags from the past 10 years. The pile is considerably less because they didn’t have as many pictures.
The top issue shown is the first one I got, with Jeremy Taggert on the cover. I got my left hand single strokes and most of my snare work learning from his playing.

Below I have highlighted a few brochures with more significance. But really, all of them came with a story, a dream and a few dozen hours of reading and re-reading.

Ayotte Drums – from my hometown Vancouver. This brochure arrived in the mail along with a sales order. I still remember my ultimate Ayotte pipe-dream set up, 8 piece double bass with C2 gloss hoops in Charred Arizona Gold. Problem was, it would’ve cost me $10,300.00. Shells only. Back in 2002 prices. So I kept on dreaming…

Mapex Pro M – I was very active on internet drum forums back in the day and found out Mapex is coming out with a new line packed with features to go against the long time best seller Pearl Exports. I got this brochure from the head distributor in Ottawa, before any shops in BC even heard of this new line. I am pretty sure I was the first one to have this brochure in the whole BC.

GMS Custom Drums from the USA – It came with a letter signed by the owner. I was very interested in their tom suspension but getting one shipped to BC would’ve made it tripled the price of a regular suspension from Tama or Pearl.

DW drums – The textured cover page mimics a thin maple veneer. Classy, thought for some reason I never cared much for their drums.

Arbiter Flats – 1 lug-tuning system and super portable, they were going to be my answer to all small gigging needs. But alas, you can only sound so good with about 1″ of shell depth. I got this brochure after inquiring Arbiter UK, as there were no Canadian distributor at the time of my call. Arbiter Drums started distribution in US first, but the 1-lug tuning system didn’t take with the public and they never came to the Canadian Westcoast. Some dealers offered to custom order me one for $1,300, aka 30% more than a full set of Pearl Exports. I sought after these drums for another 7 years before finally getting my hands on a used one. Then I realize the majority weight and bulk of a drumset is not the drums, but the hardwares and cymbals. While the Arbiter Flats were portable and light, my stands and my cymbals demanded the same stage space.

Pearls! (of wisdom?) – Lots and lots of Pearl materials, each year they would updates all their products with either new features or new styling cues. I remember always trying to set up my drumkit so it looks like the ones in the Pearl brochures. Later on I found out I was not a 6’8″ Groilla and the setups I was looking at wouldn’t work for me.

More to come later!

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