It's the end of November and we just celebrated our first year at Krusty Tubs! We appreciate all of the support that we've received from our old and new friends from around the world. As usual, we will be listing some very cool items in the near future and look forward to continuing our quest to offer the finest vintage players drums at reasonable prices as we head into our second year.
Thanks again and stay tuned!
Bob & Tom
Wacky Drums of the Month ~ Stewart kit courtesy of Dave Schneider of The Zambonis, world's foremost "Hockey Rock" band.
News from the Krusty Tubs workshop…
Well, it's been a busy summer here at Krusty Tubs so we've been hiding out in the workshop trying to stay cool. We’ve met some very cool drummers and made lots of new friends all over the globe since we opened the shop last November. Anyway, we’ve been working on some new old tubs and accessories that will be hitting the shelves soon including a ‘67 Ludwig gold sparkle Jazz Festival, a ‘75 Rogers Dyna sonic, a ‘65 Ludwig silver sparkle Pioneer, a ‘60’s Rogers Sling Buck snare stand, a vintage Ghost bass drum pedal, a 60’s Gretsch COB Round Badge snare, antique low boy and splash cymbals along with our Kustom Krusty Tubs 5B Rich drumsticks. As the saying goes, watch this space!
Happy Jazzfest! April 28, 2008 - Ponderosa Stomp New Orleans Drummers Summit. Smokey Johnson, Zigaboo Modeliste, and Bob French talk shop at the Cabildo, Louisiana State Museum.
My fascination with drums began when I was about ten years old. I was a third generation musician from New Britain, CT and grew up surrounded by music, as my father and grandfather were both professional musicians. My grandfather played drums and violin and led a popular dance band known as The Melody Men, while my Dad was a talented jazz pianist who played in the style of the late Canadian artist Oscar Peterson.
After suffering through five long years of piano lessons beginning when I was five, I decided that I wanted to become a drummer. I was inspired by listening to the great drummers that played with my father's favorite bands including Joe Morello, Sonny Payne, Ronnie Verrell, and Ed Thigpen, among others. I took lessons for a year at my junior high school and when my father decided I was serious, he hooked me up with one of his musician friends, John Oblon. This was a great thing
I studied privately with John for the next five years at Jimmy Azzolina's Music Box in Meriden, CT. John was a tremendous drummer and an even better instructor who quickly became my mentor. His technique was beyond my comprehension and his playing inspired me to practice religiously. On Christmas Day 1964, my father gave me my first drum, a Ludwig Black Diamond Pearl Jazz Festival snare. I was so excited I was almost in tears
In 1965 the music world was turned upside down. A new set of rock drummers suddenly appeared that I could listen to and try to mimic. I spent countless hours playing along to my new favorite drummers including Mel Taylor, John Steele, Bobby Graham, Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr.
And here we are fifty years later. Last week I had the good fortune of meeting Jim Oblon, the extremely talented musician son of John Oblon, during his gig at the Owl Shop in New Haven, CT. We had a wonderful chat about his Dad and then Jim and his trio blew the roof off the place for the next two hours.
Some things never change...
Vic Steffens has been making things happen on the New England music scene for forty years. Like so many drummers of his generation, seeing Ringo Starr was the hook. Vic was one of the founders of Fancy, later called The Scratch Band, a starting point for the careers of guitarist G.E. Smith, bassist Paul Ossola, drummer Mickey Curry, and Steffens' vocalist sister Christine Ohlman a.k.a. the "Beehive Queen" of Saturday Night Live fame.
While his bandmates pursued careers primarily as players, Vic chose a different route as an engineer and producer, accruing a milelong resume. He has recorded and played on music as disparate as gospel choirs and metal guitarist Lita Ford, from Donovan to heavy metal supergroup Adrenaline Mob. He was among a cadre of Connecticut musicians who anonymously provided backing tracks for the Rolling Stones archival "Metamorphosis" album. He currently heads the Horizon Music Group (http://horizonmusicgroup.com/ ) and is a partner in Elm City Music (http://elmcitymusic.net/). Recent projects include work with Harry Connick Jr., Matisyahu, and Frank Viele.
Luckily for us, once in awhile he's still asked to play the drums.
Tell me about your first set of drums.
"More like my first drum, a Slingerland marching drum I got in 6th grade. I played in some crazy school production. My first kit was a Japanese three-piece Crown kit. Then my grandfather blessed me with a five piece Ludwig black pearl kit. I played hundreds of gigs on the kit."
What bands were you involved in?
"My first band was - get this - The Trippers. Two guitars and myself. We sucked. Shortly after that I discovered the Anderson Brothers five houses away. They took lessons and stuff. We played at each others houses, though I don't ever recall gigging. Then I met later-to-be-famous guitarist Tom Meccariello, who could really play, and he had two cousins, The Renaudos, who really REALLY could play. Unfortunately, Alphonse Raunaudo, a monster player, played accordion - totally unacceptable. But we convinced him to get a Farfisa combo organ and we were off. We fooled around for a while, and my first real band happened, The Wrongh Black Bag. My sister Christine came in as lead vocalist with Ellsworth Apgar (great name) on bass, Meccariello on guitar, and Alphonse on organ. We played everywhere, and actually got signed to a real label, Mainstream Records.
Worst drumming experience?
"I don't know if there was worst...I always loved to play.
Best drumming experience?
"I played on some vintage Rolling Stones tracks....pretty amazing."
"Learn to play the pocket, and how to sit behind, on top, and in front of the beat. Learn to listen to the singer and feel where the song is going. Keep your fills short. Learn to play to a click."
Shop Talk is our forum for guest artists, curators and craftsmen to hang around the store and share their stories about inspirations, favorite drums and playing experiences. Our goal is to provide a unique view into the world of drumming as seen through the eyes of the people with the best seat in the house ~ drummers. Krusty Tubs proprietors Bob and Tom were both fortunate to grow up in musical families that exposed them to music and drums early in their childhoods that continue to inspire them today. If you'd like to contribute to Shop Talk, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.