It’s just a drum until someone pours their heart into it and makes it their own. Then it becomes an instrument with a unique history and character, the kind of thing that might appeal to drum collectors around the country.
The 24th Pennsylvania Vintage Drum Show and Sale will be held at the Selinsgrove VFW Post 6631, Route 522, on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This is the second oldest vintage drum show in the country, according to Jack Lawton, show organizer.
“The longest is in Chicago,” he said. “They’re about three years older.”
Other shows are held in Connecticut, Delaware, Saint Louis and Hollywood. The Selinsgrove show, with more than 30 dealers, offers a wide assortment of drums, cymbals, hardware and drum related accessories for sale.
“I just think it’s cool that right here in Snyder County we have something like this,” said Jeremy Hummel, co-founding member of Breaking Benjamin and band leader of Into The Spin. “Jack was kind of ahead of his time. He started doing this before a lot of folks started doing it.”
The Drum Show draws a network of vintage drum dealers from across the country and appeals to drum and cymbal enthusiasts. In past years it has exhibited drums from Civil War days to the early 1900s through the ’70s and ’80s. Three years ago a dealer displayed a Swiss Military drum from the 1500s.
“We will have on display at the show this year, the set of drums played by Pete Best (original drummer for the Beatles) for the Liverpool, Pennsylvania, Bicentennial concert (in 2008),” Lawton said. “Also on display will be a snare drum that was owned by Bobby Elliott (The Hollies) and played by him for some of their studio work.”
Most dealers bring drums and merchandise to sell, making the show a good place to find parts and accessories for vintage drum restorations.
“You might be able to find parts at a vintage drum show and actually see the items in person,” Hummel said. “It just gives you a different experience than if you were just going to buy things online.”
Hummel also noted that, over the last 10 or so years, vintage drums have “really come into fashion again.” Part of the attraction is the quality of a vintage drum — aged wood and older finishes can create a sound that appeals to some people. He referred to a famous finish called Black Oyster Pearl, the kind used on the drum Ringo Starr played on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.
“It’s almost a quintessential vintage drum finish,” Hummel said. “It made everybody in the world who ever thought of drums want to become a drummer.”
The clubs or shows where a drum was played can also attract drum enthusiasts’ attention.
“Some people really feel those vintage drums have a certain quality to them that is not as easily found with drums made today,” Hummel said.
The Drum Show also features a consignment area, where people can put their own drums up for sale. Displaying the drums is free; a 15 percent commission is charged on any items sold. Additionally, the VFW kitchen will be selling sandwiches and drinks throughout the day.
“Some of the drums that are there are just very interesting,” Lawton said. “If somebody is interested in drums or music in general, it’s just a fun place to go and check things out.”