From the sofa…

Taking a bit of time out for a well earned holiday, after spending 6 months getting Nick Hopkin Drums up and running.  I’ve just acquired 6 kits ready for restoration – 1960’s Beverley 22,13,13,16 in black, late 1960s / early 1970’s Beverley 22,12,13,16 in blue shimmer, late 1970’s Beverley 22,13,14,16 in electric blue, Hayman Vibrasonic 22,13,16 with 14 snare in midnight blue, Ajax Nu Sound 22,13,16 in burgundy ripple, 1980’s PremierProjector 22,13,14,16 in metallic red. A 1970’s Premier 2000 and a 1976 Ludwig 400 snare drum, both with virtually no pitting. A battered old 1970’s Ludwig 400 that looks like it’s been dragged around the world and given a good hiding and a Slingerland 6.5″ COB which sounds like a cannon going off. Oh and some 1970s Paiste 2002 black label cymbals. 

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Beverley drums are starting to become more and more collectable, after years of being ignored. The mahogany shelled kits with 10 lugs on the bass drum are often compared to Ludwigs, at a third of the price. The late 70’s kit in electric blue features birch shells and projects well…. they became the Premier Projector in the 80’s. Hayman drums are fairly hard to come by in original condition, like the set I just picked up. Ignored by many, but loved by those who play them (Bill Bruford, Mitch Mitchell, Brian Bennett), they feature thickly coated white interiors (Vibrasonic) making them loud and cutting. The round turret like lugs paid homage to Camco, and were unlike any other drums in the 70’s, although they now adorn a famous drum company played by many. The Premier 2000 snare was the favoured live snare for Keith Moon and many 70’s rock drummers and remains popular to this day; the Ludwig 400 needs no introduction, the most recorded snare drum of all time. 

I’m looking forward to restoring these to their original condition when I return from my hols.

Had a nice surprise today, too, in the form of a half page article on Nick Hopkin Drums in Drummer magazine, UK. Thanks for all the support. 

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Stick it to MS 2012

What a tiring, but great weekend in Manchester UK. We broke the world record with 798 drummers playing the same beat in the same room for 5 minutes…WOW! Met old and new friends there, drooled over lots of lovely kitsand came home with six!!! Great to see name drummers just hanging out, playing drums and having fun – Steve White, Darrin Mooney, Swiss Chris, Andy Treacy, Robin Guy, Russell Gilbrook, Steve Grantley. 

Here’s some pics of friends, strangers and nice kits…

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Pictures of kits to follow…..

www.nickhopkindrums.com

 

Another busy da…

Another busy day at Nick Hopkin Drums. A customer popped in with a lovely Premier Royal Ace in mahogany duroplastic, early 60s small ‘P’ badge. Fiddled with the snare wires for an hour or so until I came to the conclusion the flo beam mechanism may need some adjustment…Everyone who’s been there groans at this point; something to tackle on a good day with lots of coffee! 

I cleaned and polished the Edgeware shells today, and the results are great, really happy. The chrome work has had all the gunk cleaned off and is ready for a good polish before re-assembling. Still lots of work to do, but looking nice…

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This kit is going to look stunning when all the hoops are back on it shining with new, crisp, unplayed heads !

Been trying to get my new premises ship shape and homely. It still needs a few tweaks, but we’re getting there. 

Getting my Ludwig Super classic tuned and cased up ready for a studio hire this weekend along with a nice 400 snare. Getting cases ready for the 4 kits I’m picking up this weekend. Beverley and Hayman drums coming very soon…..Image

Fun in the rain

Fun Day at Nick Hopkin Drums. After school sports day in the rain, I sorted out a few non drummy things at the new premises. Set a couple kits up. Did some admin, had a play. Had a new customer escape the rain to come play some Slingerland and Ludwig snare drums, hang out and talk drums. Good to meet others with a passion for drums. Another customer arrived at 6pm after a mammoth road trip from Cornwall to Leeds and back, to collect a Ludwig kit… He completed his kit with a 402 Snare at Nick Hopkin Drums. Again, great to meet players with a passion for drums. More international orders coming in, so not the wash out the weatherman predicted!

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Started strippi…

Started stripping the Edgeware kit today for a complete refurb. All lugs off, shells are in amazing condition considering they’re near 50 years old. Wrap is really dirty, but with staining from years and years of being hauled around smokey venues – i kind of like that! 

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I also took delivery of another Premier Royal Ace Snare drum (chrome over brass 4″) and a Ludwig Super Sensitive snare, Blue/Olive badge, 1969. Some more kits have come in too, pictures soon. All good at Nick Hopkin Drums.

A slow day…

It’s been a slow day at Nick Hopkin Drums. Due to feeling like i’ve been hit by a bus, with a really heavy cold, I haven’t managed to do much physical drum work today despite having a queue of kits lined up for restoration! I did however get lots of admin stuff done, which usually falls by the wayside.

I’ve joined Vintage and Rare which is a relatively new site featuring specialist musical instrument makers and dealers. Looking forward to a good long term relationship with them, it’s great to have another site promoting quality instruments by people who care about them.

I had chance to natter with one of Cornwall’s finest drummers, Pip Harbon,as well as catch up with America’s biggest collector of Premier drums in the states CJ Blundell. He’s got every Premier drum kit since the 1930’s in just about every colour – awesome! Nice to have time to talk drums.

I’m slowly sorting through boxes and boxes of spares – lugs, rods, claws, screws, snare throws – that aren’t on my site yet. If there’s anything particular you’re desperate for, now’s a good time to ask! Hopefully I’ll be back on my feet properly tomorrow…..

Drum of the day at Nick Hopkin DrumsSlingerland Super Sound King (chrome over brass).

2 July 2012

What a great Monday at Nick Hopkin Drums!

It may have rained all day, but my 3 year old Alice was able to come to work with me, as my new shop premises has a bathroom and kitchen. Small comforts. She wandered around eating all my biscuits and watched kids dvd’s while I boxed 2 kits for courier collection. The snare drum from a 1960’s Edgeware kit finally arrived, completing the set that I am stripping and refurbishing for a client. Beautiful black diamond pearl, pictures of it as it arrived….

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By midday, Tanny arrived with Lois & Joel, lots of food and made us lunch. Still raining but we were happy. Surrounded by drums and family. What more could you ask for? The afternoon was spent arranging drums, tidying tools away, sorting out spare parts and photographing drums.Oh, and buying a couple more snare drums. I dashed out at 4 and picked up a kit and some odd drums and stands, then back to shop for courier to collect kits. At closing time the legendary Bristolian Richie Paradise dropped in for a cup of tea and a natter… Oh, and a 1970’s Ludwig set in Champagne sparkle…. photos of that one tomorrow, watch this blog!