CELEBRATING THEIR GOLDEN JUBILEE IN 2018...50 YEARS of great music together!
1968 Hybrid Hollywood Vintage Kit
"Ludwig and Zildjian...the best musical marriage I've ever had...going 50 years strong!"...Marc
Marc celebrates the 50th Birthday of his Supraphonic 400 (LM 400) on December 27, 2017!
Marc...Ludwig...& Zildjian...through 50 years
Marc performing at the Connie Francis Tribute Show...November 26, 2017...Franco-American Center...Lewiston, Maine
Marc performing at the Connie Francis Tribute Show...November 27, 2016...Franco-American Center...Lewiston, Maine
Marc rehearsing the Connie Francis Tribute show...November 28, 2015...Franco-American Center...Lewiston, Maine
Marc with Get Back...August 8, 2012...Riverbank Park...Westbrook, Maine
Marc playing his kit...New Years Eve 2010...Gorham, Maine
Marc during the BOTHN Recording Sessions...August 2007
Marc with The Chapparals...April 28, 2007
Marc with Love, Inc....Eastern Prom...Portland, ME...August 30, 1970
Early picture of Marc with his Ludwig Kit...St. John's Hall...Biddeford, ME...January 18, 1969
First photo of Marc with his brand new Ludwig kit...less than a month after he bought it...October 1968.
"If you had told me in 1968 I'd still be playing my same kit and cymbals...I'd have thought it would be a dream...but a dream come true it is...and here we are in 2018 still using my original beautiful Oyster Blue Pearl kit and 2 Zildjian rides. I can't even begin to count the thousands of gigs and places these drums have played...and the stories they could tell. I've always been proud to play Ludwig and Zildjian...and will continue to as long as the good Lord will allow".
Purchased September 28, 1968 at Eastern Musical (Cressey & Allen) Portland, ME. Believe it or not...my drumkit itself...and we together...turn 50 years old this year! Never would have imagined that back in 1968!
I consider my kit a "hybrid" or "transition kit" between the Ludwig "Hollywood" kit...discontinued in late 1968 with the original "Keystone" badges...and the "Big Beat" which was introduced in late 1968 and carried the new "Gold and Olive" badges beginning in late 1968 and into 1969. The kit is original 3-ply Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany...one of the last original runs of this 3 play until maple was introduced in 1969. In recent years Ludwig has re-introduced some classic kits from this era.
In 2007 I had a major reconstruction job done to bring the kit back to life. My good friend Mike Sangello of Portland Percussion did the recon job for me. Additionally I added new Ludwig hardware to replace my old worn-out hardware which had actually exceeded it's expected life...some of it no longer properly functional.
I am very proud of my association with both Ludwig and Zildjian for the past 50 years. The equipment is top-notch...sounds incredible...and I've made friends with wonderful people in both companies over the years. I look forward to many more years of active performing...good Lord willing...and continuing to use my beautiful drums and cymbals. They are indeed..."the best musical marriage I've ever heard!".
An important note here is during the reconditioning...we did NOT alter the bearing edges of any of the drums.
For Vintage Enthusiasts and Collectors here are my Serial Numbers and manufacturing dates:
14 x 22 Bass Drum S/N 567653 N/A...I suspect near the same date as the Toms
8 x 12 Rack Tom S/N 567631 January 11, 1968
9 x 13 Rack Tom S/N 566564 January 11, 1968
16 x 16 Floor Tom S/N 565933 January 11, 1968
5 1/2 x 14 Supraphonic Snare S/N 564391 December 27, 1967
Original Hardware I still use:
#781 Double-Tom Holder
#1305 Bass Drum Spurs
According to the "Ludwig Book" my drums are the original 3-ply Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany...and one of the last original manufacturing runs of this 3-ply. In mid-1968 Ludwig changed over to maple (the "wooden kit" as Ringo called it and used in "Let It Be"). I have replaced all my original cymbal stands (#1400) with the new Ludwig 126CS flat-based stand. I replaced my original 1123-1 Hi-Hat stand in 1984 with a Pearl Hat stand...and in late 2006 replaced that with a new Ludwig L-3053 Modular Hi Hat Stand. Currently I am using my third Speed King pedal. Although it's worn I am also keeping my original Ludwig Oval seat for the time being. It has long been discontinued and though I don't have a model number to refer to....I can tell you I purchased it in May of 1968.
In late February 2010 I finally retired my original #1363 Snare Stand and replaced it with an LM822SSL Single Brace Stand. The original stand no longer did the job and the arms were too loose to support the snare...not too bad after over 41 years of use! Here are two views of my new stand with my kit.
I use Ludwig WeatherMaster heads on all my drums except where noted on the snare.
MY "A ZILDJIAN" CYMBALS
I play the original..."A Zildjian"...exclusively. Over the years they have developed a truly remarkable warm "marriage"...and I've used them in just about every type of musical situation. They have never been cleaned in 50 years! As a tribute to Armand Zildjian the "Armand Rides" were introduced recently to reproduce the sound of those beautiful cymbals. I am so very proud to still own...and play...my originals! Their history is noted below.
22" Medium Ride Purchased with my kit in 1968
20" Medium Ride Purchased with my kit in 1968
18" Medium Crash Purchased in 1971
16" New Beat Hats Purchased in 1984
The Zildjian Visit...Friday November 13th, 2009
This day turned out to be an incredible day in the life of this drummer as 2 years of planning and coordinating schedules worked out and I went to Norwell, MA and visited the world famous Zildjian Cymbal Company. During our visit our friend and Host John Pappone, Sales Communication Manager...gave me the royal VIP treatment.
I won't detail much of our actual visit to the Factory itself...other than to say it was great...I got some "hands-on" experience and I got to see how the Zildjians are made. A wonderful visit and made me appreciate...even more...the beautiful musicality I've enjoyed for over 45 years!
Hope you enjoy all the photos...truly a memorable visit and a most gracious host!
The beginning...Zildjian sign at entrance to the factory.
Mock-up of Ringo's kit.
Ringo autographed every drumhead on the kit in 2006.
On the other side of the room from Ringo's kit is the double-bass Louis Bellson kit...autographed on the bass drum.
Louis Bellson autograph. He was married to Pearl Bailey and was her Bandleader for many years.
At the entrance to the world-famous Drummers Lounge is a tribute to the one and only Buddy Rich and one of his 1950's Slingerland Kits on display. John had me get behind the kit for a photo. The night before Buddy died...he gave this kit to Armand Zildjian for safe keeping. I was so honored to be sitting behind it...even tapped it a couple of times!
Our friend and Host for our visit...John Pappone on the kit in the Drummers Lounge. John is an excellent drummer and very...smooth with the brushes!
Here I am concentrating on the Kit in the Drummers Lounge. I'm thinking of all the world famous drummers who have sat behind this kit and on this throne and trying not to make a fool of myself! I had to pinch myself a couple of times to make sure I was not imagining this visit!
At long last I was able to show my vintage 1968 cymbals to John. He was very impressed...and Armand keeps a watchful eye over the proceedings.
Celebrating my 40th Anniversary in 2008
To help me celebrate my 40th Anniversary Ludwig and Zildjian sent me congratulatory letters and signed presents...The Ludwig Book and the History of the Zildjian Cymbal Company.
Marc celebrates 40 years with Ludwig and Zildjian in 2008.
The Recon Project...April 2007 & July 2012
Mike Sangello owns Portland Percussion and I've know him since shortly after opening his store in the early 1980's. Mike knows how near and dear to my heart the kit is...and he knows he's also the only person here I would trust to do the job to my satisfaction. Within my budget...Mike did an outstanding job! He knows his stuff and goes the extra mile to insure it's done right.
Many thanks Mike for an outstanding Recon job!
In early July, 2012 Mike once again worked his magic doing some minor rehab work to the bass drum and replacing my snare head. My kit comes out for very special occasions and the rare times we do play in the band together. While not being used as often as in the old days...they are still "playing to be heard"...and do the job beautifully.
A photo from June 2005 showing great deterioration of the Bass hoops
Side view of completed kit showing my original 20 inch Medium Ride and 22 inch Medium ride in the background.
Mike and I at Portland Percussion after the Recon
First Gig with reconditioned Kit April 28, 2007.
At a Chapparals Gig in 2008.
Supraphonic 400 Snare (LM 400)...celebrating it's 50th Birthday in 2017!
Mike completed the reconditioning of my entire kit with my snare being the final drum to be finished. He told me it's condition is excellent for a drum 40 years old and could not believe how well it has aged. There are pits on it of course and a lug or two is worn on the outside...but overall in remarkably good shape.
To give the snare a fat sound we deviated a bit and put on a clear Aquarian resonant head and top of the line Pure Sound Percussion 20 strand snares. These are the only two non-Ludwig items on the entire kit. We wanted the snare to have clear projection.
Completed recon...beautiful job!
Aquarian Head and new snares. Mike cleaned up both top and bottom hoops and also cleaned up the inside and tightened up the inside muffler.
Top view of completed recon.
In late 2009 I got Ludwig's beautiful 100th Anniversary Snare drum case to protect my 1967 Supraphonic 400. The case even has a protective bag to cover it. On the front is the 100th Anniversary Logo and inside the case is lined with thick felt.
Some of the Drum Literature I've collected over the years. My oldest book is the Ludwig Instruction book on Jazz Drumming I found cleaning out Mom's music hassock last year...dating back to January 1959. The newest so far is the 2011 Ludwig Catalog.
Our Friends at Ludwig and Zildjian
In the drum world we have two very special friends at Ludwig and Zildjian who have been very nice to us and I wanted all Vintage enthusiasts that visit this page to meet them.
Todd Trent was Ludwig Artist Relations Manager for 25 years...retiring from that position in September of 2008...and is good friends with some of the greatest drummers in the world. I first met Todd at the NH Drum Expo in October of 2007. He is featured in Rob Cooks Ludwig Book. Todd is Drum Roadie for Daxx Neilsen...Drummer for Cheap Trick.
My good friend John Pappone on the platform in the Drummers Lounge (now semi-retired). John was a most gracious and very informative host during my visit!
I look forward to hopefully meeting many of you on the Web...and perhaps at some future time...in person at some of the Vintage shows in the Northeast.
Updated January 9, 2018
Return to Marco Polo Music Homepage