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EP 29 - Painted Bass Drum Heads with Jim Messina

Updated: Nov 4, 2019



In the roaring 20's, drummers would have beautiful hand painted artwork on their bass drum heads that would be illuminated by a lightbulb on the inside of the drum. This lightbulb looked great but also served a very necessary function, as well..keeping the calfskin heads from going out of tune when the temperature changes!

Jim Messina is an icon in the vintage drum community and is the host and owner of Vintage Drums Talk. He is a long time collector and has expertise in many different areas, but in this case he shares his passion and knowledge about the painted bass drum heads with us.

Jim's Vintage Drums Talk website: www.vintagedrumstalk.com

Here is a link to Jim's video about these heads that we discuss in this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYNSnyoXqRs

I highly recommend checking out his youtube page to see his coverage of the Chicago Vintage and Custom Drum Show, along with many other great videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq8_L90Sr8ER6nDDsCxoucQ



Full Episode Transcription:


Bart: Welcome to the drum history podcast. I'm your host Bart van der Zee and today I am joined by a special guest. I like to call him the godfather of vintage drum interviews- a huge inspiration to me, Mr Jim Messina. Jim, how are you?


Jim: That would be me. Hello, Bart. I want to thank you for inviting me. Did you know, this is the first time I've ever been interviewed myself. This is very unusual for me to be on the receiving end. I'm used to be where you're at.


Bart: I did not know that. I’ll tell people that Jim is just an absolute icon in the vintage drum community he has and runs vintage drums talk.com and is just kind of a legend on YouTube and full disclosure, he is absolutely one of the main reasons why I'm doing what I'm doing today because I stopped there on my couch and watched all of his videos and said to myself, “Wow, I absolutely love this. How can I get involved? I want to learn and I want to do what Jim does.” And look at us today I'm talking to you and interviewing the man himself.

Jim: I'm turning red here, Bart, I'm very flattered. But you know what? You are an example of the type of person I was trying to communicate with all these years because I understand you're still in your 20s, aren't you?


Bart: Yep…I am, 29.


Jim: Exactly. And when I would be doing these videos, I'd be talking to you, someone just like you out there, your age group because somebody's got to take over and put some value on these drums and I'm so glad that you've created this podcast, and that you exist, because really, the community has to live on, somebody’s got to educate themselves though from the younger aspect. And I'm so glad you're doing that. And thanks for the compliments.


Bart: Oh, my pleasure. And I think it's amazing how many topics come up that I had no idea they existed that I've learned in the process of making the show. And today's topic of painted bass drum heads from the 20s and 30s, which we're going to talk about and the reason I'm talking to you is because you have a great video on YouTube, which I will link to in the show notes where people can find it.


Jim: Terrific!


Bart: Jumping into today's topic now, Go ahead and treat this like I think a lot of people don't know anything about this subject. So take us to the very beginning of painted drum heads. Why are they painted? What's the point?


Jim: Here's how it goes. You have to start off with calfskin heads in general at first, because back in the 20s, 30s and into the 40s, Remo Belli had not come along yet with Mylar heads, plastic Mylar heads that we know of today, and all the variations that exist. And you see a lot of graphics, some really well done graphics for everybody now, everybody on stage has cool looking some kind of logo bass drum head, but back in those days, it's all because of the need to maintain calfskin heads. Calfskin heads, they’re animal skin, and they react to humidity. All right, First of all you had to stretch your own heads. You had to tuck them. That's what they called it tucking a calfskin head. The aluminium rings you see around conventional contemporary drum heads that the Mylar is wrapped up. Okay, well, that was called a flesh hoop back in the day 20s you know the calf skinhead era, they were usually made of wood, maybe a maple ring, it had a scarf joint in it, and sometimes they were rounded, sometimes they had a flat side to them, but drummers were very familiar with tucking their own calfskin heads with a tucking tool.

You can use, they suggest if you don't have an actual tucking tool, you can use a wide spoon, the handle of a spoon or something like that to do the actual tucking. What you would do is you would buy a round of calfskin, that's what they used to sell. You could get them pre tucked, if you want to do of course, you had to pay a little more for that. But they came pre tucked, some guys would carry around, maybe four or five, six, pre tuck heads, the batter head and they had the center head what we call the snare head now for the bottom side, but then in calfskin terms, it was called a slunk head to use on the bottom for the snare side and they were usually a thinner, shaved type of head, okay? Whereas the top thicker, white, usually Irish, calfskin was considered the best but my whole point for mentioning calfskin getting into it all is that calfskin once again, reacts to humidity. And what happens is you'll tune up, the guys would tuck their heads, put them under drums, tune them up, get them where they want them and then it would be raining out or foggy out, or just a hot, sticky, humid day. What happens to the head, it starts to loosen, and it starts to sag, because it reacts to the moisture in the air. And your drums were just literally sound just go splat.

So these drummers would quickly take their drum key out constantly throughout the whole set, and tune as the show went on. It was just a big, big pain. I don't know how they got through that era to tell you the truth. And I'm glad that I was born at a time where, you know real mobility came along and here we've got Mylar heads. So you had the sagging heads, they couldn't take it they had to fix this somehow. So what they did was they started installing heaters inside of bass drums and snare drums. I've never actually seen them inside a drum, but I imagine that could have done that also but you're mostly see them bass drums, snare drums, and it was just a heated element that would warm up and you had to kind of be careful because you don’t want your drums to catch on fire but they would plug it in, the thing would heat up and it would help their sagging calfskin head. It would keep the heads; keep the tensions where they want them.

So that was one way to do it. Then the other way to do it was by using simply a light bulb, or two light bulbs two and three. The heat generated by the light bulb was just enough to take out the humidity in from the air within the bass drum and keep these heads intact where you tuned them at least for the game, then you turn off the lights or the heater, take the trolley home, pack up your stuff, you don't take the trolley and they'd go flat again. So they noticed that hey, wait a minute. That really looks elegant and cool when I turn that light on like that inside the bass drum. Then they started putting in a red one and a blue one, you know, coloured ones. Then they figured a way to make them blink. Wow. So you'd have some of these bass drums that I've taken apart when cleaning them and restoring them, there’s this pretty dangerous looking phrase wiring and all this stuff in ceramics, you know, ceramic stuff that took the screw in bulbs. But there would be a red bulb and a blue ball. And they would literally be painted because the paint would be cracked, all, you know, checked from the heat of the light bulb.


Bart: The light bulb would be painted on there; you're saying?


Jim: Literally hand painted.


Bart: Geez, lead paint on a bulb most likely.


Jim: Yeah, exactly. So that's what I would find. But then they started adding something to make them blink, and sequence back and forth, back and forth. And then they said, “That really looks elegant and classy,” and the orchestra leaders, the band leaders loved them and they'd be playing a huge supper club and there the drummer has with this moody looking bass drum that was lit up. Little did the people know that the little bass drum was serving a purpose other than a static drum, you know? So they thought, “Wait a minute, what if we did like a silhouette type painting on the bass drum?” And that's the birth of painted drum heads. They started with maybe just their initials maybe I don't know, which came first initials, or these really cool paintings. But I believe that, you know, the drummers started doing it themselves. Before the companies, the actual American companies started actually putting these out themselves, offering them in catalogs; drummers would make some pretty crude renditions of faded drum heads; their initials, the band leader, the name of the band, whatever, all kinds of things, and I'm a guy who’ve come across many drums and most of them are pre 20s that will have these crude attempts at making the drums look good or painting them. And they eventually figured that using a certain blend of oil paints, worked, whether they were thinned out or whatever. But the drum companies then realized, hey, there's a need for these and they started putting them out. They hired artists. And if you search on the internet, there's only one that I know of, is a picture of a guy actually an artist in the factory surrounded by paintings and drum heads waiting to be painted and to me, it looks like the lady factory because one of the drums and he would mount these, the drum heads on the same type of apparatus that they used to tuck the heads and store them. Remember I told you the drummers would buy pre tucked heads?


Bart: Yeah.


Jim: Well, there was a rack system that was used just wooden slats and long screws and wing nuts to keep these drum heads in shape and it would just look like a stack of pancakes to tell you the truth.


Bart: Yeah, and I'll share that. That photo is unbelievable the guy sitting there

painting it.


Jim: You’ve seen it?


Bart: Yeah, and it's funny because I always remember it because he has such an odd haircut where he has no sideburns and his hair is shaved far up his head. You guys listening can look it up and see that. It's funny.


Jim: So back when I was doing this, no internet really to speak of that had a lot of images but now, if you Google, with the help of Google, and you go Google Images 1920s painted drum heads, you'll see just a billion. And they're great. Rob cook also includes them in some of his books, but these are great because these are people that own these. You know, Dave Brown has some of his up there, Mark Cooper, but if you go way back to the Rob Cook days and his publications, which to me are like the Bible, you have some renditions in there and you actually have the names of the head. They gave names to these heads, these paintings, whatever scene was, I've got some right here; the ones that I had in the video, if you haven't seen that video yet. It's an old one, one of my older ones, but there's a a silhouette that is very early. That's funny because some of the ones you see, nobody knows how many really came out of the factories. All we can go by are what we've seen in the catalogs and Rob has published many of them in his books. I showed what I had. And there were even some more that I have that are some of those early ones that came out of nowhere, you know, no catalog, no company, just some guy did it himself. But in the, in the catalogs, there are some, just like drums that are more sought after than others because of their rarity. And it's usually the theme is like, the uglier they are, the more rare and valuable they are now but back in those days, back in those days, just like the vintage drums themselves, they weren't made to be collectible. We 70 years late, we are the ones that are valuing them, but they weren't produced to be but nowadays, they make the such and such anniversary version of this and that, the Lars Ulrich model but I've got to be level headed about it and save someone your age, might say, “Yeah, you got to Lars Ulrich. Damn! That’s great!” Vintage drum. Okay, I'll allow you that but to me, Mark Cooper and I have laughed about that a lot in fact, I think that's where I even got that from him. But Lars Ulrich model as though that some simple collectible drum, but it could be just to someone who's younger. All the guys you've been talking to are the die hard. They're the old regime, you know, they're into, like, I am 1920s 30s 40s and I've said that before my videos and then I'll say, “Why do I own this? Why do I have this?” If you saw that little video, what am I doing with North drums and these Mardi Gras Rogers? Just because they're collectible, that's why I would snatch them up. But anyways, back to the paintings.

Some of them, like I said, are more valuable, more rare, and more desirable than others. And I have my version of a Holy Grail. Okay and that particular one is called the balloon dancer. Ludwig, or Ludwig and Ludwig and it was basically made from 1935 to 1940. I've never seen one, and the only one I've seen is in black and white in a picture. I don't know what the color configuration is. But I don't know, but the most common ones you see every company put out a mountain lake scene and they're slightly different. Some of the companies would even have two different versions. I'm looking at right now the Ludwig Mountain Lake version; they had a 1927 and a 1930, slightly different but experts could point that out. And I've seen many more of the 1930s than the 1927 versions. But if you're a collector, I mean it's cool to have both them. Then there's a Niagara Falls 1924 to 34.I’ve not seen that. But they're there. They're kind of rare. The clipper ship is simply a silhouette of a like a Christopher Columbus type sailing ship but it's done all in a silhouette. That one, I have seen at the Chicago show. And next time you see me, I'll allow you to kick me. I should have gotten that one.


Bart: You should have bought it! Well, it's neat to see because obviously if we kind of back up and we remember that this is backlit, there's heating element, and there's light bulbs inside of the drum and its being lit. So that's why there are these silhouettes. And the one that I see a lot online or on pictures of people's collections is the spider web girl that you'll see.


Jim: Absolutely. That to me is another one of my favorites -- you'll see that at the show. I think Dave has one, Dave Brown. But I have seen him at the show. And it's just so cool to see him in person because everyone is different. Even with these Mountain Lake paintings, so look at him or look at the lady version even though-- even I'll look at two or three of the 1930 version, Ludwig version, I’ll see, “Hey, wait a minute, its a little different,” because you've got the human element involved. They were literally hand painted and we all use that term painted but there was little brushwork involved because the problem was, just, as you say, being backlit, and I found this out the hard way because I tried to do it myself. I tried to make my own cool painting, using oil paints, regular Grumbacher oil paints. It was just horrible. You could see every brush stroke and the oil in the paint starts being absorbed into the head. So you have this big outline around what you're painting of oil that is now being backlit by the light bulbs, it shows up. So what they had to do was they had to cut the paint a certain way thin it out and make it work so that you didn't get that oil spreading just like I did. And they had to really watch it with the brush strokes. So instead, they utilized a different method called the stipple method. You've heard of a stipple gold snare drum, right?


Bart: I have, yeah.


Jim: Okay, the finish is basically a lot plaster looking finish, but when you take a sponge, and if you look at the trees and all that, you can see and use it and this method is used a lot by some of those quick artists that you see like at a fair or street fair, or in a mall. They'll have a way of making either an Elvis picture or a waterfall picture or a galaxy picture, they're doing a show themselves working real fast and they make one and then make another one and then make another one. Exact same method, exact same waterfall, so they've got no doubt somebody showed them how to do it and they use sponges, and they use a cloth wadded up dabbing it. That's called the stipple method. And they'll take their brushes and instead of drawing the brush downward or sideways or whatever, they would dab the brush and if you go and look closely, at the bushes, the trees you can see yeah, I can see how that was done by them stabbing at the drum head and they really had skills to be able to do that. And then when they would make like the comb looking water, they would dab it first and then smear it somehow with the cloth, just so you’d think they mastered the way to not get those brushstrokes. It's amazing when you consider the content as they went along. Remember they started out with these crude initials; Joe blows orchestra, maybe the nickname of the drummer could even be like a nude woman, it was just really amateurish kind of looking but the company's hired artists that mastered this technique and if you ever get to see them real, not pictures, you can really look it and if you're allowed to hold them and hold them up to the light, it's cool.

Now there are guys out there that are really, really experts at the history of this. They even know some of the names of the artists, like maybe recited it lady; they may say, oh, there were five or six known employees that that's all they did. They worked in the art department, and they did the paintings. And these guys are so good that they could say, “Oh, that's so and so did that one. And this looks like so and so's work.” Yet it's the mountain lake scene. They both did this same painting that Ludwig Ludwig wanted them to do, you know the Ludwig and Ludwig or lady or whoever would choose certain ones certain paintings that they would include in their catalogs. And I don't know if they really did custom work they probably did. But you just probably had to pay more for it. They didn't you know, nothing catalog. That's why I have one here. And if you go watch the video of mine, I think it’s right behind me in the video, but it's a ship on the ocean sailing. I've never seen it in any catalog, but the painting is done so well that I believe it to be a factory painting. There are other ones that you can tell, not fact, even though it's done well, you can just tell. And if you study these long enough, they become burned into your brain and you'll start to know which ones are popular, just like a set of blue Vistaites that are everywhere.


Bart: Yeah, there's certain ones that you always see and you're absolutely right where you're saying that these guys are master painters. Everyone should Google it and you can see, it almost reminds me in a great way of Bob Ross, the famous PBS painter. They have these beautiful reflections on the water.


Jim: Yes! To be able to convey that to someone else like Bob Ross did, he would say whispery words, “Just grab your number two brush, and just stab it like this boom, boom, boom.” Basically that's the same thing the guy at the mall in the street fair is doing, only he's doing it lightning fast to make a show out of it and then he’d spin it and rely on the paint, running off this centrifugal force. It's a show in itself, but you can tell these guys have painted these same paintings a million times. I really I really wonder how many were put, I don't know if there's a record of it somewhere but that would be cool to know or if just amount Lake scene was the one everybody liked. Again, my favorite, just because I'm from a collector standpoint, is the balloon dancer. I don't know if you have access to this. The luxury ones are easier to find, but then when you look at the Slingerlands, they're a little more rare. And I'm looking at Rob's book, and they are just a horse of a different color. You can tell a Slingerland painting, they just have a different look. It's the difference between using chalks to make your artwork and oil painting with a brush. The coloring is more vivid. Yes.

Those lines are not sharp. They're soft lines, but the colors are more vivid. They have a clipper ship, but they call it a night at sea. Now imagine how hard it would be to make a night scene in those days. And it does, it looks like a ship on water. Then of course, they've got their version of the mountain lake. They call it Scotland and it's number 822. They gave it a catalog number.


Bart: I see it. For sale for $12.


Jim: Yeah, a lot of these are winter scenes, there's the cabin in the wood, the log cabin that's number 23. I think Ludwig did one too. Yeah. Ludwig did one too. 1930. They call it the winter scene.


Bart: So we're talking about the winter scene and it's kind of funny to me. Some of them are a little bit, I don't want to say depressing, but some of them are sort of dark. I'm looking in a catalog, which you guys can find online, at summit castle scene number 824. It reminds me of when I talked to Mark Cooper about the forest fire scene, which is a super rare one, where it's even hard to Google and find an image of it, but where there is literally a forest on fire.


Jim: I'm trying to think who made that…


Bart: it's a pretty grim scene obviously.


Jim: I know. It's unusual because even Millie Lake number 825 of the Slingerlands catalogue, they show it's really supposed to be sunset or dusk, but it looks it has that fiery sky look to it. It just what is that? Why it's so ominous looking? Also a lot of pirate stuff.


Bart: There are tons of women being depicted here in the era, as well. Kind of Great Gatsby-ish.

Jim: Absolutely. The roaring 20s.


Bart: Exactly. Yes.


Jim: The balloon dancer comes under that category, but I'm looking at Slingerlands and Ludwig next to each other here and again, it seems like every company figured well, we got to do a mountain lakes, okay, we got to do a cabin, a winter scene with the cabin. Ludwig’s got two of them. I don't know why they do that. Why they have two of them, but one is 1927 and then again, they change it like up again in 1930. Don't know why they unless that's when the catalogues were put on, but they chose them to change the look of the same subject matter. But then you'll see pirates again in both Slingerlands and Ludwig and Ludwig. And it's like the, I don't know if they were duelling it out. Of course there's the infamous windmill scene that they all have. I've got two leedys now. One is mounted on a 28 inch bass drum and this one blows me away now. I have another one that is in mint condition. Now, a lot of times when people say mint, they don't know what they're talking about, but when collectors or any high profile collector, or person in the drum community, vintage drum community says mint, they mean mint.

This came from Dave Brown over in England, and I traded a lowboy pedal for the head. He said “Oh, Jim I’ve got to have that. What do you want for it? I said, “Wait, I need a 25 and a half inch painted bass drum hood of the windmill scene.” And I can't believe that he just, “I’ve got one. I’ve got one. Do you want it?” “Yeah, what are you doing?” First of all, to have a 25 and a half inch is hard to find 28. This era everything was 28 inches mostly. Then it would go down to 26, but to have a 25 and a half, you could mess with a 26 but they will really did make 25 and a half exactly to fit a 25 and a half inch shell. He had one in mint condition and when Dave says mint, I mean I was shocked when I received it. It was beautiful. And I think it's the leedy version of the windmill scene.


Bart: That’s unbelievable.


Jim: And it’s just beautiful, I got to send that to you, you're going to be knocked out. But because I also have another Leedy windmill scene which has a rip in it and there's some other problems with it, but I'm just fascinated with them to tell you the truth. And it's funny that the way they came about, it was necessity, because of the humidity with calfskin heads and the evolution, it went through the teens and by the time the 20s rolled around, the drum companies figured we got to start making these and we're going to catalog them. And I'm not sure when the actual first catalog had painted drum heads and if it was lady, if it was Ludwig, I mean, Ludwig is showing 1927, even 1924, but I've even seen like 1923 so I'm not sure when they started, or did Mark Cooper ever mention?


Bart: No, he didn't but I'd also be curious about when did they end. So do you know when they ran their course and kind of went out of style would that be?


Jim: Let's put it this way. The balloon dancer went to 1940, that's latest 1940. That’s the latest I've got, but again, some by that time some people were getting it down with the painting, doing it themselves, especially band leaders that wanted their name or their initials on the bass drum. Benny Goodman, that's a famous head, BG with the lines and the shield and all that. But by the 50s, in the middle of the 50s, they were still doing calfskin because WFL, I got a whole set of WFLs with Calf skins. And in the late 50s I think, Remo Belli really started promoting. So the way of the painted head was over with, probably into the early 50s. That’s what I'm going to say but catalog wise, I can't put it down.


Bart: Yeah, gotcha. Well, it's such an interesting and unique and really beautiful piece of history where there’re works of art and like you said, it's that unique kind of style and there's actually something cool. You can look on Facebook and Instagram and all these places, there are people who are doing great jobs of reproducing these on 28 inch bass drum heads. It's obviously different than the original but if you can't find the original, why not have someone creating something new?


Jim: Yeah I don't know if there's a copyright on them. I really don't know, but all I can say is I've seen the ones that Matt Alling was putting out of CT Pro percussion, believe it or not, his mother was doing these paintings. He had them at the show two or three years ago, when he brought, we call it the cigar band drum set. Awesome set. If you look up CP pro percussion Matt Alling or you could probably even put in cigar band drum set, Google that. I can't believe it because it's painstaking. He used real cigar bands and made a rap out of them. Isn't that something he wrapped a whole kit. So anyways, I guess they're all artistically talented, his mother then was making the drum heads and I think one of my videos where I did a segment on Matt, in the background and we talked about there were these, he was offering calfskin heads because he's very big on fresh new calfskin heads you can hit. He recognizes the older, the originals as being collectible, but not playable. Big no, no. I mean, he'll say they're like cardboard. He’ll say they're all drying out. I think I even sat down at a set that year and just did a little ditty, a little demo. And the feel of them was pretty cool.

Speaking of contemporary painted heads, I think you're going to start seeing more of them just for the heck of it just because collector and I think it'll be by somebody like, Frankie Banali or somebody like that. Collectors, I think would value something like that, because anybody else is going to go to a computer guy and have them really made up all these satanic figures and all that kind of stuff that they do now. Oh, yeah. It's incredible. But as far as real painted heads, I think it's going to be collectors that would be interested in something like that. And if they ever do, if they ever are allowed to reproduce those exact heads because why haven't they done it already? They would have already done it.


Bart: Yeah. And I've seen a few online where I think people just look at it and kind of, you're right. It's an interesting thing with copywriting and can you copyright the image of--


Jim: The spider lady, I believe has been done because once again, you can tell how I've told you that because like as collectors, it may as well be like being kids looking at Comic books, you memorize everything on the page. So you stare at these examples forever and ever. And your mom comes in and goes, “Put that book down.” “But wait, it's a Leedy something.” And I just be staring at it. You literally do almost memorize every stroke that's on there and I've seen the spider lady on it. Attempts at the spider lady that just kind of block it, block is crude. Nice try, and I'm glad the revere this, not you but the person that you revere this painting and recognize it as one of the coolest ones that were made. But nothing like the real thing baby as they said, but I do think somebody's going to do that, but it's got to be Slingerland, it's got to be Ludwig. You got bill Ludwig out there with WFL three. I don't know if you would ever put any stock in doing some kind of painted head, like they did in the old days. Or I could see one of the newer companies who's doing the rusted stuff, A&F their look is so vintage, even down to the strainer that they chose to use, just because of its vintage look. George Way looking one. And their look, each set is different because of what they're doing with the rust look and I could see them somehow either commissioning someone that does have the copyright to have those or get permission somehow, but that's a company I could see doing it. There are some other boutique companies that I could see that could use that, but I'm telling you their works of art, when I see them, I have to get them just like the 60s drums that I do not collect!

I've got enough to say that people could say, “Oh, you collect some?” “No, I don't. I just appreciate them for their collectability.” I'll put them out there and try and sell them and all that to the right person, like the North drums, I managed to put those in the right place. I don't want to sell them to just anybody. They’ve got to be interested in, they got to have a knowledge of what they are. So anyway, it's the same with the paintings. If they ever go, they're going to go to the right person.


Bart: You talking about the North drums and all that stuff that we're referring to on your YouTube page… I think as we've wrapped up with the the history of the painted heads of how they went away with the Mylar heads and Remo coming out with that technology, which there was a debate between Remo and Evans that was on a previous episode, which I will not open that can of worms again… but why don't you take this opportunity to tell people where they can find you because I can speak from personal experience that Mr Jim Messina here is a wealth of knowledge and his videos are just unbelievably entertaining, just to put on and watch on YouTube.


Jim: Bart, that's a good way to put it. You can find me all over the internet, you just put in vintagedrumstalk.com, that'll take you to the website. Okay. Then I'm sure if you look on YouTube, I'm still listed as gumph1234, that's G-U-M-P-H and then the numbers 1234 that'll be my channel and that's where you'll find a lot of the early videos. There's a lot of it. I mean, I think I've done over a couple of hundred videos. It says it's all video and it's all vintage, and it is because everything I did was on video and then I started covering the Chicago show. Most of those are on the website, but everything I've done you can find on YouTube also, separate from my channel and I also have some things on Facebook. I've been putting some videos up there, lately, if you go to drumforum.org, I'm listed, you can find some of my Chicago drum show coverage in there. I'm not really hard to find. And now I'm on the drum history podcast.


Bart: Yes, you are. And I think people will find it kind of funny that once they watch your videos and your coverage of the Chicago drum show, they'll see that pretty much everyone who's been on the show, with some exceptions have been in your videos like Joe Luoma, Mark Cooper, Joey Boom.


Jim: I've been doing it for over 10 years now almost. Yeah, next year, it'll be 10 years. I can't believe the time has flown that fast plus I was doing it even before that, but I tell you, it's such an honor here for me. Like I said, this is the first time I've ever like granted an interview just because, I don't know. I told Bart I said, “Look, there's some kind of vibe going on here.” And Bart, you don't know this but I guess I could close out with this I, I do admire you for what you've done with your drum history podcast in such a short amount of time. And for your age, it fits in perfectly with today's technology. When I started doing this, it was VHS tape. There was barely an internet, things were different back then and I grew a little bit along with it, but kind of got a name for itself at vintage drums talk, took a name for itself, got rolling, and I see that happening with you. Don’t think me, you deserve it. You really do, you're on the right track. I feel your voice, your demeanor is just right for the times. Again, folks I want you to know out there, if all of you are listening that usually listen to me or watch my videos, but I'm in my 60s now and Bart is in his 20s it's, it's cool. So I would like to take this opportunity to invite you Bart to co-host this year's Chicago vintage and custom drum show. I feel that you would be a fantastic partner and addition to what vintage drums talk usually offers. What do you think of that?


Bart: I love it. Oh my gosh, that is a--


Jim: I don't want to put you on the spot or anything.


Bart: No, I will give you a resounding yes and that is one of the, to think that I was watching you a year ago, wanting to be there, I'm in.


Jim: Not funny. It's kind of like my nephew Christopher. One of my camera men. okay guys, one of my cameramen is my nephew and he was a little kid when he started coming to the shows with me and blah, blah, blah, but now he has gained all this success as a technician. He's out on the road with Lady Gaga and Madonna and all this stuff. Okay, that's making a long story short, but it's kind of the same thing. His first job, professional job was with Tower of Power, my absolute all-time favorite group. We used to take Christopher to the concert, so kind of what you're talking about, a year ago you were watching me and now here, I'm asking you to join me. And I'm glad to have you, but I know that feeling of just, “What, you’re kidding me.” It's a blast. You feel like come on, you’re kidding. No, I'm not kidding, I see the future in you to tell you the truth. I'm not going to go on forever. Vintage drums talk maybe all with you, but as far as this year, I could see you and I having a lot of fun at the Chicago show and I think the audience would really enjoy probably two of their favorite people. The drum history podcast, and vintagedrumstalk.com. I'm just honored that you're saying yes, I'm glad. And there's so much more we can do. Okay, so, once again, as I always say, once you get bit by the vintage drum bug, it's all over. Jim Messina from vintagedrumstalk.com!


Bart: I love it. Wow. Thank you so much. I am absolutely in, everyone who's listening can look forward to that and I will keep everyone updated. And Jim, you and I can talk offline later because I think this is just a perfect way to end the show on such a high note and I am all smiles here.


Jim: Well, I'm elated myself, because I had a great time here talking with you, Bart, I'm excited and I'm honored to have you do it. So everybody out there, watch for us at the Chicago vintage and custom drum show this year. All right.


Bart: Perfect.


Jim: I love you, man.


Bart: Love you too, buddy. I'll talk to you later.


Jim: Thank you so much.


Bart: If you liked this podcast, find me on social media at drum history and please share, rate and leave a review and let me know topics that you would like to learn about in the future. Until next time, keep on learning. This is a Gwynne sound podcast.



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