Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:26 am
Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:58 pm
Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:20 am
KiwiAlan wrote:Try to get hold of Ron if you can...he's very approachable
Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:28 am
KiwiAlan wrote:Try to get hold of Ron if you can...he's very approachable
Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:34 am
Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:57 am
Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:02 am
Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:35 pm
Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:47 pm
Wolfy1969 wrote:I HAVE built a replica of his Ludwig Blue
Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:50 pm
Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:55 pm
Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:39 am
Wolfy1969 wrote:Hi Tony,
Just stumbled on this site last night and being a huge Tutt fan, wondered if you ever got this questions answered...I see it's a year old, but I HAVE built a replica of his Ludwig Blue Sparkles and use them quite regularly...I have pics of them if you'd like to see them, plus I have the specs on the kit as well...I've done a lot of research into them..
Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:34 am
Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:55 pm
Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:07 pm
Wolfy1969 wrote:OK, here's a copy of the email I sent Tony so I don't have to type it all again, LOL
First - the website link: http://wolfy_is.home.mchsi.com/drums.htm . There are a few pics of my replica kit. Ronnie Tutt himself has seen this webpage (I email him fairly often) and he was impressed and honored. The first two pics are of him and Elvis. I'd told him I'd seen some pics of him playing the blue sparkles without the concert toms. He said he never remembered ever playing it without the concert toms, so I put those two pics up there to show him. The next group of pics is of the kit after I'd assembled all the drums and before I refinished the whole kit.
The next group is some shots of the finished kit in my garage. The last group is some shots of it mic'ed up for a gig backing a local Elvis impersonator I know. To date, that's the only time they've been used for an Elvis show.
The specs on Ronnie's kit are as follows:
6", 8", 10", 12" single headed concert toms.
9x13", 10x14" double headed concert toms mounted on a stand between kick drums.
16x16", 16x18" double headed floor toms.
(2) 14x24" bass drums.
6.5x14" COB (Chrome Over Brass) snare drum.
All drums were 3 ply maple with reinforcement rings top and bottom. The single headed concert toms were painted white inside while all the double headed drums were clear maple inside. According to Ludwig, the reason for this was that after Ringo was on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964, orders came in for Ludwig drums so fast they couldn't keep up. So, often whatever wood was available was used and you'd sometimes end up with an inside ply of maple, or poplar, or mahogany - whatever was on hand. Since this looked odd, someone came up with the idea to just paint the insides of the shells white, then they'd all match. All Ronnie's drums had the Keystone badges. This was an interesting part of the puzzle to me. By 1971 or so when Ronnie got this kit, Ludwig had switched to the Blue/Olive badges. In fact, in some pictures, you can see that badge on the tom stand between the kicks. They had also stopped the practice of painting the insides of the shells white. So, I wondered how it was that Ronnie got a kit that was Keystone badged and the concert toms painted whilte, when both things had been changed by the time Ronnie ordered his kit. It basically was because Ludwig would make up tons of shells that might sit around for a few years before being used on a kit. So, even though he ordered his kit new in 1971 or so, the unfinished shells might've been made a year or two earlier and were just sitting around the warehouse waiting to be used on a kit.
Ronnie mounted his toms a bit different than I ended up doing. The double headed toms are on a stand between the kicks. The 12" concert tom is on a long post mounted to his left bass drum. The 10" and 8" toms are on a double tom stand together, and the 6" is on a double tom stand by itself. I chose to mount the 6 and 8 together and the 10 and 12 together on the Ludwig L-arm tom posts, then clamp that with a Pearl clamp to nearby cymbal stands. I didn't want to drill a hole in my kick drums for a tom mount for just one drum. Ronnie also has a shell mount cymbal holder on his right kick which held that small cymbal he used all the time that hangs over the 14" rack tom. I believe this to be a 14" or 15" cymbal.
Speaking of cymbals, he used Zildjian, which surprised me as I had thought he was a life-long Paiste man, but he says they were ZIldjian. He also says he used the same cymbals the whole time with Elvis, occasionally adding one or two, but the basics stayed the same the whole time. This was surprising to me as there is such a difference on the various live concerts that it's hard to believe those were the same cymbals used every time, but he says they were. Some time in 1974, he added another crash cymbal above the two rack toms, and once he switched to the chrome Octa-plus kit in 1975, he added a 20" Paiste ride.
He used stock Ludwig coated heads, but sometimes used clear heads on the concert toms. The front bass drum heads were always off (hey, this WAS the 70s after all!), and he says the decision was his as to whether the bottom toms heads were on or off. He's been a lifelong Regal Tip 5B endorser - I think he said he used to use 5As in the studio sometimes.
He used Ludwig hardware throughout with the exception of bass drum pedals. I would assume he would have been using Speed Kings as a Ludwig endorser, but he didn't. He used ABSA Caroline pedals with round red wood beaters. These pedals were ahead of their time and prized by anyone who owns them. They're about impossible to find on eBay.
An interesting tidbit is that Ron actually wanted Silver Sparkle. When he signed on with Ludwig, they were getting ready to do an engagement in Vegas. Ludwig wanted their drums there for opening night. Ron wanted Silver Sparkle, but Ludwig only had blue, red and green sparkle in the sizes Ron wanted for immediate shipment. He didn't want red or green, and he really didn't want blue either because Hal Blaine and Jim Keltner were using blue sparkle and he wanted something different. However, he went with the blue and it ended up being the perfect choice.
To my dismay, Ron told me he sold this kit to Hard Rock café, who has since split it up and put it in a few locations for display. One was in Memphis, the other in Baltimore he thought, but he doesn't know for sure.
As for my replica, I started buying the drums to make up the kit about 4 years ago on eBay. I didn't care what color they were as I new I would refinish the whole kit. What was important was they were the right era, the right series and the right sizes. The first drums I got were the 6 and 8" concert toms. The last drum I got was the 14" rack tom. That was kind of hard to find. As you can see, I ended up with a true 'jellybean' kit - every drum was different color - inside and out. The clear interior drums were OK inside, just needed some cleaning. The single headed ones were a different story. The 12" had been painted BLACK inside by someone, the 10", the 8, and the 6 were gray flecked inside. So, I stripped those down to bare wood and painted them all white. Next, I used a heat gun and putty knives to get the old wrap off all the drums. I got all the blue sparkle covering from Jammin' Sam in Phoenix, AZ (http://www.jamminsam.com) They custom cut all the pieces for you and apply a hi-bond tape to the backside ends. This way you don't have to mess with contact cement all over the back. They get their wrap from the same company that supplies it to all the major drum companies.
Once the drums were wrapped, I set about replacing any bad or missing hardware. I found a guy on eBay from Ohio who has tons of original Ludwig parts - tom mounts, lugs, rims, etc. and I got what I needed from him. I polished up all the chrome, bought new heads all the way around and assembled the kit.
I opted for coated Remo Ambassadors on the concert toms as they're a bit thinner, but used coated Emporers on the rack toms for a deeper, warmer sound. I used Powerstroke 4s on the kicks - coated on the back and clear on the front, and a Remo coated Emporer X on the snare.
I use a Paiste/Sabian mix of cymbals. Starting on the left (sitting at the kit), is a 16" Sabian AA Rocktagon, then a 16" Paiste Signature Full Crash, a 10" Paiste Dimensions splash, a 14" Sabian AAX thin crash, another 16" Paiste Signature full crash, a 21" Paiste Signature Dry Full Ride, and an 18" Paiste Dimensions crash over the floor toms. The hats are 14" Sabian AA Rock Sizzle Hats.
As my other kit is Pearl, I share a lot of the Pearl hardware with this kit. The double tom stand and the tom holders are all Ludwig, but the cymbal stands are all Pearl. I use the Pearl floating floor tom legs on the floor toms, and I use Pearl Eliminator bass drum pedals and hi-hat stands. In the pictures, I used my Pearl Steve Ferrone signature model snare, but I have since acquired a more accurate Ludwig Supraphonic 400 that I use with the Luwdigs now.
As a finishing touch, I found a guy named Len Howe with Classic Drums in London, England who makes replica Ludwig CHICAGO (NOT North Carolina) keystone badges (among other things - they specialize in older Ludwig parts). I ordered one for every drum from him. As these are replicas, they do not have serial numbers on them, which was fine with me. I took them to a local jeweler and had them engrave a custom serial number that I made up on each drum to identify them as mine.
This kit is truly a labor of love and I had a lot of fun building it. Overall, it took me about 3 years to do - most of that was waiting for the right drums to show up for sale, and getting the money together to buy them when they did show up.
Well, this has been a mouthful for now, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
PS - regaring emailing Ronnie - he admits to being super slow at typing and doesn't say much when he does email. He's a really busy guy (Neil Diamond is out on tour right now), and sometimes I'll email him and get something back the same day, or sometimes he doesn't answer at all. Best thing I can say is to just keep trying - he'll answer eventually and he's a really nice guy.
Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:25 pm
Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:51 am
Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:53 pm
Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:32 pm
Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:39 pm
Rich_TCB wrote:Mike - thank you for that information. As a drummer myself, that is very interesting.
You're right, the TTWII drum kit was definitely "thinner" sounding than his later kits.
I always liked the kit he used in '72, shown in the "Elvis On Tour" movie and the original MSG album. Ronnie was absolutely on fire during '72 -- he played his ass off.
Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:56 pm
Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:13 pm
Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:58 pm
Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:47 pm
Wolfy1969 wrote:Some links with pics:
http://www.elvisconcerts.com/pictures/pics1969.htm - Premier Silver Sparkle kit.
http://www.elvisconcerts.com/pictures/c700301.htm - a few far off shots of Bob Lanning's kit at the Houston Astrodome - basic 5 piece.
http://www.elvisconcerts.com/pictures/c700814ms.htm - Black Sparkle Sonors (TTWI kit) - couldn't find any color pics on that site of that kit.
http://www.elvisconcerts.com/pictures/c700912.htm - Ludwig Blue Sparkles...I'm not sure I trust the date on this set of pics, however this is the first date with a pic of the Ludwigs on it. If it's correct, it means Ronnie got that kit new in September, 1970, and thus only had the Sonors for only a few months. Ronnie says he didn't get the Ludwigs until '72, but as you thumb through the pics on this site, you'll see plenty of evidence that time has clouded his memory a bit.
There's also a pic I showed him of the Blue Sparkles without the concert toms added yet! He had no memory of this when I showed it to him!
http://www.elvisconcerts.com/pictures/c700914.htm - It may be the angle, but I swear the bass drums are 2 different sizes here, too - as well as the right bass (looking at the pic) has the older 60s fold out spurs while the left (main) kick has the modern arc-spurs on it. Ronnie had said something about they did the endorsement deal, but Ludwig didn't have the drums he wanted in Blue Sparkle in stock, but they wanted the Ludwig name up there on stage for the next shows which were starting right away. So, I think they cobbled him together a kit with whatever they had in Blue Sparkle until they got his full kit made. That would be my un-educated I-wasn't-there guess.
Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:53 am
Hosted by ElviCities