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OddBall

Stainless Steel

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I looked around and found that JB used SS drums live (70s`),..But does anyone know if he recorded with them ??

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The story goes that he only recorded with wood drums.

('In My Time of Dying' has always sounded to me like the Vistalite kit, but I could be wrong)

The stainless steel kit was used live from '77 - '80

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Silversparkle.jpg?t=1287605814

This photo was used in the promotional brochure when Polar Studios first opened it's doors.

The studio was owned by Abba, and they wanted a big name band to record there to give it's name a "boost".

Now, we can't prove it, but they look like Bonhams drums to me. On the left there appears to be the Ludwig Green Sparkle kit (his fave kit for recording) and in the centre is his Stainless Steel kit....

Whether we hear BOTH these kits on "In Through The Out Door" is another question...

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I believe the drum set in that picture is actually silver sparkle (wood)

Apart from one comment in one book, I've never seen anything to suggest Bonzo ever even had a Silver Sparkle kit.

I find it unlikely he would use two wooden kits, with almost identical spec, in a studio. Isn't it more likely he would use the usual wooden kit (green) and took along the Stainless as an "experiment" in the studio, as he'd never recorded with Stainless drums before? It even has the 15x12 rack tom, as seen on the '77 tour and the Knebworth shows....??

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Silversparkle.jpg?t=1287605814

This photo was used in the promotional brochure when Polar Studios first opened it's doors.

The studio was owned by Abba, and they wanted a big name band to record there to give it's name a "boost".

Now, we can't prove it, but they look like Bonhams drums to me. On the left there appears to be the Ludwig Green Sparkle kit (his fave kit for recording) and in the centre is his Stainless Steel kit....

Whether we hear BOTH these kits on "In Through The Out Door" is another question...

Page was interviewed about the ITTOD sessions and stated that it was the first time where the drums were recorded without the front skin on the bass drum. At the time of the sessions (Nov - Dec 78) Bonzo was seen playing a totally new kit in Nov 78 at Abbey Road Studios for McCartney's Rockestra.

john20bonham201.jpg

I believe it's highly possible that this was the kit he used. There are mp3s of the drums in isolation from the ITTOD sessions online and the sound is quite unique. No one knows if the drums pictured from the Polar ad photo are Bonzo's. The silver sparkle could be but the front skin is still on the bass drum while the kit to the far left has an image on the front skin and there are no kit's that Bonzo owned that had an image on the bass drum head. (Other that the Three Rings from 73)

Edited by sixpense

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Page was interviewed about the ITTOD sessions and stated that it was the first time where the drums were recorded without the front skin on the bass drum. At the time of the sessions (Nov - Dec 78) Bonzo was seen playing a totally new kit in Nov 78 at Abbey Road Studios for McCartney's Rockestra.

john20bonham201.jpg

I believe it's highly possible that this was the kit he used. There are mp3s of the drums in isolation from the ITTOD sessions online and the sound is quite unique. No one knows if the drums pictured from the Polar ad photo are Bonzo's. The silver sparkle could be but the front skin is still on the bass drum while the kit to the far left has an image on the front skin and there are no kit's that Bonzo owned that had an image on the bass drum head. (Other that the Three Rings from 73)

Those drums are called Staccato and were probably used because that's what Paul McCartney wanted. No way would Bonham have used those on a Zeppelin record...

The kit "on the left" at Polar has no front head on the bass drum. Look at the picture - you can clearly see the interior shell.

Edited by Bonzoghost

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Those drums are called Staccato and were probably used because that's what Paul McCartney wanted. No way would Bonham have used those on a Zeppelin record...

The kit "on the left" at Polar has no front head on the bass drum. Look at the picture - you can clearly see the interior shell.

I belive thoes drums are the one's that Ludwig sprayed a white sound coating on the inside. I dont know why but it for sure would have some thing to do with the sound of the drums. I have heard "In Through the Out Door" (it was one of my first LP's) many a times, there are some timbales on "Fool in the Rain", dont know what they where made of.

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Those drums are called Staccato and were probably used because that's what Paul McCartney wanted. No way would Bonham have used those on a Zeppelin record...

The kit "on the left" at Polar has no front head on the bass drum. Look at the picture - you can clearly see the interior shell.

You don't know that and neither do I. However, I think that no one other than Bonzo would decide what kit to play!

I already did look at the picture. There is an image of a person with sunglasses on it.

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That photo is why I asked the question in this site. I saw it on a Ludwig site, but most of the type was in German, some was in English and one guy says he never used SS drums or versiite kit to record. Those sure are configured like the SS drums on the right and look miked up too. The green drums on the left,..looks like you can see right through the bass drum, and at that angle, you should be able to with clear heads or no heads !! I see no image but maybe clear heads that say Ludwig across the bottom or a pillow in it !!

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That photo is why I asked the question in this site. I saw it on a Ludwig site, but most of the type was in German, some was in English and one guy says he never used SS drums or versiite kit to record. Those sure are configured like the SS drums on the right and look miked up too. The green drums on the left,..looks like you can see right through the bass drum, and at that angle, you should be able to with clear heads or no heads !! I see no image but maybe clear heads that say Ludwig across the bottom or a pillow in it !!

Perhaps you thinking of just the snare drum being stainless, lot's of guy's prefer a metal snare over wood and many drummer's will use more than one type of snare over the course of a recording. Maybe not as much in those days, but, you got to admit that "In Through the Outdoor" has got a lot of different sound's on it.

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Not really,...the drums are reflecting the colors of the floor, remember, the SS kit has a mirror finish. The palm leaves are the same color as the drums on the left and the floor color is in the background.

The album, like you said has many different sounds and I think he did use the SS kit, That`s why I wanna try to confirm it. I thought this would be THE place to find out. Here`s something I was told that I didn`t know,....The reproduction SS drums today, a magnet would stick to,...It would not stick to the SS drums JB had !! I don`t know how true that is but grade A Stainless steele is non magnetic !! I`ve never been close enough to either SS drum types to find out myself !!

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There are three videos online of Bonzo's drum kit in use. One is a performance of Moby Dick by Mark Romans and the other two show Bonzo's drum tech (Jeff Ocheltree) tuning the bass drum along with explaining each part of the kit . He hits each drum to show what pitch each drum is tuned to. Pay close attention to the pitch of the rack tom.

My link

As every Zep fan knows; Bonzo had a standard Jazz drum setup- very minimal: a 26" bass drum, a rack tom, snare, two floor toms, cymbals and a gong.

One could easily assume that this was the standard setup Bonzo used to record with. In fact, the green sparkle kit in the video played by Mark Romans was the kit Bonzo used during the early 1970s. (LZ III, Zoso and Houses of the Holy)

However, the music from the In Through The Out Door (ITTOD) sessions say something else. Specifically, Fool In The Rain has Bonzo playing a kit which is not like his standard setup. (not like kit in the video or the kit in the Polar Studios ad)

In that song, he is playing a drum kit that has multiple small rack toms. (Something he did not record with in the past) The whole middle section of Fool In The Rain (where the whistle blows and the piano starts), has Bonzo playing drums (including overdubs) with high pitched (smaller) rack toms. There is an isolated drum fill where you can clearly hear them. At (3:44) three minutes and forty four seconds Bonzo plays a descending drum fill with these small high pitched rack toms. That is not a snare drum because he hits the snare at (3:48) three minutes and forty eight seconds. (The pitch is lower)

The drum fill at 3:44 can be done on his standard set. It's not physically possible.

To me, without any doubt, Bonzo is using the same kit on Fool In The Rain that he used at Abbey Road for Rockestra. It has the additional small rack toms, and he was using that kit the same month that the ITTOD sessions started.

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Silversparkle.jpg?t=1287605814

This photo was used in the promotional brochure when Polar Studios first opened it's doors.

The studio was owned by Abba, and they wanted a big name band to record there to give it's name a "boost".

Now, we can't prove it, but they look like Bonhams drums to me. On the left there appears to be the Ludwig Green Sparkle kit (his fave kit for recording) and in the centre is his Stainless Steel kit....

Whether we hear BOTH these kits on "In Through The Out Door" is another question...

Just showed Jason this photo. Not his dad's kit.

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By any chance ,did you find out if he ever used the SS drums to record with ??

Yes, on In Through the Out Door

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