So there we were. A fearsome threesome, a power trio, a force to be reckoned with! Well, not so much.
Practices came slow. learning the dynamics of each others personalities and musical abilities proved to be trickier than any of us had expected. Ron was able to score a plastic K brand guitar. It was an acoustic and of course for the price, it had no pickup. Paul on the other hand had a pretty decent little Alvarez acoustic (which actually played like butter and still does in fact) but chose to go electric. His ax of choice? A black and white strat copy and his amp? A massive 12" practice amp. A Crate amp that well, looked like a crate.
I was able to score some sweet drums from a garage sale. Up to this point I had always played on other peoples' kits or with my snare and drum cases. Truth be told I was pretty green on the kit. I actually didn't even have a full kit or a throne or cymbals. I did in fact have an all metal Ludwig snare drum from the late 60's early 70's. I also had a pair of 2B drum sticks from about that same era. What I would do on occasion is set up my snare and the drum case it came in as a sort of 'tom / kick drum' and alternate between the two.
Eventually I came across an old drum kit at a neighborhood garage sale. I'm not sure what compelled my brother Philip and me to drive to this particular part of town on that particular day but we did. And there it was in all its beat-up glory, an old, tiny, silver with black stripe Ludwig drum kit.
Side note, the house that was having the garage sale just happened to be were a school buddy of mine lived. I didn't even know he lived there. It was kinda crazy. Philip and me pulled up and saw this kit. we parked the car and tried to walk up all calm and cool as if we really could care less about what they were selling.
"Oh you have a drum kit for sale? That's cool I guess. Oh it's a Ludwig? Ya, I guess those are o.k. drums."
"Not sure about the color."
"Ya, I agree with my brother. I'm not sure about the color. How much you want for them?"
So, the man of the house looks at me and says something like, "$150.00."
So I, trying to pretend even though I'm a 16 year old kid without a pot to you-know-what-in, I probably have that kind of money just laying around. Of course even though $150 bucks would be chump change to me I'm still a frugal garage-saler and as such one knows that you never accept the sticker price. Oh no, you must counter! So I counter.
"I'm thinking more along the lines of about $50."
"Sorry," he says, "can't do $50."
"How about $75?",the desperation starts to set in. Calm begins to flee.
"I'm thinking more like $100." ,he says.
Right about then I start to freak out and for fear that someone else may have been listening to our entire conversation and may perhaps decide to join in and out bid me I resort to the only logical think that one can do in times like that. I begin to beg.
"Please sir, I really would love to have a drum set. I've been playing for years now and I all I have is this old snare and a beat up case and I'm broke and I have this band and I came here with my brother and well, just look at how scronny we both are. I mean it's pretty obvious that we are broke.
So, out of the goodness of his heart he says, "Technically these are not mine. They belong to my son so it's his decision as to whether or not he will take $100."
Then he calls out for his kid. "Sven!"
Wait a second. Did he just say Sven? As in Sven-Eric Olsen? The kid I used to be in a band with before joining this band with Ron? No it can't be. It can't be. He plays guitar not drums. And he knows from all of our jamming sessions that I don't have a real drum kit. Surely if these drums belonged to him he would have offered them for use all those times I jammed with him. Surely we would have perhaps jammed at his house instead of Jeff's (Varney) house all those times. I mean he would have had the garage and the drums. Isn't that what a garage band is? And then as my brain is possessing all these thoughts in walks Sven-Eric Olsen. John Lennon glasses and all.
His dad says, "Sven, this young man would like to buy your drum set for $100 instead of $150. Is that o.k.?"
Sven looks at me as if he has never met me before and says. "I guess..."
So then after all that, I kid you not, I look him square in the eyes and said, "Will you take payments?"
Sven is just absolutely stunned and then his Dad says, "Sven this is a nice boy, he plays drums, he doesn't have alot of money. These drums are yours so it's up to you to decide but perhaps you should consider helping him out."
I also remind Sven that we go to the same school so I will see him every week so no need to worry about getting the money.
SOLD! And that was that. we loaded up the drums and I payed Sven $25 a week for the next month. And so begin the next phase of the band.