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Drums & Percussion/My 1970 slingerland Dr. John's studio set


Hello there, I am Rick Hicks of New Orleans La. I own the drums (documented proof) that local Rock & Roll hall of fame "Doctor John" and his band used and studio recorded with from 1981-1986. This same set of drums were used outside the studio only one time at jazzfest concert in 1973 when his hit "right place wrong time" was topping the charts(can be seen on youtube)and drummer Freddie Staele rocked these as well as Mac "Doc John". My question is this. My set I know by the badge and serial # in maple are the ONLY set I have found anywhere that are open bottomed with no re=enforcement rods and hardwear to the bottom end of entire drum kit. I've been offered lots of offers to buy them because of thier pedigree, but only a couple of big time Slingerland experts have given me answers that kind of match up. I wanted to see if you share the same oppinion they had. That the single bottom silver/brushed steel? band style kit, is a rare example of the crossover slingerland made before passing the new ownership later in 1970. I was told that only 110 sets of these were ever produced and have the most beautiful sound and BOOM factor of any drums I know I've played. I have went blind looking for a match to my set and was informed that only about 4 sets are even still in existance. A big time studio guy wants to look them over for recording reasons and said these are the stratovarius of drums and the best sound quality ever produced. I know I have never played a set with this sound before, very different I know. Any thoughts on this would help. Thank you for your time. Rick

Hi Rick,
If coolness had a chart, your drums would be "off the chart". The pedigree alone makes them very special. For people who are looking for that sound, those would seem to me to be the cream of the crop. To answer your question, I have not come across a set with those exact specifications and would think they are quite rare. As to how many kits were made, I couldn't even venture a guess, I don't have enough info. Back to the sound factor, from your description, it makes sense they would produce the very specific tone of drums with no reso head only more so. I'd love to see a picture of them, if you could post one here that would be great.
Feel free to get back with any more questions.

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Mike Shapiro


I can answer questions regarding drum and percussion subjects. If you have a question about technique, rudiments, grooves, fills, styles, reading (etc.) in relation to the drum set... ask away! I'm also able to help with timpani, vibes, marimba and hand percussion. I can also answer questions regarding the purchasing of drum and percussion instruments and accessories, including vintage and current items. I can help with restoration projects or research with the history of percussion instruments, music, repertoire, manufacturers etc.


I've been playing professionally and teaching music for 25 years. I'm involved in many genres of music and have played with a wide range of musicians from Todd Rundgren to Zubin Mehta. I'm also very interested in the instruments themselves and have owned or played many interesting ones.

Professional Drum Teachers Guild

Bachelor of Music, The Juilliard School

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