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Gene Krupa's 7x14 Billy Gladstone snare drum. As many of your know, Gladstone snares are some of the most highly prized snare drums ever made. The genius of Billy Gladstone's inventions, plus the incredible sound of these drums, make these instruments highly sought after by players and collectors alike. We have had the honor of brokering more Gladstone drums than any other dealer, with 12 of the snares passing through my hands, as well as two of the four original sets (the other two having been destroyed in a fire, and one with a destroyed bass drum respectively).

In trying to estimate the importance of this drum I have to say that, in my view, this drum is the most valuable of any Gladstone snares. My rationale for this is the fact that 1) It is one of very few existing examples of Billy's work, and 2) It was made for Gene Krupa, who was the man who brought the drumset to the forefront of the orchestra, and as Billy said in his name plate description: "Gene Krupa, The World's Most Renowned Drummer, from Billy Gladstone". That truly says it all. 

Of course, Gene was a Slingerland artist for his entire career, and he was a very loyal brand ambassador. So, Gene would never be seen on stage with anything but Slingerland drums. However, in the studio things are different. As we all know, many players bring their favorite drums into the studio, and Gene was no exception. There is a photo of Gene with this snare and his Slingerland kit in the recording studio for the recording he did with Louie Bellson titled>>>>>>. You can see the drum in the photo. Of course, for the album cover there is a Slingerland white marine pearl snare in the photo with the kit. 

History: Chet Falzerano (current owner and noted author and Gladstone expert) relays this information: At some point the drum came to be owned by Al Ross, who was a Broadway drummer in NYC. Al knew Glenn Robinson (a noted orchestral drummer), and in 1955 Glenn told Al that his own Gladstone had been stolen. Al offered to trade the drum to Glenn in exchange for two calf tympani heads (which were hard to come by at the time!). Glenn grabbed the chance to get the drum. Over the course of time the original lugs with the 3 way tuning system wore out, and original parts were almost impossible to find. So, Glenn had replaced them with standard Ludwig tube lugs (so there are no extra holes). Chet Falzerano became aware of the drum being in Glenn's possession and contacted him about a possible purchase. This took years to come to fruition, but eventually Glenn sold the drum to Chet. Chet then went through the laborious process of finding the original Gladstone lugs needed to bring the drum back to it's 3 way tuning glory. He also had the black lacquer re-done since it had worn over the years. The drum is set up with calf heads and gut snares, which is how Glenn would have used it. It's safe to say that when Gene used the drum he probably had wire snares on it. 


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