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New! Stories/Info From Our Customers

Here is a story submitted by one of our customers, Ken Kroncke. It's a great story because we were able to reunite him with a kit that he had been stolen from him 25 years ago! Check this story out, you'll love it. 

Hello, Steve:


I wanted to share with you the story of my 1966 Rogers Buddy Rich Celebrity kit that found its way back home after twenty-five years, thanks to you:


Like a lot of kids growing up in my old neighborhood in Chicago in the 50s, my father insisted that I study a musical instrument.  For me, that meant the accordion.  Naturally, I respected my father?s wishes and studied for a number of years.  In contrast, I was totally blown away by the occasional appearance of Gene, Louis or Buddy on TV, and purchased some of their recordings.  I assembled the requisite pots, pans and coffee cans in the attic and had a blast following along.


Gratefully, my mother and father gave in to my desire to make the transition from the accordion to the drums without much resistance.   A red sparkle plastic Mastro with gold trim was my first snare, and a red sparkle four-piece kit made in Japan followed shortly after.  My main interest had always been jazz, but I played whatever I could in grade school programs, as well as in garage bands in the 60s.


I?ll never forget the day, that as an eighth grade graduation present in 1966, my father, to my surprise and beyond our means, took me to a major music store here in Chicago and bought me a Rogers Buddy Rich Celebrity kit in Silver Sparkle, identical to the one in the Rogers catalog that year. 


I continued to play with this kit, (adding a 16? X 18? floor tom a year or so afterwards) in neighborhood bands and at school performances until I joined the Navy in 1971.  I again acquired an old Japanese kit and played on board ship and on the beach when we were in port.


A couple of years after I returned from the Navy in 1975, I decided to remove the wrap from my kit and finish the shells in natural maple, similar to the kits of other manufacturers of that period that offered natural finishes.  Fortunately, the grain pattern on the shells was pretty nice and they turned out ok.  I continued to play in local bands into the late 70s, early 80s.


Newly married, and during a move in 1982, it was necessary to put this kit in a public storage facility along with other belongings.  After a couple of days, I went to check our unit, and noticed that the lock had been cut on the overhead door.


My Rogers kit and cymbals had been stolen.  As newly weds, we could not afford to replace them, and I basically quit playing.


Fast forward to 2005, I had the urge to play again, and found a great vintage Rogers kit (WMP double bass kit) at Steve Maxwell?s shop in Chicago.  I purchased the kit, and began the slow recovery back from rustiness.


I developed an increasing interest in vintage Rogers drums and visited many vintage drum websites and forums during the next year or so.


Just before Christmas in 2006, a mid-sixties natural maple Dyna-Sonic turned up on consignment on Steve?s website.  When I saw it, I had this gut feeling and called Steve. During our conversation on this snare, he pulled up the image files on the entire Rogers kit that this individual had; but was not offering for sale at the time.


As Steve began to describe the other drums and the natural maple grain patterns, I was practically finishing his sentences. I realized that Steve had a connection to my old Rogers kit.  There was no doubt that this was my kit, and the clincher was the fact that I had painted the interiors a neutral color, vs. the Dayton flat gray, to blend better with the natural maple finish when I played them without resonant heads.


I went down to pick up the snare right away, and asked Steve if he would please do everything possible to get the entire kit back.  Within a week or so, Steve was successful, and my kit was back home, in basically the same condition as when they were stolen.  They looked like they hadn?t been played and still had most of the original heads, except for my monogrammed resonant bass drum head, but no surprise there.


I chose to restore the kit as close to original as the day my father had bought them for me, and I have rewrapped them in Silver Glass Glitter and have matched and repainted the early Dayton flat gray interiors.


I?ve enclosed three pictures, one taken when the kit was fairly new, another when I brought it back home from your shop, and finally, after I finished the restoration project in April 2007.


Steve, I can?t thank you enough for being the catalyst in bringing my kit home.


Here is the "before" photo:



Here is the "after" photo:



Great story isn't it?


All the best,




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