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tommykat1 Profile
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Registered: 06-2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6271
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John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Continued from previous thread...

Misc Questions:

TT-Was the Rogers Snare Machine ever given to an endorser?
JC-Not to my knowledge (other than what Rob writes about on page 53 1st edition, 48 2nd edition). As far as I know, I have the one and only prototype with the Plexiglas. According to Rob Cook, there’s a couple others out there somewhere (maybe), but I would guess they have a wood shell. I’ve started to contemplate selling it, but bidding would have to start at $10,000 given that I have a kid getting ready to start college.
  
TT-Why didn't the Gina Schock drum have vents at the top like on the snare machine, as opposed to the coliseum styling?
JC-Why did we build this drum in the first place? Hard to remember. Wasn’t Pearl or somebody marketing something like this in the early 1980’s? In any case, to the best of my knowledge this drum you’ve sent me a picture of is a one-of-a-kind. We never produced a “split shell” snare, or the top vented version like I have. (The slots along the top had to do with testing we were doing with Randy May for his MayEA internal microphone thing. It never went anywhere with Rogers.)
  
Is the slotted/vented design a good idea? Dave Gordon will tell you it’s not because the last thing you want to do is vent the air and reduce the energy going to the snare head and snares. For me, I play rock music and the way I’m hitting the drum, there’s no shortage of energy.

TT-Please list wraps in order of rarity.
JC-You’re asking about the pearl covering? First place I’d look is Rob’s book.

TT-In what years were the black and green felt isolators used, ie, black = 1982, green = 1983, or the reverse?

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JC-Great question. Dave Gordon used to make gaskets to put under the lugs of his own drums, so he brought the idea to Rogers and as the marketing guy, had the authority to make it so. You may be aware that we introduced a lacquered brass shell DynaSonic (exactly the same as the chrome one, we just told the shop that made the shells for us not to plate them). He wanted green because it looked good against the brass. Green would look wacky on the toms painted with the various finishes, so we had those made in black. We did not use felt gaskets under the lugs on pearl finishes. Black vs green had nothing to do with what year it was.


TT-Please verify the Big R badge placement: to left or right of the Memriloc mount on pre-XP8s, 180 degrees opposite the mount on XP8s.

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JC-Another great question. It drove me and Dave nuts when we got to Rogers and found that the badges always faced the player, not the audience. We challenged the people working there as to why. Think about it. If you always attach the badge to the right of the tom bracket, then a 5-piece kit with two mounted toms will only have one badge facing the audience (for example the 8x12, but not the 9x13). Solution #1: Put badges on both sides of the tom bracket. Bad idea. The Big R sticker is too damn big, looks like the dickens if there’s two of them. And it costs more in labor & materials. Someone somewhere along the line came up with Solution #2: Make it so easy a monkey could do it. Put the badge exactly opposite the tom bracket. That way the people assembling the drums in the factory don’t have to know right from left. Dave and I pushed for them to mount the badge on one side of the bracket for some sizes, and on the other side for other sizes so that both badges would face out. I forgot what the outcome was, but it was a pretty hot debate for a while. The other thing to keep in mind was that F/R/R had a huge warehouse full of individually boxed finished drums, and some drums sold faster than others. So whenever Dave and I tinkered with things, there was always the possibility that a set would ship that didn’t quite match; not all had the felt gaskets, or some had badges opposite the tom bracket vs others next to it. Dealers would freak out.

TT-Was use of the Big R non-SN tags limited to shells from the Monrovia era, or were these non-SN tags used more prevalently?

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JC-I got there when Monrovia was shutting down, and production of real drums (made of wood) was in Fullerton. In Fullerton, we had badges with and without serial numbers. No real rhyme or reason that I can recall. Keep in mind these were just rolls of stickers. The serial numbers were meaningless. Consider them random but not unique. I can’t remember how the non-serial numbered badges came about. I can recall decisions being made on the basis of manufacturing considerations. F/R/R was designed to be a high volume operation across the board for all products, not a “personal touch” kind of place. Doing things like adding felt gaskets was one way Dave was trying to introduce a kind of personal touch. Another was his insistence on quality bearing edges, but that’s a whole other story.

TT-You purportedly bought a chunk of Rogers inventory. Is any of it for sale? emoticon
JC-Who tells you this stuff? Yes, when Rogers moved out of Leo’s original buildings I was able to obtain a diverse collection of things. Some of it was sold in the mid 1980’s (a Sonor snare drum that R&D had bought to do a competitive comparison is what financed my wife’s wedding dress). A big pile of it was sold to Dave Drew in Rhode Island. I never envisioned selling any of the one-of-a-kind pieces I have. At one point, I loaned the Skinny Drum that Freddie Tavares gave me to the Fender Museum, but after John Page left there I retrieved it. Now that I’m looking at tuition payments for my kids, I’m starting to reconsider. In keeping with the prices that old & rare instruments get these days, nothing I have would go for under 5 figures.



Last edited by tommykat1, 1/21/2008, 11:33 am
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mschnake Profile
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Very cool TK!
1/19/2008, 8:51 am Link to this post Send Email to mschnake   Send PM to mschnake Blog
 
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Nice work TommyKat1, and of course thanks to John.
1/19/2008, 10:14 am Link to this post Send Email to Nut box   Send PM to Nut box
 
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


It's great that you could snag the interview.
And the fact that he now knows of our existence is a big plus.


-Joe

---
"...witness to gone times, and
To graces gone with time."
- Plath
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Great stuff TommyKat, the ROF is a better place for it. I think we need to put a sticky on it.

Jack
emoticon

---
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" Les Brown
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Very [sign in to see URL] done tommykat emoticon
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


That should be a big +10 karma points.
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Great stuff Tommykat. You are distinguishing yourself as a later Rogers go to source for information.
1/19/2008, 4:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to Powertone   Send PM to Powertone
 
tommykat1 Profile
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Powertone, thank you for your compliment. Coming from you, it means a lot, and I am humbled. Ploughman and Jack are my XP8 gurus, so to live up to any expectations you may have, I'll keep doing more research!

Thanks to the rest of you guys for the repartee and piquing my curiosity in these fine drums.
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Re: John Cermenaro Speaks, Part 2


Way cool. Interesting read. Thanx for the post.

---
....... I BUY ROGERS DRUMS! PM ME!......
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