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English Rogers Guru

Registered: 07-2007
Location: England.
Posts: 967
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Dave Clark's English Rogers Drum Kit


I have ended up owning one of the most iconic drum kits, certainly of the 1960s, and probably of all time. It is Dave Clark’s original Red Sparkle English Rogers drum kit from late 1963. It was acquired by Dave Clark just as the career of the Dave Clark Five was taking off, and used by him to the end of 1965. Whenever I talk to anyone about it their reaction is almost universally the same, “How can you be sure?” This comment becomes irritating after a while, as the provenance of these drums is overwhelming. I determined to put together as clear and detailed an account of how I came to own these drums, their provenance, their history, and their unique features.

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This one ……….
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The Million Pound Drum Competition

Popular UK music paper Melody Maker 29th January 1966 had an interesting item on page three ….

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In the following week's issue, 5th February 1966, details of the competition are laid out.

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Melody Maker says that the drums that Dave Clark would be giving away in the competition are (not in the best English), “the one of which he recorded “Glad All Over” and “Bits and Pieces”.

“On Sunday, March 20th 1966 at the Wimbledon Palais, the prize was presented to the winner of the 'Million Pound Drum Contest'. From an entry of 2,700, Carol Offord was selected to win Dave Clark's multi-hit-making Rogers drum kit. Carol nominated her friend John Tillett (rear right) to receive the prize. "

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I have copies of the original Melody Makers and they will stay with the kit.


This is one of the original photos that Carol and John were given after the presentation. They were kind enough to let me have one when I bought the kit.

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The observant might see that the bass drum hoops have a fresh coat of black paint. In the early 60s English drum makers painted their bass drum hoops silver. Bass drum hoops can take quite a battering and by 1966 the fashion was to paint these black, so the hoops had been thoughtfully repainted before being presented to Carol. Dave's Swiv-o-matic stands and pedals have been replaced with the English Rogers catalogue cheaper option of Ajax stands and pedals. And no, the Original bass drum head with “Dave Clark” written on it did not come with the kit – everyone asks!

Carol kept a scrapbook at the time about their experience, which can be seen here ……………………

http://brogersownersforum.runboard.com/t6089

How I became involved.

I have an interest in English Rogers drums and in June 2010 I was viewing a Dave Clark Five website at http://www.thedc5.com/ looking for photos. Where there is a photo of Dave Clark there is usually an English Rogers drum kit. This was my first post on the dc5.com forum 3th June 2010 http://thedc5.com/forums/index.php?topic=83.45 . About half way down the page jabdc5 posts this link http://www.radiolondon.co.uk/rl/scrap60/drumcontest/millionpound.html however this page has been updated since I bought the drums. Originally it looked like this.
  
 http://englishrogersdrums.co.uk/Radio%20London.html

I was aware of the drum kit in question. It is featured in Rob Cook’s excellent “The Rogers Book” and I am old enough to remember the fuss around the DC5 and DC’s drum kit back in the early 1960s.

There was enough information in the webpage for me to look for a telephone number for John and Carol. It took much less time than I thought to find one and I remember sitting there on a Saturday afternoon with the phone in my hand just wondering If it was a little silly to go running after this drum kit. I dialled the number and spoke briefly to Carol who had been presented with the drum kit. She put me on to John and I introduced myself and explained my interest in his drum kit and asked if he would be kind enough to let me come and see them. I don’t think either of them was at all sure about this odd phone call out of the blue. I sent them a couple of emails containing my private and business details so that they could see that I wasn’t a mass murder or anything of the like. They were happy for me to view the drums the following week.

At this point I had no idea what condition the drums might be in. Many drum kits of that age have been well used and may even bear the scars of modifications. Drummers like to replace aging hardware with the latest design and mercilessly drill their drums.

It was a warm sunny day when I arrived at John and Carol’s house. John fetched the drums from out of the garage; we set the drums up as Dave Clark had them and sat in the garden.

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I was surprised to find that due to John’s care the drum kit had fared rather well.
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Apart from John having lost the front bass drum hoop and the claws and rods that would go with it the kit was complete and in good condition.

The drums had all been kept in the cases that had been part of the prize. Some of these cases still had “DC5” written on them.

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Forty-four years later and John and Carol are a couple, and John still had the drums.

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With John’s permission I took quite a few photos. I asked John and Carol if they would mind me posting about the kit on some drum forums, although I pointed out to them that I would not mention the Radio London webpage. I hadn’t found it difficult to find their phone number and address with the information helpfully provided by Radio London and I wouldn’t want my visit to result in anything happening to the drums. I was with them about an hour and a half before returning home.

A few weeks later I put together this…….. http://www.thedc5.com/drumarticle.html This does not hide the story as told on the Radio London webpage as readers of this site already knew the story.

About nine months after this a Red Sparkle English Rogers drum kit came up on Ebay. It was this one …………

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Last edited by Nut box, 7/17/2013, 2:17 am
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English Rogers Guru

Registered: 07-2007
Location: England.
Posts: 967
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Re: Dave Clark's English Rogers Drum Kit


(Note that the mounted tom and the disappearing cymbal holder have been placed in the wrong, or perhaps left-handed, positions.)

I emailed John just to tell him what it had fetched, which was £558 as I remember. John’s reply was that he thought it might be time to sell his kit as he didn’t use it anymore. I said that I would not be interested in paying any more than his kit would make on Ebay without its DC5 connection as I was not a DC5 fan especially, but I would be happy to try and help him sell it as a DC5 fan or collector might think it worth more.

I made a few enquiries and it seemed to both of us that Bonham’s auction house presented a good choice. I exchanged several emails with Stephen at Bonhams who it turned out was an old drummer and he appeared to “get” this kit right from the start. I found the missing parts for John and he took the drums to Bonham’s warehouse to be photographed ready for the sale which was scheduled for 15th December 2011.

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19037/lot/214/

Six days before the sale I had an email from John to say that Bonhams had had a phone call from someone who was calling the provenance of the drums into doubt. Stephen had asked the caller to put in writing what was being said. A few days later, despite there being no further contact with the caller, Bonhams withdrew the sale.

After a couple of months, when the dust had settled I made John an offer for the drums which he accepted.

Provenance
Despite what happened to the Bonham’s auction I hope it can be seen that the provenance of these drums is unassailable. In 1966 Dave Clark is quoted as saying that they were his, he then personally presented them to Carol, who nominated John (who was present and photographed at the presentation) to have them, and I then bought them from John. I of course have a letter of sale and remain on good terms with John and Carol.
What follows is an examination of the history of the drum kit and the unique features of their build and restoration. Reference is made as to how it can be seen that the drum kit that Dave Clark presented to John and Carol was the same one that he had been photographed with from late 1963 to the end of 1965.

English Rogers Drums.
The Rogers Drum Company originated in the USA 1849 and became one of the big four American drum companies through the 50s, 60s and 70s. They finally ceased production in 1983/84. Rogers USA came up with the idea of having their drums made under licence in the UK to make them more affordable to the UK and European pocket because overseas products were very expensive in the UK in the early 60s due to the high level of UK import duties. It was British manufacturer Boosey & Hawkes who produced what has come to be known as “English Rogers” from 1961 to about 1967. At the time they were marketed as Rogers drums, with the footnote that they were made under licence in the UK. Production took place in B&H’s Works in Edgware, North London. The DC5 were based in Tottenham, only a few miles away.

“Unique” Custom Features of Dave Clark’s Drum Kit.
The Melody Maker says that the drums that Dave Clark is giving away are the ones that he recorded the early DC5 hits with. It can be seen that these are the drums that Dave Clark had been appearing with in the UK from late 1963 to the end of 1965 (see Pictorial History).
There are four features on the drum kit that I would call unique, meaning that I haven’t seen the like on any other English Rogers drum kit. They are useful in identifying the drum kit in photos of The DC5. I have 7 English Rogers drum kits at the moment and an assortment of English Rogers snare drums. I have owned several others in the past.
The unique features are –
Visible from the front:
The mounting of the tom toms on the bass drum,
The arrangement of logos and dampers on tom toms.
The non-Rogers chrome headed bolts on the bass drum.
Only visible from the back:
The position of the collet plate on the 13x9 tom tom.
It is perhaps worth mentioning that English Rogers drums are not particularly common and an example in good condition is even less common. Added to this some colours are rarer than others. Including DC’s drum kit I have only seen 4 Red Sparkle kits.
1. The Mounting of the Tom Toms on the Bass Drum.

The photo below shows 3 of the 4 unique features so is useful for comparison. The bass drum is being used to mount two swiv-o-matic tom tom arms which each hold one tom tom.
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This is a standard English Rogers bass drum seen from the players side. It is from a later kit than Dave Clark’s set so it has the later Beavertail style lugs.
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On the players left we find a swiv-o-matic tom tom arm mounted in a straight collet plate and on the right we see an angled collet plate receiving a disappearing cymbal holder. The presence of a collet plate requires holes to be drilled in the shell.
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Let us compare this to the bass drum that came with the kit that was given to John by Dave Clark.
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It is clear that the shell has never been drilled for a disappearing cymbal holder. An extra straight collet plate has been added to the top centre of the bass drum to take a second tom arm. The ommision of the plate for the disappearing cymbal holder obviously must have happened in the factory and is therefore a factory-custom feature.
This arrangement of the collet plates can be seen on numerous other photos of Dave Clark with the kit in the early 60s. Below are three very clear examples and I leave it to you to pick out further examples in the photos to come and in the Pictorial History section.
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Just to emphasise this point I include some photos of bass drums from my collection showing the collet plate for the dissappearing cymbal holder.
This is a 20” bass drum in a Blue Streak wrap
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7/17/2013, 2:09 am Link to this post Send Email to Nut box   Send PM to Nut box
 
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English Rogers Guru

Registered: 07-2007
Location: England.
Posts: 967
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Re: Dave Clark's English Rogers Drum Kit


This is a 22” bass drum in the same wrap but with an American collet plate added for a double tom tom holder.
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Below is one of my early Mardi Gras sets, I have two of these and they are both the same apart from the damper knob on the front head of this one which is a later Premier addition added by a previous owner.Image
Below is a double bass set in the style of Loise Belson I photographed at The UK National Drum Fair. Both basses have a disappearing cymbal holder as you would expect.
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2. The Arrangement of Logos and Dampers on Tom Toms.
The photo below also shows the arrangement of the chromed script logos and damper knobs on the two mounted tom toms. The floor tom tom given to John is not the one pictured here. You will notice that there is a damper on the floor tom in this photograph. The DC5 carried around a number of floor toms and the one that was given away with the kit was not the original with the damper installed. Here we are discussing the mounted tom toms.
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The fitting of dampers on English Rogers tom toms was not standard. No other English Rogers kits that I have ever owned had factory fitted dampers in the tom toms. The dampers used by B&H were quite specific and don’t turn up on drums from any other manufacturer as far as I am aware and are an extremely rare part. Some tom toms have dampers that were fitted by previous owners and these are usually by Premier as their parts were easily come by.
I have only seen one other set that had dampers which may have been factory fitted. However it is not possible to be certain from the amount of detail in the photograph. It is the one below ……..
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I copied this photo from a Rogers fan site which is based in Germany but the person who posted the photo no longer owns the drums.
It is an earlier set than DC’s which can be seen from the use of the Ajax floor tom legs. This set is from late 1961 or 1962. The placement of the collet plate top centre of the bass drum is unusual, but we can’t see from the photograph whether the plate has been moved and has left holes in the shell. The dampers could be later additions and may not even be Ajax/B&H, it is impossible to tell. If they are original they are clearly in different positions from DC’s kit.

No dampers can be seen in the photo of this kit.

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I am only aware of one other Red Sparkle English Rogers set and the owner has told me that it has no dampers fitted in the toms.

The position of the logos and the dampers will be discussed with photographs in greater length in the Restoration section. For now just let me repeat that the positioning of the factory-fitted dampers which can be seen relative to the script logos is unique in my experience.


3. The Non-Rogers Chrome-Headed Bolts on the Bass Drum

These two bolts or more accurately their heads can be seen on many photographs from the early 1960s. The bolts have nothing to do with the factory-fitted hardware on the drum and are not English Rogers parts. They would appear to be associated with lights that Dave Clark used inside his bass drum.

The bolts can be clearly seen here ……………..

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And again in this photo …………….

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These bolts appear to have been added to the bass drum during the first 6 weeks of 1964 (see Pictorial History section).

This is a photo taken during the restoration work showing the bolts …

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Whatever had been fitted on the inside of the drum had been removed before they were given to John and the bolts glued back on to the drum.

These bolts can be seen on photos of Dave Clark playing these drums ………….

IMG]http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb77/nutbox/DC/Time%20line/65-11.jpg[/IMG]

………they are there in the photo when Dave presents the drums to John and Carol…..

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………. and they are still there today.

4. Location of Collet Plate on the 13x9 Tom Tom.

Due to the way that Dave Clark had the tom toms set up this feature can only be seen from the player’s position.

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Anyone familiar with American Rogers drums would notice that the collet plate on the smaller tom (12” diameter) tom is a little low. This is standard for English Rogers. The collet plate’s coach bolt is always approximately in line with the inner lug securing screw hole. The position of the collet plate on the larger (13” diameter) of the two mounted toms is clearly even lower, and that is not usual at all. The lowest collet plate coach bolt barely clears the re-enforcement ring.
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On the left is a 13” shell that I have had around for some time. Someone has stripped and painted it, and elongated some of the holes. On the right is the 13” tom from Dave Clark’s kit. You can see how low in comparison the collet plate is on the Red Sparkle drum.
(The drum on the left has been prepared as a second tom or for a left handed player as can be seen from the position of the grommet hole but is in all other respects the same. I’ve since made use of this drum in a re-build project.)
Clearly again this plate must have been installed in the factory and is another custom feature.
The question of, “why has it been set so low?” will be addressed in the restoration section.

There are a small number of photos which show the unusual positioning of this collet plate.

It can be seen clearly here ………………
7/17/2013, 2:10 am Link to this post Send Email to Nut box   Send PM to Nut box
 
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English Rogers Guru

Registered: 07-2007
Location: England.
Posts: 967
Reply | Quote
Re: Dave Clark's English Rogers Drum Kit


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……………… and here ……………………..

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…………….. and also in this shot from Ready Steady Go.

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So take another look and see what you think. I hope I’ve answered the question, “How can you be sure?”
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The kit is packed with unique factory-custom features. The only difference that can be seen is the missing damper knob from the 16” floor tom. However this isn’t present on all photos of Dave Clark using this kit anyway, because they carried four 16” toms with them. For more details on this kit see http://englishrogersdrums.co.uk/index.html
Another Red Sparkle English Rogers
The drum kit that John was given is very different from the one below.
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This is an English Rogers Red Sparkle kit which was used in the shooting of a scene from the film, “Get Yourself a College Girl”. This scene was shot 2nd September 1964 at Borehamwood film studio, north of London. At the time the group were on a summer season at Blackpool and were flown by Dick Emery in his private plane for the filming (they returned the same night). Maybe this was set supplied by the film company as it would have been impractical to transport the drums in a light aircraft.
This drum kit has none of the unique features that we are discussing. It is in every respect that I can see a standard English Rogers drum kit. Probably due to this kit being used on this film shoot and what would also look like a photo shoot there are many photos of this kit on the internet but it is clear that it was only used on this one occasion.
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The collet plates on the bass drum are in the standard positions, although a tom tom arm has been inserted in the collet plate on the bass drum that would normally be used for a cymbal arm. The logos on the two mounted toms are in the same positions as the kit that was given to John but there are no damper knobs. There are no additional chrome-headed bolts on the bass drum.
In additiojn to this there is no bass drum anchor on the bass drum hoop and the hoops themselves are painted black not silver. At the time when DC aquired his first English Rogers it was fashionable for English drum builders to paint their bass drum hoops silver. This fashion changed to black later on. It looks like B&H had gone over to black by the end of 1964.
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There is a mixture of stands with this set. DC has a Rogers swan neck snare and hi-hat stand and two Ajax cymbal stands.


Last edited by Nut box, 7/17/2013, 2:14 am
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