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My Yamaha Recording Custom Story

Picture this, it’s near the end of 2007, I’m 31 years old and I just moved from NYC to Las Vegas with my wife in search of a better and more convenient (and affordable!) way of life. I am scheduled to start my first run of shows on the Las Vegas Strip at the Sahara inside the main showroom. It is a holiday show with Clint Holmes as the main artist/singer supported by a singer/entertainer I had been working with named Domenick Allen.

I’ve been in town for merely a week and we are rehearsing at the home of pianist/MD Bill Fayne (RIP) for the upcoming show. This very prospect is a new idea to me as I’ve been living in NYC for the past 6 years and the house feels like a small castle. At the end of the first day of rehearsal, I start packing up my drums when a young man is introduced to me as Bill’s step-son who says he’s a drummer and that he has a drum kit that he wants to sell, and do I know anyone who might want to buy it. I said I’ll take a look and see what he has.

I follow him down a hallway into another room and there it is, stacked up in the corner. A cherry red Yamaha Recording Custom drum kit with power tom sizes in 8-10-12-15-22 and some extras placed around it. A cheap piccolo snare drum and an older model Yamaha bass drum pedal, among other things.

Now keep in mind, I just moved across the country and I’m BROKE. The last thing I’m looking to buy is a new drum kit. In fact, I had just recently bought and paid for a used Yamaha Maple Custom bop kit, you know, the one with the gold lugs? Got a great deal on it. My wife actually CONVINCED me to buy that one because she saw the way I looked at it and she knew how disappointed I would be if we walked out without it.

Anyway, I’m looking at this Yamaha RC kit and I turn to the young man and ask him, how come you’re selling the kit? He said he was moving away to go to college and he just needs some extra money and that nobody was going to be using it. At that point I asked him how much does he want for the kit? He turns to me and says “I dunno, maybe $250, $300? I do everything to keep my jaw from hitting the floor and keeping my best poker face on, I tell him that I think I may know someone who is interested. ME!

After a very brief phone discussion with my wife and a short trip to the ATM, I pack the kit into the back of my minivan and take it home, feeling like I just got away with robbing a bank! This young man obviously either had no idea what he had and what it was worth, or he just wanted it gone in a very bad way. Either way I was very okay with it and was so excited to own a classic drum kit that two of my all-time drumming heroes played, Steve Gadd and Dave Weckl, among others.

I changed all the heads top and bottom, tuned it to my liking, and really began to discover what that classic Recording Custom sound is. I really enjoyed having a quality birch kit, as an alternative to what I was used to, maple. Punchy, focused, warm, easy to tune, versatile, microphones love it, are all descriptors I would use to describe it. I especially love the kick drum sound.

At some point down the line, I added a 14” hanging floor tom to the kit that I bought from eBay. I discovered that I love the 15” floor tom size but for some reason, I just felt the need to add a 14”. I really always had wanted a 16” but I just couldn’t find one.

Through the years, I’ve been able to use this kit on quite a few live shows and recording sessions and it’s been really good to me. I played it on the Michael Jackson Celebration tribute show with artists like Terry Fator, Clint Holmes, & the Jersey Boys cast at the Pearl inside the Palms Casino after MJ had died. I also used it on many shows with Martin Nievera, and Susan Anton during my years in Las Vegas. After moving to Nashville, the kit was primarily used for recording sessions. It always just sounded great and was very easy to work with.

Now the time has come for me to part ways with it. I’m just not as inspired by it as some of my other drum kits anymore. Over the years, I’ve come to acquire quite a few other kits, and I just need the space. I would love to see this kit get played more often. Know anyone who wants it? Get in touch with me and let's work out a deal.

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Brian endorses Istanbul Agop cymbals, Canopus snare drums & snare wires, Aquarian drum heads, Innovative Percussion drum sticks, Creative Percussion, Prologix drum pads, and Humes & Berg drum cases.

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