Originally published on dolphinmusic.co.uk Fri October 03, 2014. Unfortunately this drum kit is no longer available.
If you got the cash, you could own a piece of rock'n'roll history this Christmas! The second drumkit ever owned by The Who's Keith Moon, who dolphin recently named second best ever drummer on our Greatest Drummers Top 10 list, will be up for auction at Bonham's in London, on a specialist Entertainment Memorabilia auction on 10th December. This will be the second historic Rock'n'Roll auction in London in just over a month, following the John Lennon 'Paperback Writer' Grestch Guitar Auction in November 2014.
The sale is being organised by Chris Sherwin, on behalf of the kit's current owner, who lives near Liverpool and has been using the kit for over 40 years! Chris Sherwin is a drummer himself, and has been involved in the music industry for decades: he used to co-own a popular music shop on Denmark Street in London, and was Jim Marshall's first ever employee (and was even asked to speak at his funeral). In fact, Sherwin was also the drummer in Pete Townshend's first school band, and later managed Jim Marshall's drum-shop in the early sixties, when Keith Moon became a regular customer.
Dolphin Music got in touch with Chris Sherwin, who provided us with some more details about Keith Moon's drumkit:
The drumkit to be auctioned is Keith Moon's second kit, a Ludwig Black Oyster Super Classic, pictured above. The snare drum has gone missing in the intervening years so the kit is just 2 toms and bass drum.
The reserve price cannot be disclosed at the moment, but is expected to fetch astronomical figures. Another kit previously owned by Keith Moon (a Premier kit he used between 1968-1970) is listed on the Guiness Book of World Records as the Most Expensive Drumkit Ever Sold - it cost the private US bidder £139,650 at a Christie's auction in London, ten years ago. Given the historical value of Keith Moon's second kit now up for auction, it may reach similar figures, come December!
ABOUT KEITH MOON AND HIS DRUM KITS
Keith Moon is closely associated with Premier drum kits today, which he has used for most of his professional career. But besides Premier he's also used Ludwig, such as the kit now up for auction, and Fibes. Soon enough he felt the limitations of using smaller kits and had to expand his set up, which culminated on a kit with two bass drums and lots of toms and cymbals.
According to Ginger Baker, the Cream drummer was the first person to introduce Moon to the idea of using two bass drums. Bob Henrit, a close friend of Keith Moon in the early ’70s, said: “I don’t think Keith Moon would have been at his best behind a small kit. His approach was more global. He was something of an octopus.”
Keith Moon also used acrylic drum kits, as this pic shows:
On an infamous occasion, he filled his tom with water and had a goldfish swimming there, for a TV show!
Though Led Zeppelin's John Bonham was the most popular user of acrylic drum kits, Keith Moon certainly helped to make this type of drum kit very sought-after by drummers. Today, for instance, Drum Workshop makes a great 5-Piece Acrylic Drum Kit (image below) which is one of the most desirable kits today, very popular with our customers:
Whichever drum kit Keith Moon was playing at any one time, the important thing is that he showed that drums could be as important and interesting as guitars, and a fundamental part of rock music, not just mere backing for the singer and guitarist.
For more details about the auction, check Bonhams website.
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