Way back in 1979 at the age of 16, I ordered my first new drumset, purchased with money I saved from newspaper delivery and cutting lawns.
While I had two previous kits, this was “the one”, a Slingerland.
Anyone who knew me since I started playing knew I was a serious Elton fan. His early music had enough interesting drum parts to push me forward as a player.
Early on, drums were an island where I could be cool and still shelter myself from peer pressure. I followed drummers like a baseball fan who collects player cards and was fascinated by the drumkits.
When it came time to order that set, I was inspired by Elton’s drummer Nigel Olsson.
I wanted my set to look as cool as his.
When the kit was delivered a different snare drum arrived than the one I wanted. In my youthful enthusiasm, I accepted it and played it for many years, and still own it to this day.
Recently, I caught up with a gentleman who worked at Slingerland in the seventies. Jim Moritz owns a company named Chicago Drum, and makes drums in the Slingerland spirit, as Slingerland is no longer in business.
So my quest to have my own Nigel snare drum was on. Jim’s dad even helped build Nigel’s kits that inspired me early on.
After much research and working with Jim and Noreen Romano from the Nigel Olsson fan club, I present the drum you see here. Fitted with the “Stickman” logo that you still see on Nigel’s drums to this day.
I would also like to thank Brooks Tegler for providing some of the essential Slingerland original parts, so we could get as close as possible to the original drum. And to Paula Banack David for putting up with my intensity!
38 years later, a “young” drummers dream drum comes true.