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Every May, hundreds of folks turn up at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, IL for the largest vintage drum show in the country. Since our opening in 2011, Chicago Drum Exchange has had a booth at the Chicago Drum Show, hosted by Rob Cook and his company, Rebeats. Rob is the author of the Ludwig Book, The Slingerland Book, The Rogers Book, and most recently, the Gretsch Book. For three days out of the year, Chicago Drum Exchange and many other vintage and custom dealers dedicate a weekend to schlepping cases and bags to St. Charles in U-Hauls and vans for a few days of vintage buying and selling bliss.
This year's drum show was no different, and despite some unseasonably cold and rainy weather on Friday, the turnout was great. Some of the rarest and most sought after drums in the world turned up in various booths, such as an original silver sparkle Rogers "micro-bop" kit from the 1960s with a 16" bass drum, a Leedy mardi gras bop set in mint condition, and one of Gene Krupa's original crash cymbals. The Chicago Drum Exchange booth, which was shared with Reverb.com and Dunnett custom drums, was right across from the clinician stage. This provided us with a great view of clinicians such as Jojo Mayer, Stanton Moore, Curt Bisquera, Jason Sutter, and many others. We were also not far from the food court, where some of the best pulled pork that has ever been created was being smoked and rapidly consumed by the masses.
The buying and selling at the Drum Show turned into a bit of a frenzy on Sunday, when most people began realizing that they'd rather not leave with all the drums they came with. Right around 3-4pm, dealers and customers could be seen hustling from one booth to another, carrying entire drum sets in their arms and searching frantically for the guy they talked to about that drum that they just couldn't stop thinking about. CDE was no exception, and as usual, we came back with more drums than we left with. This year we didn't fool around, though, and brought home some real gems, such as a sparkling clean original 1965 Slingerland 12/14/20 3 piece in the rare blue ripple finish, and a 1970s Ludwig 5 piece tequila sunrise Vistalite kit in near mint condition. Keep an eye out on the website or stop by the shop to see some of the kits and snares we snagged!
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