This is the story of how I set the garden hose on my drums.
One ridiculously rainy Saturday morning two weeks ago, I drove out to West Vancouver to pick up a set of Milestone drums I found on craigslist. These were a great deal, and the seller threw in the cases too. 12×9″, 13×10″, 16×16″ toms and 22×16″ bass drum.
Milestone was a brand of boutique fibreglass drums made in North Vancouver in the late 70s and early 80s. In 1985 there was a change in ownership and now the fibreglass lives on as Tempus, with Paul Mason at the helm. Paul was kind enough to answer a few questions, you’ll find the information he shared with me quoted below.
The heads were all taped up 80’s style, and there was about a decade’s worth of dust on everything. Seems about right (the seller hadn’t been playing for a long time). The toms all had die-cast hoops.
All of ’em [had die-cast hoops] except for 8″, 10″ and 18″ toms. For those sizes they never did make d/c hoop molds.
The resonant head of the 13″ tom featured this little logo of a local drum shop from before my time. It gets a brief mention in the official Milestone/Tempus history. The more you know…
That’s what the inside of a fibreglass drum looks like. The 16″ floor tom came with seasonal Halloween decorations and Ludwig floor tom brackets. This drum and the bass drum were the only two to feature sideways maroon badges.
Likely a 1982/83 era kit; I think they started using the rectangular vertical brass plates in early 1984.
Paul confirmed the age of the kit that the seller estimated to me. Here’s a closeup of the bass drum’s badge. It has no mounting screws.
The bass drum and toms came with giant, clunky Rogers MemriLoc hardware, including a tom mount that goes all the way through the bass drum for excess weight and maximum pointlessness.
Note the different widths of the bass drum hoops, which I believe are in raw black fibreglass, and my foot. Unlike the rough fibrous interior of toms picture above, the inside of the bass drum was smooth and glossy.
It was, as I remember it, an erratic tendency but Milestone used to periodically decide to add a final brushed-on layer of resin to the insides of their shells. I’m not sure what the reasoning was behind this nor even why it was done on some shells but not on others.
The cool thing about dusty fibreglass drums is that you can just hose them down.
There was this layer of dusty spots covering the hardware on the shells too. It wasn’t pitting, but it wasn’t a layer of dust that could easily be dusted off either. I had to scrub every last piece with an old green dishwashing scrubby thing.
Polishing the nooks and crannies of the tom mount and arms was my favorite part.
Then I took her back into my room and we rock and rolled all night. I look forward to partying with her every day as well.