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North drums are horn shaped drums that were designed to project their sound outward, so the audience can hear the most direct qualities of the drum.
Their inventor, Roger North (member of the Holy Modal Rounders and The Clamtones), created the drums sometime around 1968, played them himself, and then in 1970 obtained a patent (3,603,194) and began selling the drums to others in about 1972. The original North drums were made of fiberglass, by hand. Sometime around 1976 North agreed to let another company, Music Technology Incorporated (MTI), manufacture and market the drums hopefully in larger numbers. MTI began to market and produce the drums using an injection-molded polystyrene process.
End of the North Drums
They stopped selling the drums in the early 1980s and now there is a used market for the drums, and a small though loyal contingent of North Drum players. Chad Channing was known for using North drums in the early years of Nirvana. Billy Cobham played North drums early on as well as Credence Clearwater Revival drummer Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford. Lucky Lehrer of the Circle Jerks used North tom-toms. The drum set was destroyed by fans slam dancing but was refurbished by DW’s Louie Garcia and is on permanent display behind glass at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Drummer Ted VanTilburg formerly of Morgue played North drums from 1988 to 1993. Alan White of the band Yes played North drums for a while as well as Gerry Brown and Richie Albright.
- Picture gallery
- The North Drums Website www.northdrums.org