North Drums

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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.


North Drums were invented by Roger North, member of Quill, the Holy Modal Rounders, The Freak Mountain Ramblers and The Clamtones. North created the drums for his own usage sometime around 1968. A patent was obtained in 1970 (3,603,194), but it would not be until 1972 that the drums would be publicly sold. The original North Drums were hand-crafted using fiberglass. In 1976, North agreed to let Music Technology Incorporated (MTI) manufacture and market the drums in hopes of higher production. Under MTI management, the drums were now produced via an injection-molded polystyrene process.

End of the North Drums[edit]

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.

Alan White with North Drums, Yes concert, Indianapolis, 1977

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 did Joe English (Wings), Gerry Brown (David Bowie), Russ Kunkel (Jackson Brown), W.S. "Fluke" Holland (Johnny Cash), and Richie Albright (Waylon Jennings).

Hana of Nippon band Gacharic Spin uses North drums also now.

See also[edit]