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Interested In Building A Ludwig Blue Sparkle Double-Bass Drum Kit ala Ronnie Tutt From 1972

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  • Interested In Building A Ludwig Blue Sparkle Double-Bass Drum Kit ala Ronnie Tutt From 1972

    I hope that I'm posting this in the correct forum....

    I'm looking to build an exact replica of the Ludwig double-bass drum kit that Ronnie Tutt (Elvis's legendary drummer and now Neil Diamond's drummer) used when he was with Elvis from 1970-1974. A friend of mine in Texas has actually built a very close replica of that blue sparkle Ludwig kit (I have pictures) and a friend of mine in TN actually owns the 1974 Chrome over Vista-Lite kit that Ronnie played in "Elvis In Concert"!!! The latter kit has been fully restored and is being used again onstage after forty years of not being onstage.

    Here's a couple of photos of the kit that my friend in Texas owns (I've attached them).

    If anybody can give me an idea of how much money I'm going to have to spend to put together this replica kit, I would appreciate it very, very much.

    Here is Brad's "King-Tutt" replica kit:

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    And here is the famous kit that Tutt actually owned and played in many concerts in 1977:



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    Let me say again: The kit that I want to put together is the first kit that I attached pictures of. I just added photos of the second kit because I thought that it's pretty cool that Michael took that kit and spent hours and hours restoring it.

    So.....if anybody has any advice as far as how much $$$ I'll have to shell out to build this kit, I would appreciate it very much.

    Thanks,
    Tony Trout

  • #2
    Well, I always have attributed Ronnie Tutt with being a major influence in my becoming a drummer. That Live in Hawaii broadcast did it for me.

    But I learned two things from your post:

    1) I always thought Ronnie was a Slingerland guy so that's was a revelation

    2) I never new there was a chrome over vista lite set ever built. I can only imagine they were loud as rip.

    You can build this kit but I would try to find a kit as the foundation and add era-correct drums as you come across them. It really is the only way.

    Keep us posted.
    Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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    • #3
      Can I just ask WHY?? I mean, is this the kit you really want or have played on something like this before?? Why Ronnie's kit from these certain years?? What kit of set do you have now?? If you have no drums at all and you are wanting a Vintage top of the line set from 1972-1974, then you are at least talking $1,000's of dollars. Vintage Ludwigs with the old school 3-ply shells with vintage speed king pedals, Deep Supraphonic snare, concert toms in the same sizes and so on??? Is close to like you're looking for a vintage 70's Muscle Car from the early 70's! is a few classic up close shots here of Tutt's set from the stage back when!
       
      Last edited by twosticks; 03-04-2017, 03:40 AM.
      "As in drug rehab? or derhh, I crashes muh motorcycle rehab??" (Cross Eyed Mary) *** One of the founding members of The Geezer Guild***

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      • Tony Trout
        Tony Trout commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, that's the kit I plan on building. Do you have a problem with me wanting to build my dream drum kit? Because the tone of your post insinuates that. And I don't like it. I've done my research and I know already what drums and hardware I'll need.

        Dendy, I've got a friend in TX who has some extra drums (concert toms, rack toms, and bass drums) so - getting those from him will be a big help.
        Last edited by Tony Trout; 03-28-2017, 02:39 PM.

      • Dendy Jarrett
        Dendy Jarrett commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, pay twosticks no mind. He's just not keen on Ronnie Tutt or his legacy to drumming!

        Honestly, I see what twosticks is saying - you may be looking for hen's teeth to replicate this kit exactly - but it sounds like you are on your way from you post down below. I remember my first Ludwig 4 pc "Classic" kit. I'd probably pay through the nose if I ever came across that first kit again. And even more to teleport back to that show in Hawaii where i first saw Ronnie Tutt play live!

      • twosticks
        twosticks commented
        Editing a comment
        Dendy is correct. I am way sorry if I came off harsh. Although I know of Ronnie Tutt and love his drumming with and w/o Elvis. Was a big influence on me as well. I didn't realize that you had already done your research and knew the background of the now vintage Ludwigs.

        My point was suppose to try and understand what exactly you were asking. Like older Sligerlands, Gretchs, and Ludwig sets like this, they have become collectors kits and can be very hard to find original kits or parts making them very possibly very expensive.

        I was assuming that you were wanting that "exact" type of kit to get that certain sound. So I thought that if it was the sound that you were looking for, then some newer or easier to find sets could be found for less money.

        Now that I know that this is your dream kit and have already done your research, I say way to go and hope you can find all the parts you need to complete it. I don't know the best way to go about it?? either search all over E-bay, Craiglist and such for the pieces?? order a replica type set direct from Ludwig? or have a custom builder build you set that is close to it?? With the drums, hardware, cymbals, etc. I would say that you could be looking at $5,000 plus??? Good luck my friend and hope you get your dream kit!! Truly, TwoSticks

    • #4
      I'm guessing an Elvis Tribute band? I loved (and still do) Ronnie Tutt's playing. He and Liberty DeVitto are two of my favs because they aren't blazing complicated drummers. They played for the music. Thanks for the video clip. Takes me back!

      Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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      • #5
        Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
        Well, I always have attributed Ronnie Tutt with being a major influence in my becoming a drummer. That Live in Hawaii broadcast did it for me.

        But I learned two things from your post:

        1) I always thought Ronnie was a Slingerland guy so that's was a revelation
        I believe that Slingerland is the only kit that he has never played. When he began working with Elvis in '69, he used a gold sparkle Premier kit.


        Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
        2) I never new there was a chrome over vista lite set ever built. I can only imagine they were loud as rip.

        You can build this kit but I would try to find a kit as the foundation and add era-correct drums as you come across them. It really is the only way.

        Keep us posted.
        Ronnie switched to the COV kit by late 1974 - this is the same kit that you see him play in the 1977 television special, "Elvis In Concert" - a man named Michael Moore in Tennessee now owns that very kit and he has restored it and he uses it onstage every night - and, yes, they were very loud! On the live Memphis record in '74 he's still playing the blue sparkle Ludwigs, though. When Ronnie gave/donated the blue sparkle Ludwigs to one of the Hard Rock Cafe's, they stupidly took it apart piece-by-piece and split up the entire kit. Ronnie was mad as hell when he found out.

        I'll keep you guys posted. It's still going to be a long while (about three years) before I start buying stuff because I'm mildly disabled and I'll probably have to take out a loan to get the other stuff I'll need (unless some other kind soul has some of the stuff that was on Tutt's blue sparkle Ludwig kit that they will let me purchase from them).

        I'm already thinking of actually getting a kit that's already built (a small one) and just build on from there with the concert toms and cymbals and floor toms.

        Oh? Mr. "twosticks" seems to have an issue with me building this particular kit. There are larger kits than Ronnie's Ludwigs were out there nowadays, buddy, so your snarky comment pissed me off. It's not against the law to build a replica drum kit of someone that you're a fan of - same goes for replica guitars. So, I both don't understand your snarky comment and I'm PO'd at that comment at the same time!
        Last edited by Tony Trout; 03-28-2017, 09:03 PM.

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        • #6
          Relax. It's the internet. Diplomacy takes too much time for most of us. Why ARE you taking on this project?
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          • #7
            I "get" the motivation. To some people owning a Buddy Rich original configured kit is the holy grail. For other's it's owning a kit just like Neil P. For Tony, it's Ronnie's Elvis era kits.

            I still hear in my mind that opening music Ronnie backed for the Elvis concert. What I liked about Ronnie was he wasn't there to show how flashy, fancy or fast he could play. He was there just playing the music. Such a pleasure to watch how much fun he was having on stage back in the day. I was an admirer even into his Neil Diamond days.
            Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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            • #8
              If the material is good then the drummer can just play the drum part and be carried along with the vibe. Then it looks like he is the vibe.
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              • #9
                Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
                Relax. It's the internet. Diplomacy takes too much time for most of us. Why ARE you taking on this project?
                I've already explained "why" I want to build the kit - because I want one as my my own and have wanted one for over thirty years since I first saw Tutt use them in "Elvis On Tour" & "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii".

                Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
                I "get" the motivation. To some people owning a Buddy Rich original configured kit is the holy grail. For other's it's owning a kit just like Neil P. For Tony, it's Ronnie's Elvis era kits.

                I still hear in my mind that opening music Ronnie backed for the Elvis concert. What I liked about Ronnie was he wasn't there to show how flashy, fancy or fast he could play. He was there just playing the music. Such a pleasure to watch how much fun he was having on stage back in the day. I was an admirer even into his Neil Diamond days.
                My favorite show and the drum intro to "See See Rider" would be the April 9, 1972 ES in Hampton Roads, VA. The band were absolutely on fire that evening!! Strangely, I've always thought that the Aloha version of "See See Rider" was weaker than the 1972 concert I mentioned here. It just doesn't have the "balls" that the 1972 concert had. Pus, nervousness (I'm sure) played a part in that. Here's the thing, though. Elvis didn't sing in front of 1.5 billion people on January 14, 1973 - that was simply just "hype" on RCA's part. Ronnie still works with Neil still today. He's had more "seat time" with Neil than he did with Elvis. Thirty-six years with Neil. Ronnie just recently had a birthday. He's now 79. [ATTACH=CONFIG]n31949529[/ATTACH]

                Three other friends have built this same kit: Brad Swiger (TX), Michael Moore (TN - his kit is actually a DW kit built like Ron's Ludwig's at a cost of $13,000 including cases). Udo Masshoff is another drummer (from Germany) who has also built a replica of Tutt's blue sparkle Ludwigs. He plays with the Pang (China) cymbal upside down because he says that it sounds better that way.

                The kit that he used in "Elvis: That's The Way It Is" was a double-kick Sonor kit. I always hated it. It sounded awful - like he was hitting boxes especially when he would use the concert toms.

                Here's Udo Masshoff's kit:
                Last edited by Tony Trout; 03-29-2017, 08:00 AM.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Tony Trout View Post

                  I've already explained "why" I want to build the kit - because I want one as my my own and have wanted one for over thirty years since I first saw Tutt use them in "Elvis On Tour" & "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii".
                  Um, no such indication in this thread. That COV; the inside is painted?
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                  • #11
                    Most Ludwig drums I owned of the late 60s/early 70s had painted shells (white).

                    Rarely do I see them without the white paint. It wasn't until the early 80s that you saw them go to natural finish on the inside (if memory serves).

                    D
                    Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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                    • #12
                      The 1974 COV kit does have the shells painted on the inside - same goes for the blue sparkle Ludwigs. The concert toms (6'/8'/10/12') are painted white on the inside. The only thing I'm going to have trouble finding are those blue pads that are inside the kick drums on the blue sparkle Ludwigs. Nobody seems to know where to get those things.

                      Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
                      I'm guessing an Elvis Tribute band?
                      I wish, Dendy!!! Nope, I simply want to put together the set because it's something I've wanted to do for over thirty years but - actually didn't know that it could be done until I saw my two friends' drum kits. So, they're the inspiration for wanting to build my own kit.


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                      • #13
                        I am not seeing the blue pads on the drums you've presented above. Do you have a photo you can post of those?

                        D
                        Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Dendy Jarrett View Post
                          I am not seeing the blue pads on the drums you've presented above. Do you have a photo you can post of those?

                          D

                          Yep, I do. Here's two pics of the blue pads that were in the kick drums. I'm thinking that he may have gotten them from Ludwig because the kits that my friends have built have either used blue overstuffed pillows or cushions.

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                          • #15
                            The lower B/W picture looks like it is just foam out of a couch pillow. I suspect it may be dark grey (almost blue) and is acoustic foam like from a studio (before we had all the fancy waffle foam we have today).

                            D
                            Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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