SKF NOTE: This exchange is from my interview with Alan Dawson for Modern Drummer’s January 1986 10th Anniversary Issue. Our interview covered much more ground than I could use in the MD piece. It’s fun to be able to share some material that ended up on the cutting room floor.
The interview took place sometime in 1985 in Alan Dawson’s Massachusetts’ home living room over Dawson-made tuna fish sandwiches.
Scott K Fish: Had you ever had either a drumset or a snare drum that you feel is the best set you’ve ever played on?
Alan Dawson: Sure. It was my very first drumset. I had a Slingerland Radio King snare drum. That was the only new piece of equipment. I had a Gretsch mounted tom-tom. The kind you clamped onto the bass drum. I had a Ludwig & Ludwig bass drum that was 26″x12″, and a Leedy 15″ street drum with a metal rim.
They were all bought in various pawn shops. The bass drum cost me $15.00. The snare drum was the most expensive thing at $39.00. I think I paid $10.00 for the Gretsch tom-tom. The most expensive part was the Leedy parade drum. I paid $45.00 for that.
That was my first set. It cost me about $100.00 and, yes, that was my best set. I’m sure there’s nostalgia involved, but if you say best set in terms of what I felt comfortable with, no set ever felt as good to me as that one.
That drumset was stolen. The guy pawned it for $25.00. I got it back, but I had to pay the $25.00 on it.