The Mystery of Dave Tough’s Drum Pad

SKF NOTE: Life Beyond the Cymbals reader, John, wrote asking about “the tin can” in Dave Tough’s drum pad. “I wanted to ask about his practice pad. What’s with the soup can? Was to add resonance or some kind of feel?”

Truth is, I always thought the “tin can” in this photo was a wine bottle. Now I’m not sure! So 10 points to the person who solves this double mystery: Is it a soup can, a wine bottle, or something else stuck in Dave Tough’s drum pad? And does it serve a musical purpose?”




SKF NOTE: Today I found this short MP3 file of photographer William Gottlieb talking about his photo of Dave Tough.

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2 Responses to The Mystery of Dave Tough’s Drum Pad

  1. scottkfish says:

    Nice find. The bottle in the photo I posted looks darker. But the glass in my posted photo could easily be cola. Also, Dave Tough is wearing different clothes in each photo — different neckties. One shirt has a button down collar, the other does not.

    In the photo I posted there is a clear glass long-neck bottle in the left-side of the photo, partially hidden by the piece of paper. And behind Tough, in the corner, there is a wooden case full of empty long neck bottles.

    In both photos there appear to be wire brushes also hidden in part by the piece of paper.

    Thank you. // Best, skf

  2. Dear Scott,
    as you can see in this photo from another session (different tie!), it is an empty coke bottle.
    My best guess would be that the bottle was used to make the pad heavier so that it can’t move too much while practicing. I always wondered what those metal rings on the sticks are for, but I guess their purpose to make the sticks front-heavy to have less rebound and make you work more.

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