Mike Heidorn’s Ludwig drumkit dates back to the year he was born: 1967. In keeping with those times, the drums are psychedelic red with white pearl inlay. “I got them in high school,” he says, “and I’ve used them in some capacity on all six albums I’ve done–three with Uncle Tupelo and three with Son Volt.”
While touring in support of Son Volt’s latest, Wide Swing Tremelo, Heidorn hooked up with Mapex drums on the advice of former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer. “Mapex sent me a brand-new set from their Orion Maple series,” Mike says. “Having never worked with a new set before, I was astonished by the sound quality. But we’re sort of known for playing vintage gear. I felt torn between using the new gear or the old stuff.”
The gear decision was made for Heidorn, when on the last leg of Son Volt’s tour someone broke into their van and stole all of their instruments. “They got our front line and backups–all of it,” Heidorn says, clearly upset by the theft. “I’m still kind of traumatized by it.”
Now Heidorn is back playing a ’60s Ludwig kit and occasionally using an even older Gretsch set. “It’s got a jazzy 20″ kick, 14″ floor, and 12″ rack. I can’t date it, though. I talked to the Memphis Drum Shop guys, and they guessed it’s from the early ’60s.”
In other Heidorn career news, Sony/Legacy plans to reissue Uncle Tupelo’s Rockville albums, No Depression, Still Feel Gone, and March 16-20, 1992 including bonus tracks and outtakes, beginning with an anthology scheduled for release shortly.