Danny Seraphine


The 2016 Hollywood Custom and Vintage Drum Show

Story and photos by Bob Campbell

This past October 8, the 2016 Hollywood Custom and Vintage Drum Show packed the Glendale Civic Auditorium in Glendale, California, with gear, drumming enthusiasts, and great performances and clinics. Vendor booths were filled with the latest drums from Acoutin, BoneYard, Craviotto, DW, Dunnett, George Way, Gretsch, INDe, Jenkins-Martin, Ludwig, Mayer Bros., PDP, Pork Pie, RBH, Sleishman, and Yamaha, as well as cymbals from 37 Cymbals, Istanbul Mehmet, Paiste, Sabian, and Zildjian. Drumhead vendors included Aquarian, Evans, and Remo, and Promark and Vic Firth presented their latest drumsticks and accessories. Music retailers Guitar Center and Professional Drum Shop offered tempting deals throughout the day. And for collectors, a tantalizing array of vintage drums was on display, including a beautiful early-’60s Rogers Starlite drumset in a Mardi Gras Pearl finish.

Matt Johnson

Drummer Matt Johnson, who’s played with St. Vincent, Rufus Wainwright, and Jeff Buckley, opened the show’s clinic roster. Johnson played along to an ethereal, sitar-driven track and demonstrated an amazing sense of musicality and space, as well as an ability to weave effortlessly through various implied time signatures. Next, Gordon Goodwin’s Bernie Dresel played with his masterful jazz group, the BBB. Dresel’s extraordinary playing drove the band with great energy, dexterity, and fluidity.

Stanley Randolph

Stevie Wonder’s Stanley Randolph discussed how performing in church and marching band early on allowed him to develop his feel and technical ability. Both of those qualities were evident in his clinic, which was a lesson in tasty grooves, cool licks, funky feels, and syncopation. California Transit Authority drummer and former Chicago member Danny Seraphine closed out the clinics and received a warm welcome from the audience. Seraphine played the classic Chicago tune “25 or 6 to 4” and several great CTA songs. Afterward, Seraphine signed copies of his autobiography, Street Player: My Chicago Story.

Bernie Dresel

Kerry Crutchfield, the show’s producer, sponsor, and emcee, shared some thoughts about the event. “We had a really great vibe at the show this year,” he told MD. “Bernie Dresel and his sixteen-piece big band were absolutely killer. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Danny Seraphine shared some history and played his butt off.

I’m already looking forward to next year!”