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11/17/2003 Entry: "Chick Bailey"

I've mentioned Chick before. He's sorta been grooming me to take over his drum collection. He's getting old, and he knows it. He told me that if something should happen to him, his wife wouldn't know what to do with his drums. So he's been giving me stuff. First, some parts. Then, a conga, and a snare, and a cymbal. Then, a vintage Gretsch catalog.

About three weeks ago, he called and asked it I would take a 20" oyster black pearl floor tom off his hands. It was one from his set, and he said he didn't use that big of a floor tom anymore. "It makes a passable tymapni drum in a pit band" he said. "I'll let you have it, and if I ever need it, I can borrow it from you." I told him that would be fine, but...
"This is part of your kit," I said, "and I don't want to see it broken up. So I'll keep it here, you use it whenever you need it, and, when the time comes you sell your kit or give it away or whatever, call me, and I'll give it back so it can go with the rest of the drums. It would be horrible to orphan it." He said that would be fine, and we'd make arrangements to pick it up someday.

He called me today.

"Would you be interested in my oyster black kit?" he asked.
"How much do you want for it?"
"You can have it."

He went on to explain that he found a white marine pearl kit in small sizes that he liked, and he wanted to buy it. Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich all used WMP, and he'd always wanted one. He figured now was the time to get one.

"You know, Chick, your set is worth quite a bit of money." I wanted to make sure he knew he was giving me close to $2000 worth of drums.
"I'll sell 'em to you for a dollar--that'll keep it all legal."

I wasn't worried about the legality.

I'm slated to pick them up tomorrow. They will stay with me until I die. Or until I can no longer play. At that time, I'll find a worthy drummer, who loves vintage gear, and who treats old instruments with respect. I will then sell him/her the set for $1. That's my pledge to Chick. I'll take care of that set until I can't anymore, and then I'll find someone who can. I can't give him what they're worth. I can only give him my word that his drums will be treated with the love and kindness they deserve, and my that I'll tell the story of Chick Bailey, and the wonderful gift he gave me that I could never repay.

Thank you Chick Bailey.

Replies: 2 people have rocked the mic!

That, young Jedi, is beautiful. I can see the cover story of the March 2112 issue: "Ringo Legacy Gift Kit Lives On In Maine!" Love it.

Posted by Paddy @ 11/18/2003 07:35 AM EST

I don't know much about Chick outside of the fact that my dad knows him. He knows all the older fellas around town I think. Especially if they are neat guys like Chick. If Dave Bruebeck lived in Rockland I think my dad would know him. That isn't my point though.

You have a gift to give that is very special. Maybe for Chick?

BTW Chick is such a great name. I wish I had a cool name like Tbone (being Thompson) but I know if I did people would call me Koko.

Posted by Jim @ 11/18/2003 07:34 PM EST

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