A day in the life of a vintage gear fetishist

You may think about Ebay whatever you want. But I assume that everyone of you has seen “this very special item” there which you have been searching for half of your life time. Well, in my case I found a set of Musicaid (!) SDSV pads, all obviously assembled by hand, the predecessors of the serial Simmons SDSV pads. In addition to this, a prototype made of solid wood and likely one of the legendary models which had been assembled for the catalogue pictures. Unfortunately the auction was pick-up-only in London, no shipping, but I was prepared to take this long trip but to combine it with a fast visit in St. Albans which was only 30 km north of my pick-up destination. But I had to win the auction first (no doubt about that….). During the endless 10 days till the auction end I sold my Roland PD-80 pads (who needs Roland…) in order to arm myself with some budget. 10 days later I really won that auction! Not really a bargain, but for a rarity like this it’s worth the money.

At once I started to organize the journey: How far is London? 700km? One way 9-10 hours, ferry included. No problem, deep inside I feel like a trucker ๐Ÿ™‚

I made an appointment with the seller MJQ, a company trading with used studio gear in the north of London. The children needed a baby-sitter. My brother-in-law was kind enough to take them overnight. Thereafter I booked the ferry Dunkerque/Dover and back. And of course I needed 1 1/2 days off from work for my 24 hour trip. OK…waiting another 10 days…

*another 10 endless days later*

Today’s the day. My first target is Dunkerque/France. Take off is 6am in the morning. The ferry is about to leave at 12:00.

6 am. Ready to go. To be honest, this is a fake: I have positioned the apples because the snickers bars had already been eaten at that time…

12 am: waiting for the ferry Dunkerque-Dover

Best weather

3:30 pm: London. Travelling from Dover to the target street in London/Neasden took 1 1/2 hour, it took another 1 1 1/2 hour finding the exact place of the company in the same street. Thanks to the traffic jam! But finally after the seller directed me by the mobile phone, I arrived. Tired and desperately needing a rest room… In the main this day’s take found it’s way into my trunk.
I have to hurry up. The ferry won’t wait and I don’t know if I will get stuck in the traffic again on the way to St. Albans.

5 pm: St. Albans cathedral

Abbey Mill – production facility for the SDS5 and SDS6 from 1982-1984 (thumbnail is taken from “Complete Simmons Drum Book“)

“Ye Olde Fighting Cocks” – The pub where the staff had the after work beer (thumbnail is taken from “Complete Simmons Drum Book“)

Abbey Mill Lane street sign

6 pm: Hatfield Road 176 – Home of most Musicaid gear such as SDS3/4, early SDSV and the analog Clap Traps (thumbnail is taken from “Complete Simmons Drum Book“)

6:30 pm: The Alban Park production facility – SDS7/8/9/1000 and following had been produced right here. It is currently inhabited by a company calles “Best Import ltd.”

9 pm: waiting for the ferry in Dover

5:30 am: back home again with an SDSV prototype pad

…and a hex-shaped box with Musicaid logo. Good night…

PS: I already had the opportunity to open up one of these Musicaid pads, and they are totally different from any other SDSV pad. But this will definetely fill another post. Stay tuned!

10 Responses to “A day in the life of a vintage gear fetishist”

  1. Roger says:

    Best blog post ever! Your devotion earned you this nice stash.
    Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

  2. jesper says:

    Great catch and a nice documentation made by a devoted collector – I just love that! I bet my hunt for the delusive EDP Gnat Deluxe will take me on a similar journey one day. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Sander says:

    Thank you for giving me such a clear image of how it all used to be .
    history mixed with deutsche witzen !
    much appreciated

  4. Patrice says:

    Ah ah…
    When I think Dave introduced me to one of his friend as a SIMMONS Fanatic…

    I think I wouldn’t have done it myself for a set of pad…Even for that Sooo Nice ones…
    But congratulations ! I love the idea, & your all work around Dave’s creations …

    ENJOY my friend ๐Ÿ˜‰

    PS I Have a pic for you or your blog if interested ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • As the headline says: I’m a gear fetishist, not a people fetishist (apart from my family members). Dave Simmons does not need to worry about me dialing his phone number or even ringing his door bell

  5. Carlos says:

    I remember when I first saw a Simmons kit, 1983, then I decide to became
    a drummer, left the piano lessons and my brother give me the first lessons
    of drums (he was a drummer then, now a keyboard player) in 1984 I
    got my baby, the SDSV wich I still have, then I bought in 1985 a SDS8,
    and in 1987 I came with an SDS9. Also in 1986 bought a Tama Techstar
    wich it was a great drum kit, specially for the pads, but my love for the
    SDSV was like no other, ended selling all of them, but keeping my baby.
    I have an SDSV with 6 modules (bass, snare, 4 toms) and a collection
    of 16 pads (5 blue mark IV, 6 SDS8 white pads, 5 black mark III), also
    still have a TMI bought in ebay about 8 years ago brand new in box.

    Well that’s part of my history with Simmons drums, I apreciate all the work
    and effort to put all the details of the greatest electronic drums of all times
    and up to date because the sound is unique and very dificult to imitate, beleive me.

    PS. Have you ever considered make an interview yourself to Dave Simmons in video, he can put so many questions cleared after all this years, that will be excellent.

    Thanks, once again!

  6. […] Simmonsmuseum's Blog A blog about vintage Simmons electronic drums « A day in the life of a vintage gear fetishist […]

  7. sibi says:

    Wolfman, you are a real fan. I enjoyed your reisetagebuch to england. It reminded me of many of my own tripps in the 80ties – including “ferry-stories”. I look forward to meet you and examine the “new” schรคtzchen.
    Best always, Sibi

  8. Jorgen says:

    Congratulations Wolfgang
    Welcome to the Musicaid SDSV club.
    I think they ended up in the perfect home.

  9. Anthony says:

    Is that the same SDSV kit that was on ebay not so long ago. I’ve finally found a kit and i’m buying next week. I have YOU and PRINCE to thank for wanting me to get a SIMMONS kit. Your really lucky you have a lot of Simmons gear in good condition.

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