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Updated: 03/17/2018

At a Glance:

  • Drums: Tama in custom Rosewood Finish with "Vibra-Fibing"; first Tama drum kit.

  • Used from late 1979 - 1981

  • Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

  • Notable changes: First kit with brass plated hardware and custom finish

  • Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip (played "backwards")

  • 5.5 x 14 "Old Faithful" Slingerland Artist Model snare with original Copper Wrap finish: 3-ply shell with 8 lugs

  • Drum tech: Larry Allen

  • Custom finish: Neil Peart said in a Modern Drummer interview: "It's a mahogany finish. The Percussion Center in Fort Wayne, where I get all my stuff, did the finish for me. I was trying to achieve a Rosewood. At home, I have some Chinese Rosewood furniture, and I wanted to get that deep burgundy richness. They experimented with different kinds of inks, magic marker inks of red, blue, and black, trying to get the color. It was very difficult."

Used to record and tour:


From the Permanent Waves tour book, by Neil Peart


I recently became the proud owner of a new set of Tama drums, once again with the inner side of the wooden shells coated with the Vibra-Fibing treatment. Along with the custom finish and the brass-plated metal hardware, this operation was performed by the Percussion Centre of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The sizes of the drums remain unchanged, consisting of two 24" bass drums, 6", 8", 10" and 12" concert toms, 12", 13" 15" and 18" closed toms, and a 5 1/2 x 14" wooden snare drum. I probably need hardly add that both on the road, and most especially on this newest record, I am very pleased with the combination of the thick, wooden shells, and the dependable, modern hardware.

All my cymbals are still by Avedis Zildjian, with the exception of one 18" Chinese cymbal. They are a 6" and 8" splash, two 16", one 18", and one 20" crash cymbals, a 22" ride, a pair of 13" high-hats, an 18" pang, and a 20" China type.

Digging into the toy box we find the usual assortment of effects, including timbales, melodic cowbells, orchestra bells, wind chimes, tubular bells, bell tree, tympani, temple blocks, triangle, gong, and crotales.

On my snare and bass drums I use Remo black-dot heads, Ludwig silver-dots on the concert toms, and Evans Looking Glass (top) and Blue Hydraulic (bottom) on the other toms. Ludwig Speed King Pedals and Tama hardware complete the set-up. My drumsticks are still Pro-Mark 747's with the varnish removed from the gripping area.


Why he switched from Slingerland to Tama

"I recall that Slingerland was starting to falter around then in terms of parts and service, and also seemed to be 'headless' — for example, no one from the company ever contacted me personally about any kind of endorsement, or invited me to get involved with the product in any way. Their drums still sounded pretty good, but the hardware was antiquated and fragile, especially compared to the sturdy stands and mounts coming from the Japanese companies at the time. Tama made a good-sounding set of drums, and their people were very eager to please, so I decided to try them." (Drum! Magazine: "Mean Mean Stride: The drums of Neil Peart")

After Rush

Adam Roderick won the kit as part of a Modern Drummer drum giveaway and used the kit in his Rush tribute band Trilogy. See this Facebook photo album of the kit being delivered by Neil's then drum tech Larry Allen, as well as pictures of Adam meeting Neil backstage. He also got to sit behind the Power Windows kit during soundcheck!


Fan replicas

Click an image to go to its replica page.

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