Sometimes you score! The seller of this Stewart “Black Diamond Pearl” kit was moving into a smaller home and had to part with a bunch of stuff. He took a stab at selling them at a garage sale before posting on Craigslist with no luck. Once posted to Craigslist with this one photo of the floor tom, I could tell they were well taken care of. Original Stewart skin looked like it had been played very little. I assumed the rest of the kit would be the same.
The kit was in Richmond Hill, ON. and Carmen and I reserve ourselves with a bit of hesitation to battle the Toronto traffic, especially on a weekday after 5:00PM. It can get crazy, but we knew they would sell fast, so we arranged to go the day after they went up for sale. We arrived at the sellers house and was greeted at the door by a younger guy (probably in his late 20’s) and immediately said, can I help you. We advised that we were there for the drums. The guy yelled for his father and when the father arrived to the greet us at the door he said, “You can’t sell grandpa’s drums”. Immediately, my heart sank…the drive, the gas money, the time…it’s quite a commitment to drive 4 hours round trip. The father calmed his son down, brought us downstairs and advised that the drums were under the stairwell…like really far back. I crawled, secretly hoping I wasn’t going to get locked under a stairwell, and pulled them out.
We had NEVER seen a 50 year old Stewart kit in this condition. They were immaculate, the best we have EVER seen. Everything in tack, no missing parts or pieces, they honestly looked like they were preserved in time. Strange, I know. The kit came with some great extras too. A Zildjian Avedis Ride (of which we sold off later for more than we paid for the whole lot), kick pedal, throne, cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, hi-hats, crash, etc. Hit the lottery on this one. I ended up giving the seller more than the wanted for the kit, for the first time ever I felt bad taking the whole lot for asking price.
What really got me on this, was what I found printed on the bottom skin on the floor tom. A stamp from Drummer’s Paradise, Toronto, Canada. This Stewart Drum Supplied By – Drummer’s Paradise, Geo. Newnham – Toronto, Canada. Now, this is the icing on the cake…Stewart drums were mainly found in department stores, Sears, etc. This solidified that someone back in the 1960’s revered these early 1960’s Stewart drums as contenders to the huge brand names at the time (Ludwig, Gretsch, Sonor, Rogers, etc). It brought to light and assured me that what was now, undoubtedly, my favorite drums I have ever used…we’re in fact, great drums. Not just in my opinion, but the opinion of others. This kit is what solidified mine and Carmen’s decision to pursue this venture, this website and all that is Stewart Drum Company.