The Legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum: A Drum Doctor’s Story

Today, we delve into the captivating story of the legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum. This iconic drum, known as “The Terminator,” holds a special place in the heart of The Drum Doctor, Ross Garfield. Acquired in the early ’80s, this TAMA Bell Brass snare became one of the most valuable drums in history. With its unmatched sound and unique characteristics, it has graced numerous heavily-selling and influential records. Although retired and treasured, The Drum Doctor brings it out for a video showcasing its greatness. Prepare to be captivated as we explore the history, revival, and undeniable charm of this remarkable drum.

The Drum Doctor, Ross Garfield, takes us on a journey through his warehouse in Los Angeles, where he houses an impressive collection of snare drums. Among his treasures, this 1980 TAMA Bell Brass stands out as the best of the best. This drum, with its superior quality brass and sought-after characteristics, has left its mark on records that have sold millions of copies. Acquired through a lucky encounter, this drum’s journey involved modifications, including changing the hoops and refining the edges. It even had the honor of being used on Nirvana’s iconic album, Nevermind. Although retired due to its track record, The Drum Doctor couldn’t resist showcasing its exceptional sound in this video. Don’t miss out on the chance to learn more about this legendary TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare and keep on grooving with The Drum Doctor.

The Legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum

The Legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum: A Drum Doctors Story

The Drum Doctor’s Story

Welcome to the fascinating story of the legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum, as told by none other than The Drum Doctor himself, Ross Garfield. Ross is the founder of Los Angeles’ premier drum rental and custom shop, Drum Doctors. In this article, Ross will take you through the acquisition of the snare drum, its modifications, and the incredible journey it has taken with some of the biggest names in the music industry.

Acquisition of the Snare Drum

The story of this iconic snare drum begins with a knock on Ross Garfield’s door in the early ’80s. Someone needed to pay their rent and had this drum to sell. Intrigued, Ross took a couple of hits on the drum and instantly recognized its potential. He decided to purchase it and made some necessary changes, such as replacing the heads and modifying the edges and lugs. Ross also swapped out the original Bell brass hoops for Gretch diecasts, which made it easier to tune the drum and gave it a unique voice.

The Drum’s Modifications

Ross Garfield, known as The Drum Doctor for his expertise in customizing and modifying drums, made significant modifications to this snare drum. The edges were reworked, giving the drum improved response and tonal clarity. He also silenced the insides of the lugs, removing any unwanted vibrations. These modifications, along with the replacement of the Bell brass hoops with Gretch diecasts, further enhanced the drum’s sound and playability.

Nicknaming the Snare Drum

Given its powerful sound and presence, someone gave this particular snare drum the nickname “The Terminator.” The nickname stuck, and it became known as The Terminator across the music industry. The timing of the nickname coincided with the release of the movie “The Terminator,” which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The nickname perfectly captured the drum’s strength and dominance.

The Legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum: A Drum Doctors Story

Use on Nirvana’s Nevermind Album

One of the most significant moments in the drum’s journey was its use on Nirvana’s groundbreaking album, Nevermind. When The Drum Doctor was approached to work on Nirvana’s demo tapes, the band was already using Dave Grohl’s drums, which were a TAMA set. However, they were looking for a different snare sound, and The Terminator won the audition. The snare drum’s explosive sound and impeccable response perfectly complemented Nirvana’s raw and intense music.

Working with Dave Grohl

Ross Garfield had the privilege of working closely with Dave Grohl during the recording of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. He describes Dave as someone who always gave it his all, hitting the drums with incredible strength and energy. Ross recalls that during the sessions, he felt like he was witnessing the birth of something special. At that time, Nirvana was still relatively unknown, but their talent and dedication were evident. Little did they know that they were about to change the face of rock music forever.

The Legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum: A Drum Doctors Story

Other Projects with Dave Grohl

Following their collaboration on Nirvana’s Nevermind, Ross Garfield continued to work with Dave Grohl on various other projects. They recorded at least one record with Tenacious D, the comedic rock duo consisting of Jack Black and Kyle Gass. Ross also had the opportunity to work with Dave on a date for Tony Iommi, the legendary guitarist of Black Sabbath. These collaborations showcased the versatility and skill of both Dave and The Terminator.

Use on Foo Fighters’ Color and the Shape Album

The snare drum’s incredible journey continued with its appearance on the Foo Fighters’ second studio album, Color and the Shape. The recording sessions for this album took place at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, where two sets of drums were set up in different rooms. The Terminator was used on several tracks, contributing its signature sound to the album’s intensity and power. Its presence on the Color and the Shape album solidified its status as an iconic piece of music history.

Consistency in Drum Selection

One aspect that Ross Garfield emphasizes is the importance of consistency in drum selection. Once a drummer expresses satisfaction with a specific drum or drum set, Ross strives to bring the same equipment back for future projects. This ensures that the drummer has familiarity and comfort with the instruments, leading to a consistent and reliable sound. The Terminator’s presence on numerous records demonstrates the trust and confidence placed in its exceptional qualities.

Importance of the Drummer’s Role

While the snare drum itself plays a significant role in the overall sound, Ross Garfield reminds us that the drummer’s technique and style are equally important. The way a drummer hits the drum, the stick choice, and even the density of their bones all contribute to the final sound. The drummer’s ability to control and manipulate the instrument ultimately shapes the music’s rhythm and energy. The Drum Doctor acknowledges the collaboration between the drum, drummer, drum tech, engineer, and producer, emphasizing that each person’s role is crucial.

The Drum’s Retirement

After a long and illustrious career, the legendary 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum has been retired. Its immense track record and unmistakable sound make it a valuable piece of music history. Ross Garfield admits that he is afraid to leave The Terminator in the studio and has received numerous offers from collectors and musicians looking to acquire the drum. Although tempted, he has yet to part with this iconic instrument. Its retirement marks the end of an era, but its legacy will continue to inspire and captivate drummers and music enthusiasts for generations to come.

In conclusion, the 1980 TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare Drum, affectionately known as The Terminator, has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Its acquisition, modifications, and use on iconic albums such as Nirvana’s Nevermind and the Foo Fighters’ Color and the Shape have solidified its place in history. Ross Garfield’s expertise as The Drum Doctor and his collaborations with Dave Grohl further highlight the drum’s incredible journey. As it enjoys a well-deserved retirement, The Terminator will forever be remembered as a legendary instrument that contributed to some of the most influential records in music history.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the TAMA 50th Anniversary Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare, head over to Guitar Center. You can find this legendary snare drum and learn about its rich history and comeback. While you’re at it, take a look at the TAMA snare drum collection available at Guitar Center. But here’s something you should know – the famous 1980 TAMA Bell Brass snare, used by Dave Grohl on Nirvana’s Nevermind and other iconic albums, has been retired. Back in the early ’80s, The Drum Doctor, also known as Ross Garfield, acquired this particular snare drum when someone sold it to him. Little did he know that he would end up with one of the most valuable snare drums in history. According to Garfield, this vintage TAMA Bell Brass snare is the best there is. It has qualities that many other Bell Brass snares strive to achieve. Although the legendary snare is now enjoying its well-deserved retirement, The Drum Doctor brought it out to play for a video. How lucky for us! If you want to learn more about the history and revival of the TAMA Mastercraft Bell Brass Snare, check out the links below. And if you’re a fan of The Drum Doctor’s grooves, keep on grooving along with him. You can find him here: drumdoctors_otr