Neil Peart's Chromey drum kit: history and restoration

Back to Drum History home

This Slingerland kit was the first drum kit Neil played with Rush. It was used to record:

It was also used used for tours supporting all the aforementioned albums, as well as Rush. The kit has had quite a journey.

For the latest information about Chromey, including appearances, see the official Chromey Facebook page.

Contents

After Rush

The Restoration of Chromey

Photos of Restored Kit

Specifications

After Rush

Neil gave away the kit as part of a Modern Drummer contest to Mark Feldman on July 20, 1987. Click the thumbnails below for a larger view of Neil's letter to Mark.

Feldman_letter1 Feldman_letter2

In August 2009, Neil Peart's first Slingerland kit sold on eBay for $25,100.00 to Dean Bobisud. Here are some photos of the kit before it was sold by Main Drag Music. Here are some photos of the kit in the store (click for a larger view):

  • Chromey at drum shop
  • Chromey at drum shop
  • Chromey at drum shop
    

The Restoration of Chromey

The new owner, Dean Bobisud, a Chicago-area Rush fan and collector, wanted to share the kit with Rush fans and the drumming community. To prepare for exhibiting the kit in public, Dean began a painstaking restoration with the help of restoration consultant Michael D.F. Lowe, technical advisor Paul Wells, and many others. Actual vintage replacement equipment was used to restore the kit back to its original playing condition as last used by Neil Peart.  

Following Rush's example of philanthropy, Dean and Michael decided to use the kit to raise money for different charities. The restored kit, now christened "Chromey," debuted at PASIC in 2009 — its first public appearance in 32 years. This was followed by nine more appearances, including:

  • A charity event for five-year-old Caden Mitchell who was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome in 2009

  • The Chicago Drum Show

  • Rushcon in Toronto

  •  Port Dalhousie, Ontario, at a place called Lakeside Park — where Neil Peart grew up

Photos of restored kit (courtesy of Dean Bobisud)

Click each photo for a larger view.


Specifications


Specifications provided by Michael D.F. Lowe of NeilPearDrumsticks.com, restoration consultant.

* - Serial number only provided to show era of drum.
** - Original parts once owned by Mr. Neil Peart.

Over a period of time the original drum kit consisted of these parts below.

DRUMS

3-ply Shells of Maple, Poplar, and Mahogany
9x13 Tom Tom w/Chrome Wrap and W&A Diamond Plate Clip Mount - Serial No. 130677**
9x13 Tom Tom w/Chrome Wrap and Set-O-Matic Mount - Serial No. 131567**
10x14 Tom Tom w/Chrome Wrap and Set-O-Matic Mount - Serial No. 124573**
16x16 Floor Tom w/Chrome Wrap - Serial No. 128860**
(2) 14x22 Bass Drum w/Chrome Wrap - SL Serial No. 130697; SR Serial No. 131799**
5x14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare - Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs - Serial No. 49123*
------------
5.5x6 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount - Serial No. 162370**
5.5x8 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount - Serial No. 159978**
6.5x10 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount - Serial No. 157594**
8x12 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount - Serial No. 157523**
--- Added before 25 June 1975, first time heard in rare audience recording. ---
------------
5.5x14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap - 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs - Serial No. 170680*
(Purchased used in 1976 by Ian Grandy at a local Cosmo Music in Toronto, Canada for $60)
--- Added before 13 November 1976, as seen in dated photos. ---

CYMBALS

Avedis Zildjian 8" Splash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 13" New Beat Hi-Hat Cymbal Pair
Avedis Zildjian 16" Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 18" Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 20" Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 22" Ping Ride Cymbal
------------
Avedis Zildjian 16" Medium Crash Cymbal
--- Added before 29 April 1976, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
Avedis Zildjian 8" Splash Cymbal on SL bass hoop holder
--- Added before 28 May 1976, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
Avedis Zildjian 18" Pang Cymbal
--- Added after 15 February 1977 and before 5 March 1977, as seen in dated photos. ---

PERCUSSION

Ludwig 4" Gold Tone Cowbell Model #129
LP Standard Agogo Bells
LP Black Beauty Cowbell
Gon Bops Agogo Tri Bells
LP Rock/Bongo Cowbell
Wind Chimes with about 5 bars
Cluster Chimes with about 10-12 bars
3-piece Temple Bells - vertically strung
--- Added between August 1974 and June 1976, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
Spectrasound Mark Tree w/35 Brass Bars Chimes
--- Added after 26 October 1976 and before 11 December 1976, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
LP Bell Tree w/28 Brass Bells
--- Added after 15 February 1977 and before 5 March 1977, as seen in dated photos. ---

HARDWARE

(2) Ludwig Speed King w/Square Beater
Ludwig Consolette Tom Tom Holder w/3" rod and tongue - mounted on stage left bass
Slingerland Set-O-Matic Double Tom Tom Holder - mounted on stage right bass
Slingerland Dynamo Hi-Hat Stand
Slingerland Rocket Snare Drum Stand
(3) Pearl Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand
Premier Lokfast Flush Base Cymbal Stand - holds Cowbells and 8" Splash (Before June 1975)
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Ludwig Top Rod and Tilter - mounted on stage right bass drum
Ludwig Sta-Set Drum Key
Ludwig Seat Case
Pro-Mark Rock 747 Drumsticks
Rogers Stick Tray Assembly #48-1280
White Custom Floorboard w/Turnbuckles - lost by Air Canada on 16 January 1975
------------
Blue Custom Floorboard w/Turnbuckles
Slingerland Extra Sturdy Double Tom Floor Stand w/Set-O-Matic Double Clip Mount Tom Holder
Premier Lokfast Flush Base Cymbal Stand split into two parts
(Base tube and tripod used with Pearl upper rods and double tom holder for 10" and 12" Concert Toms)
(2) Pearl Tom Tom Clip Mount (Replacing Slingerland mounts on 10" and 12" concert toms)
Pearl Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand split into two parts
(Base tube and tripod used with Premier upper rods for cowbells and 8" Splash cymbal)
--- Added before 25 June 1975, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
Leather 3-pocket Drumstick Bag**
--- Added in early 1975, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Premier Top Rod and Tilter - mounted on stage right bass drum
(Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Ludwig Top Rod and Tilter - now mounted on stage left bass drum)
--- Added before 28 May 1976, as seen in dated photos. ---
------------
(2) Pearl Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand - for 18" Pang cymbal and Bell Tree.
--- Added after 15 February 1977 and before 5 March 1977, as seen in dated photos. ---

HEADS

Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Chrome Heads - 13"(2), 14", 16", 22"(2 bass front 1974)
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Blue Resonant Heads - 13"(2), 14", 16", 22"(2 bass front 1975)
Remo CS Black Dots - 14", 22" (2 bass rear)
Remo Ambassador Snare-side Head - 14"
------------
Ludwig Weathermaster CH-Batter Silver Dot Heads - 6", 8", 10", 12"
(Used on the Copper Concert Toms after their addition to the kit in Spring of 1975)
------------

Bass Heads Artwork


The artwork on the bass heads from Fall 1974 to Fall 1975 was on 22" Evans Rock Chrome heads with the first album RUSH logo in black.

 In Fall 1975, with the start of the Caress Of Steel Tour, the kit can be seen with clear 22" Evans Rock Blue resonant heads with the Caress Of Steel RUSH logo lettered in chrome mylar along with black lettered names on chrome rectangles, "neil" on the stage right bass and "peart" on the stage left bass.

Photo of bass drum heads

In June 1976 during the 2112 Tour, the bass heads were removed for recording a series of live shows at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada.

These recordings were later released on the album, All The World's A Stage. Before the heads were reinstalled, the interior of each head was spray painted blue, as seen here today.

You may have also seen recent photos, or the wall display, of the stage right bass head and its tragic demise.

This was caused by a small nick of the razor when cutting microphone holes in the heads.

It was reinforced with duct tape in an effort to prevent its spread across the surface. As you can see it didn't last long but did manage to hold up for about 9-10 months until February - March 1977 as witnessed in dated photos where further duct taping has been applied to the tear. We removed the heads to preserve them from any further damage.

Back to Top

Home