Whether in a pot or in a box, heathers are popular eye-catchers for indoors and outdoors. In a drum, they become even more of an eye-catcher. In the altenkunstadt district of woffendorf, the plants are given a special frame in unusual plant shapes. For stefan luschner collects drums.
Bass drums, cymbals and toms tower up to the ceiling in the granny apartment of his house. Whoever thinks that the passion for collecting has cost the drum freak a fortune, will be proven wrong by luschner: "i turn an ugly duckling into a shining swan by rescuing hidden drum chats from the attic before they are locked away. At home at my workbench i’ll restore it then."
He picks up scratched and dusty instruments from small ads on the internet or in daily newspapers, which he then restores to their former glory with his skilled craftsmanship. According to his own information, he will shell out 50 to 100 euros for a vintage drum, as the old-timer drums are called. The temporal auand is many times coarser. "It takes me about 100 hours to get a whole drum set back into shape." Woffendorfer currently owns an estimated 40 to 50 of these drums.
The 47-year-old goes to his workshop, takes an old drum with a fur cover – known as a tom in the trade – in his hand and begins to describe the process. "First remove the skins and the chrome parts to which the former are attached. If the old foils on the wooden drum can still be used, i polish them to a high gloss with a special cleaner. Otherwise i stick new ones on it." Then the expert strokes the edge of the drum with one finger.
Luschner traces the irregularities he works on with sandpaper. "The skin must lie flat for the drum to sound right" ("keep on running"), explains the expert. Then the chrome parts are polished, the skin is stretched and the drum shines like new again. Toms that are no longer worth restoring are turned into flower pots by luschner.
Collector, teacher, player
The woffendorfer is more than a passionate collector. He is a drum teacher, hobby drummer, drum collector and drum restorer all in one.
What fascinates him about this instrument? "It represents the foundation of any band. If the rhythm fits, then the others don’t have to worry anymore and can concentrate on their instruments", he says: "that’s what i love about a drum set."
Like his six year old son nick, who drums on everything he can get his hands on. It was no different for luschner himself: "even as a small child i was drumming on saucepans or making percussion instruments out of pillows." When he first met the drummer ringo starr of the beatles on television, the young man was hooked.
At the age of 12, luschner had his first musical baptism of fire at the home of his father’s friend. "He had taken me to the rehearsal of his band. I was allowed to sit behind the drums and to everyone’s amazement I managed to accompany the other musicians almost flawlessly", tells the drum freak.
Ten years ago, when he moved into his own house, his passion for collecting took hold of him. "Now i had the necessary space to front this hobby."
Among them are many a rare specimen. From the "tama star classic mirage" in acrylic with smoked glass optics only ten copies were produced worldwide. He has bought the noble part from none other than the bamberg drummer steff porzel, who works with the world famous "spencer davis group" ("keep on running") drum.
Also the drumset of iain finlay, the drummer of the metalband "running wild", is in luschner’s collection. This drum has a special feature: "normally a bass drum has two tubes, this one has four", the expert explains.
And although he already has so many drums at home, one or the other is still missing: "the classic maple drum set from the american manufacturer ludwig in the ‘black oyster’ design – just like ringo star once played it." Luschner already owns this type of drum set, but not in this beatles version in black and white. But this, they say, is very expensive. "Because it will always be associated with my rough idol", sighs the drums collector from the obermain region.