Oct 3, 2008

Badge Of The Month: Meazzi Hollywood Drums


Here's a fairly rare badge I found at Rick Smith's drum show in Connecticut a couple years ago. I don't know much about Meazzi other than they were an Italian company that made really funky guitars, basses,drums, and as you can tell by the picture, drum badges. I know that Max Roach endorsed the company and they released a signature kit in his name. I've seen photos of him playing the kit onstage. If you have any more information on Meazzi Hollywood drums, please drop me a line. I found some Meazzi catalogues on the wonderfully extensive drumarchive.com

An anonymous All Things Loud follower left this comment about Meazzi Hollywood Drums:
" Hi, I own a couple of these sets. Really great. The President model is the top of the line and includes a tunable floor tom. I have a jazz set with a 14" floor tom and a 20" bass drum and what I would describe as a big band set with a 28" bass drum and tunable 16"floor tom. Max Roach used them and also Billy Cobham. They were way ahead of there time and very well made and look great. All mine are very thin shells and I believe the wood is Beech. Watch out as the Jolly series and some others do not sound as good. Check out there [sic] acrylic sets which to me sound better than Ludwigs. I am a little addicted to them. You can find them cheap on ebay from time to time as no one really knows what they are, however in Italy you may have to pay a lot more. There is a clip of Billy Cobham on YouTube playing Nutville and his solo is from 2.25 and Max Roach can be also seen playing them, but I do not like the sound on the recording and feel its not a good representation of how the drums sound, but the Cobham one is close."

Thanks for the info!

7 comments:

  1. Hi, I own a couple of these sets. Really great. The President model is the top of the line and includes a tunable floor tom. I have a jazz set with a 14" floor tom and a 20" bass drum and what I would describe as a big band set with a 28" bass drum and tunable 16"floor tom. Max Roach used them and also Billy Cobham. They were way ahead of there time and very well made and look great. All mine are very thin shells and I believe the wood is Beech. Watch out as the Jolly series and some others do not sound as good. Check out there acrylic sets which to me sound better than Ludwigs. I am a little addicted to them. You can find them cheap on ebay from time to time as no one really knows what they are, however in Italy you may have to pay a lot more. There is a clip of Billy Cobham on youtube playing Nutville and his solo is from 2.25 and Max Roach can be also scene playing them, but I do not like the sound on the recording and feel its not a good representation of how the drums sound, but the Cobham one is close.

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  2. I owned a full sized (22,16,13 with a 5" wooden snare drum) Hollywood President in black pearl set from 1973 to 1984. I loved them and I miss them terribly. As you say, very thin beech shells but those drums sounded great. I can smell the inside of those untreated beech shalls now as I remember them.

    I sold the drums in part exchange for a new kit but kept the hi-hat, bass drum pedal and snare drum stand all of which (in 1973 at least) had interesting quirky features like the ball and socket joint on the snare drum stand and the external springs on the hi-hat.

    The drums themselves had hinged tension lugs which did not go through the rims but rather hooked on to them. This means that you do not have to remove the lugs completely in order to change heads.

    The biggest weakness of the drums was the quality of the metal work. Screws tended to shear off when being tensioned and the chrome eventually bubbled and popped or flaked off. Other than that, they were great and my kit always attracted a great deal of attention from other drummers wherever I went.

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  3. I bought a 4 piece kit in about 1987 - 18" kick, 13" & 16" toms and a 14x7.5" steel snare. It set me back £165 at the time; there was a 16" 5star super Zyn crash/ride and 12" hats. The wooden items weren't really up to much. I ended up selling the wooden items, but the snare - man what a corker! It's one of the loudest and quietest snares I've ever played - will cut through anything, but respond to the most delicate touch... Alas one of the lugs broke recently, so I'm on my back up snare 'til I get it fixed.

    The hihat was fantastic as well, with external springs. EVERYTHING was adjustable - pedal angle, spring tension, spring position.. sadly it snapped around the feet, and being diecast there wasn't much that could be done to fix it. I've never come across a better pedal, or one I've felt more comfortable with, everything else there has been something that is a compromise :-(

    As it goes, I kept the Zyn as well. I now have an 18" 5Star Super to go with it, and the 12" hats make great splashes on their own!

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  4. Denis Pouliot, Quebec, PQ, Canada9/19/09, 5:04 PM

    Hi, I live in Quebec city, province of Quebec, Canada. I bought Hokkywood "The President" model about 14 years ago. It was brand new from a countyside music store who was stuck with it for many years. I playyed it for some time and sounded really great for jazz. 20 kick, 13 tom, 16 floor with tunable pedal in silver color (looks like cigarette papar) and 14 x 5 (or 5.5) metal snare. I don't use it much because I'm left handed, so I can't really use the tunable pedal of the floor. I keep it home safele and is in excellent condition. I saw a picture of Jack DeJohnnette playing a similar kit with Miles. I might be interested to sell if i have a reasonable price (collector's welcome, you see what I mean).

    You can reach me on depouliot@hotmail.com

    Thank you.

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  5. i just wrote and previewed and everything disappeared.

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  6. www.fetishguitar.com, here you have the story of Meazzi factory. Not only Max Roach plays this wonderful and innovative set, also Jack De Johnette on Miles period, John Marshall on Soft Machine, Roger Taylor from Queen, Sol Amarfio on Osibisa, Billy Cobham with Horace Silver, Ed Blackwelll with Ornette etc etc etc
    I have a President set; i love the set, is the best
    Hollywood President was a project made from Franco Caldironi around '60; innovation like floor tom tuneable from a pedal, the Max Roach kit and tom tom holder with nylon ball (it was the first!!!!!!) rolex system.

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  7. i play in a band called phil haley and his comments from the uk,a recent trip to germany,i played a gig on one of these kits it was mint,,please watch my you tube clip..BRIAN NICHOLS PLAYS A HOLLYWOOD DRUM KIT...THANKS.im the drummer with phil haley..

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