When I started playing drums at age 14 I had the most not amazing $80 drum kit that you could imagine. It was a 5 piece Ludwig kit that was not very well managed or maintained. I bought it from a kit at my school with the idea that we were going to "start a band". We were 14 and this kit was a "drummer" that had moved off the kit to pursue his goal of becoming the next Phil Anselmo. He used to carry around this Shure SM58 knock off with electrical tape wrapped around it. Every change he got to pull it out and throw down some Pantera lyrics it would happen. It was like Phil on demand! Whether it was a 1,2,3,4 or a Walk on Home Boy, it was alway cocked and loaded.
He had this kit at his house and I had saved up my $80 and I went over with my mom to pick it up. I went in to help him load it out, but apparently first we had to find it. We found the kick drum in a corner with the 12" tom then under a table was the 13" tom. We were looking all around for the 16" floor then he remembered that he it was in his room where he had been using it as a dirty clothes basket. GROSS! This was only possible because none of these drums had any bottom hardware. No lugs, no hoops, nothing. They had all the holes and were set up for bottom hardware they were just not present and accounted for. We took what we had found out to my mom's mini van, then went in for the rest. The snare was a 14" aluminum no name snare with broken heads on both sides and a strainer that was absolutely thrashed. There were a few stands around and a double tom mount for the kick drum. There were some Hi-Hat cymbals with the kit but they were "Camber" hats that were kind of like tinfoil that had been left on the BBQ grill a little too long. They were warped in 4 different directions and sounded as terrible as you could possibly imagine. The last piece that was coming home with me was a ride cymbal that was sitting in a back room of the basement on a stand because Chris has spray painted the cymbal bright yellow. This was a cymbal that sounded like a yellow spray painted cymbal! It was actually a Ludwig stamped cymbal but it was obviously not the best quality off the bat and now it was again, yellow! We took all this out the van and loaded it in and I was on my way.
I never even thought to think about what my mom was seeing coming out of this house. These were drums and she didn't know anything about drums but she definitely knew what garbage looked like and she didn't say a thing.
I took these drums to my dad house and put them in the basement and that day I started banging on them. No snare, no kick pedal, just a few toms, a kick drum some busted ass Hi-Hats and a yellow ride cymbal.
I eventually stripped these drums down and painted them all white and added 2 more 12" toms to the mix that I found at a garage sale. For a short time I thought I was Lars Ulrich when he we recording "The Black Album" with those 4 toms across the front. I feel like his were better and more expensive than mine !
Those drums lasted a few years until I eventually upgraded to drums with actual bottom heads with hardware and non spray painted cymbals. Those $80 drums started something that took me around the world over and over again in vans, busses, planes and trains. I met other drummers and bands and made life long friends and eventually created this company called KBrakes that would allow me to help other drummers solve problems that I dealt with touring on the road for years and years.
Those $80 drums probably saved my life.