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Keith Moon’s Drumkits: 1968–1970 – Champagne Silver kit

1967–1969 “Pictures of Lily” Set
Click to view larger version. Sotheby’s 1991 catalogue cover featuring Champagne Silver Premier kit bass drum. Courtesy whocollection.com.

Click to view larger version. Sotheby’s 1991 catalogue cover featuring Champagne Silver Premier kit bass drum. Courtesy whocollection.com.

1968–1970 – Champagne Silver kit details

Likely the same specification as the “Pictures of Lily” kit — in Champagne Silver. Used late 1968 through early 1970.

Timeline

First known date used:
7 Oct. 1968 – Radio Bremen Studios (for Beat Club, to be broadcast 12 Oct. as Beat Club Number 36 and 16 Nov. as Number 37), Bremen, Germany.
First known performance date used:
11 Dec. 1968 – InterTel, Stonebridge Park, Wembley, London, UK (The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus).
Last known date used:
16 Feb. 1970 – City Hall, Hull, UK (one show after Leeds).

Specification

Drums:

Premier Custom Built (birch or mahogany?)

  1. Two 22 x 14 bass drums
  2. Three 16 floor toms (two 16x18; one 16x16)
  3. Three 14 x 8 mounted toms
  4. 14 x 5½ snare drum

Cymbals:

Various manufacturers

  1. One 20 ride
  2. Two 18 crash
  3. 14 hi-hats (usually not used on stage)

Symphonic gong added September 1969 (first known appearance: 21 September, Fairfield Halls, Croydon).

Stands:

Premier LokFast with boom fitments.

Bass Pedals:

Premier 250 pedal

Drumheads

Premier Extra heads on tom toms, floor toms and bass drums.

Whereabouts

Rock and Roll Circus

11 Dec., 1968, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.

Following its use, Who roadie Mick “Doc” Double, who in 1973 would become Keith’s drum tech, inherited some or all of it.

A portion of this kit sold through Sotheby’s London on 22 Aug., 1991, for £7,000 (about $16,000).

This same five-piece portion was then resold via Christie’s auction house 29 Sept. 2004 as part of its Pop Memorabilia sale in South Kensington, London. The estimate was £10,000-£15,000. The lot sold for £120,000 (approximately $215,772; $260,500 including fees) to an American collector,

This portion was on display as of 2007 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the “Tommy: Amazing Journey” exhibition.

This kit had a total of four floor toms. Two were sold at auction at Christie’s and two are owned by The Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which also owns two silver kit bass drums (and pieces of Keith’s Pictures of Lily kit as well).

In addition, the Hard Rock Café in Reykjavik, Iceland, has one of Keith’s chrome mounted toms (14″x8″) on display. However, as of late 2005, the Hard Rock Café in Reykjavik, Iceland, has closed.

Sotheby’s London auction catalogue description:

Keith Moon’s Premier Part-Drum Kit, circa 1968, chrome finish, comprising: a 56cm. (22in.) bass drum with group logo on the front skin; two 40.5cm. (16in.) floor tom toms; two 35.5cm. (14in.) hanging tom toms, two bass drum spurs and one tom tom post.

According to the information supplied by the vendor, he was the drummer in a group playing support to Thunderclap Newman and became friendly with their drummer, who had been given this kit by Keith Moon after the Who’s return from a US tour which had included their memorable appearance at Woodstock. The vendor purchased part of the kit (offered here) from Thunderclap Newman’s drummer but could not afford the whole thing at the time. The drums have been well used since and the shells have been re-chromed. The vendor contacted Premier in 1985 who confirmed they had built this kit using the then novel chromed finish in response to Moon’s desire for something a little different. For a good photograph of Moon using this kit in the unreleased (Rolling Stones’ film ‘Rock and Roll Circus’ see p.91, ‘The Who Maximum R&B’ by Richard Barnes, Eel Pie Publishing, 1982. £3,500-4,000.

Keith and Bobby Pridden at the Premier factory with the new silver Premier kit.

Keith and Bobby Pridden at the Premier factory with the new silver Premier kit.

Keith  at the Premier factory with the new silver Premier kit.

Keith at the Premier factory with the new silver Premier kit.

Keith at the Premier factory with the new silver Premier kit.

Keith at the Premier factory with the new silver Premier kit.

Clip courtesy Martin Forsbom. Keith with chrome drums.

Clip courtesy Martin Forsbom. As well as his psychedelic outfit, Keith Moon of The Who has no added to his vast collection of drums a 10-drum outfit which has an all-over chrome finish. Keith says audiences are now able to see themselves as the group sees them!

August 1969, the 2nd Annual Isle of Wight festival, with chrome kit of same specs as Pictures of Lily kit.

August 1969, the 2nd Annual Isle of Wight festival, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. It is this version of drumkit that was used for Live at Leeds.

Rock and Roll Circus

11 Dec., 1968, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.

August 1969, the 2nd Annual Isle of Wight festival, with Champagne Silver Premier kit of same specs as Pictures of Lily kit.

August 1969, the 2nd Annual Isle of Wight festival, with Champagne Silver Premier kit.

Click to view larger version. Ca. 1969, Champagne Silver Premier kit.

Click to view larger version. Ca. 1969, Champagne Silver Premier kit.

Closeup of kit’s finish.

Closeup of kit’s finish.

14 February 1970, at Leeds University Refectory, with “Frankenstein” and Hiwatts.

29 Sept. 1969, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, closeup of kit, with gong.

29 Sept. 1969, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw.

29 Sept. 1969, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, rear view of drum setup.

24 January 1970, Copenhagen, Denmark, with Champagne Silver Premier kit with possible earliest use of a gong in the stage setup.

24 Jan. 1970, Copenhagen, Denmark, with Champagne Silver Premier kit.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, closeup of kit.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, closeup of kit.

January 30, 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. Courtesy The Who Netherlands Photo Gallery. ©Henk Hulstkamp.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. Courtesy The Who Netherlands Photo Gallery (offline). ©Henk Hulstkamp.

January 30, 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. Courtesy The Who Netherlands Photo Gallery. ©Henk Hulstkamp.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. Courtesy The Who Netherlands Photo Gallery (offline). ©Henk Hulstkamp.

January 30, 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. Courtesy The Who Netherlands Photo Gallery. ©Henk Hulstkamp.

30 Jan., 1970, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, with Champagne Silver Premier kit. Courtesy The Who Netherlands Photo Gallery (offline). ©Henk Hulstkamp.

14 February 1970, Leeds University Refectory, with Champagne Silver Premier kit.

14 Feb. 1970, Leeds University Refectory, with Champagne Silver Premier kit, as heard on Live at Leeds.

Museum displays

The Hard Rock Café in Reykjavik, Iceland, has one of Keith’s chrome mounted toms (14x8) on display. Courtesy Martin Forsbom.

The Hard Rock Café in Reykjavik, Iceland, has one of Keith’s chrome mounted toms (14″x8″) on display. Courtesy Martin Forsbom.

From the 1978 Who Exhibition in London, two bass drums from the silver kit with pieces from the Pictures of Lily kit.

From the 1978 Who Exhibition in London, two bass drums from the silver kit with pieces from the Pictures of Lily kit. (Note: The bass drum skins are reproductions.)

Auction profiles

Christie’s auction of Keith’s silver Premier kit realises £120,000

Christie’s auction house auctioned five pieces of one of Keith’s silver Premier kits on 29 September 2004 as part of its Pop Memorabilia sale in South Kensington, London. The estimate was £10,000-£15,000. The lot sold for £120,000 (approximately $215,772; $260,500 including fees) to an American collector, setting a world auction record for a set of drums, according to Christie’s International.

The lot comprised two mounted toms (each 14x8), two floor toms and one bass drum, including the front skin featuring custom logo from the Pictures of Lily kit design. These drums have been re-chromed.

Click to view larger version. Five pieces of one of Keith’s silver Premier kits, for auction at Christie’s. Courtesy Christies.

Click to view larger version. (80kb) Five pieces of one of Keith’s silver Premier kits, for auction at Christie’s. Courtesy and © Christie’s.

Christie’s description:

Lot 102

Keith Moon’s Premier five-piece drum kit, 1968, the part kit in chrome finish comprising: bass drum transfer-printed with The Who logo in orange and black, two floor tom-toms and two mounted tom-toms, with two bass drum spurs and a mounted tom-tom post — the kit custom-made for Keith Moon in 1968 and used by him throughout 1968 – 1970.
£10,000–15,000

Information and photo courtesy and © Christie’s.

For further information, see christies.com/LotFinder/search/searchresults.asp?SN=9919&LN=0102.

From the 2004 auction at Christie’s South Kensington, London, the bass drum, two mounted toms and two floor toms.

From the 2004 auction at Christie’s South Kensington, London, the bass drum, two mounted toms and two floor toms.

Resources and Information

Contributors:

Many thanks to the following, who have made this page possible:

Additional information:

Bibliography:

  • Drums & Drumming magazine, October/November 1989.
  • Modern Drummer, September 2003.
  • Moon, the Life and Death of a Rock Legend, by Tony Fletcher. 1999.

Manufacturers’ sites