The S.S. Professor Tour

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Middle Kingdom
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The S.S. Professor Tour

Post by Middle Kingdom » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:43 am

<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0826.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">


Where to begin......

Got there around 4 pm, and there were 8 people waiting outside the establishment. You could see the back view of the set thru a window on the side. Lorne and the boys were bringing in a few more things, and smiled to us as we lined up.

They let us in at 5pm, and those of us with food got a pic with the set.
If you had nothing you could do it for $5.

Me with the set (note the World Champion Patriots hat. :-D )

<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0819.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">

We got to ooh and ahhh at it and take pics from all angles except behind, but the other crew members did that for us. The riser was not there, but all the electronic drums and the midi were, though they were not turned on.

There were cymbals and poster and special SS Professor stamped drumsticks (available for these ten shows only - $20) for sale.
Grabbed a pair of those.

Raffle tix were sold for $1, all proceeds going to the Red Cross for Katrina victims. We raised about $650 last night. Ther were about 75 people total for the evening. More to come...........!
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Walkinghairball
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Post by Walkinghairball » Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:55 am

Well, let me try to sound like the little kid in The Incredibles................

"That was soooooooooooooooooooo WICKED!!!" :-D :-D :-D
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Middle Kingdom
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Post by Middle Kingdom » Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:09 am

They raffle off some T-shirts, posters, gift certs to Big daddy's Junky Music, cymbal cleaner, and hats. They also have a grand prize for later. "The kit!" everyone yelled. Nope, but an autographed cymbal from Neil. "Happy Drumming Neil Peart" He did one for each of the 10 stops.

So around 6 pm the guy from Sabian takes the microphone.
He tells the story of how Neil switched to Sabian cymbals.
Nick Rich was unhappy with his cymbal sound while trying to record a new album. The Sabian guy (I forget his name) had dinner with him and Buddy's daughter Cathy, and told Nick to try a set. Cathy said to send 2 sets cus Neil was going to stay with them in Vegas for a visit, and he and Nick jam out on 2 kits. So they could both try them out.

Neil loved what he heard. The next show though was the SARS benefit.
Out of respect for his current cymbal company at the time, he put the old ones on the kit. And he wasn't getting the same sound he liked from the Sabians.

Chris Stannky came up and then spoke of how he and Neil developed some hand hammered cymbal, starting with the bell. He loves to use the bell (as we know) and Neil wanted it in pitch with the cymbal sound. Especially the ride cymbal. It took 6-8 months to get the sound the way he wanted it. Chris then gave us a sampling of the sounds, hitting each one.

The 4 main cymbals were desgined to sound crisp when struck hard, but also have a little resonance when hit softly, but not so much that you would hear a vibrating noise in the microphones. He then whacked these cymbals hard, and softly to give us the sound and feel.

More to come....

Back of the kit, through the side window:
<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0814.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">
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Middle Kingdom
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Post by Middle Kingdom » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:58 am

Then Lorne came up to speak.
He started with a friendly "How's it goin' eh?"

He's not into speaking publicly, but he did a fine job going around the kit explaing the sizes of each drum. He pounded the heck out of them with a padded drumstick (the kind a mrching band person uses to beat a big bass drum). He explained the differences in the sizes of the kettle drums, and snares. He shared that the first 3 drums from right to left as you stand in front of it are tuned to a timbale style, so Neil can replicate the sounds of the older songs like Red Barchetta that uses those types of tuned drums.

<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0835.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">
Sorry it's blurry. :(


He then took questions from the audience and the drum pad trigger question was raised.
The sounds used are taken from the original masters. They are kept safe in a nice vault, and pulled out when the band has deided on the songs they will play. Saved by technology members feed the sounds into programs.
Lorne loads the appropriate program when the time comes. Neil knows which pads or peddles are to trigger the correct sound. "So unless I fuck up, it happens correctly." Lorne says to a room of laughter.

<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0836.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">
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Kares4Rush
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Post by Kares4Rush » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:53 am

MK, that is just AWESOME!!! :shock: :cool: :D :D AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!

THANK you so much for all you've shared. It's really special. I ain't kidding. I'm only an EX drummer but for drummers here like Hairball it must be extra extra special to live vicariously through your experience.

Thank you SO much for the time and effort you took to share the experience here with us. It is much more than I had hoped for. I was just happy someone here was GOING! I have to re-read all this and study the pics again. (Work breathing down my neck now but lunch and eventually HOME will come and I can absorb it all).

THANK you and not to sound greedy at all but post more if you can. I love the little details. :-D
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Middle Kingdom
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Post by Middle Kingdom » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:11 pm

Not a problem at all.

6 decals on the drum shells, inspired by an old Keith Moon drum set Neil used to like. The RTB skull, Starman, Test For Echo figure, Presto hat (hard to find, but it's on one of the toms), Counterparts nut & bolt, and p/g
symbol. The riser has 8 sides so the doubled the starman and skull.

The shells for the electronic drums were custom made. Originally they were thinner and did not go with the set. DW finally developed the ones seen, that are much deeper.

The riser can rotate a full 360, and Lorne throws the switch, but because cables run underneath, they don't want to risk a jam, so it only goes 180 back and forth. Lorne went the wrong way once, and while Neil was finishing the solo, Lorne and another crew guy had to lif tthe rise and Neil was playing tilted forward. He tossed a glance after to see what was going on, but he never missed a beat.

Asked about breaking equipment, Lorne responded that they could go a whole tour and change drum heads one, if at all. Sabian cymbols rarely break for Neil , but the 18" on the far right is hit most, so that Neil breaks maybe 2 or 3. The other one that he breaks once or twice a tour is the one attatched to the front bass drum. Again these two are the ones he mainly hits, since he's right handed.

back of set when I left at 8pm:
<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0838.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">

Taken by crew member from back of kit.
<img src="http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y94/Th ... P_0829.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">
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awip2062
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Post by awip2062 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:23 pm

Thanks thanks thanks for giving us so much information! I have learnt alot.
Last edited by awip2062 on Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Walkinghairball
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Post by Walkinghairball » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:48 pm

I need a smoke, and a moist towlette.

Thanks for that MK.

Yes it was good for me. :razz:
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Middle Kingdom
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Post by Middle Kingdom » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:19 pm

The other story was from a show I attended, the Virginia Beach R30 show.

When Neil hit the pad for One O Clock Jump at the end of his solo, nothing happened. He playewd through obviously playing the bit in his mind. He finished and went behind the board and playfully strangled one of the sound guys.

So Lorne is out there while Alex and Geddy play Resist, and is checking the drum pad. Everything is hooked up fine. So he taps it, and blasting in everyone's ear monitors was the track! The sound guy had muted the sound from going out over the PA, so we never heard it. But Ged & Alex got an earful too, while playing! They grimmaced a little, but it was quickly stopped.

Lorne wears monitors as well, so he's on the same page as Neil.
He said Neil is not a "yeller". He handles things well, and is always thinking of ways around a situation.
Once in a while he'll give Lorne a look.

Lorne's worst nightmare was on the Journey Frontiers tour in 83.
Steve Smiths main bass drum head just sagged at the pedal. He had to twist and play the left bass with his right foot. The claw holding the pedal to the drum had a spring break and drag the head down, but Lorne couldn't see the spring because it was under the pedal.
Took him the rest of the song to figure it out and replce it.
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Slaine mac Roth
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Post by Slaine mac Roth » Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:05 pm

Thanks for that - some great photos and great stories
'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon?'

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Post by Me » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:06 pm

What a "Rush" thank you Middle Kingdom for sharing that was awsome.
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Middle Kingdom
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Post by Middle Kingdom » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:02 pm

After Lorne was done with the Q & A the gave away more stuff, and the 2 biggies were a DW 9000 bass drum pedal, and then.........an autographed cymbal from Neil. "Happy Drumming, Neil Peart" was signed. He did one for all 10 stops on the tour. Alas I did not win.
They also had MNF Pats/Colts VIP tix too. The guy next to me who bought his before me won. I told him if he got snowed in to give me a call as he drove from Vermont.

Also had RI, NJ, and CT folks as well as me from MA.
A great time was had by all.
Will post a couple more pics tomorrow.

Thanks for all the kind words.
Glad I could somewhat bring the event to fellow fans!
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Walkinghairball
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Post by Walkinghairball » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:04 pm

Man I wish I could have gone too................... DANG!!!

You have all the fun. :( :-D
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Post by awip2062 » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:30 am

Middle Kingdom wrote:
Thanks for all the kind words.
Glad I could somewhat bring the event to fellow fans!
It is very appreciated! *hugs*
Onward and Upward!

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Kares4Rush
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Post by Kares4Rush » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:45 am

*taps foot waiting behind t, so she can hug MK too* :-D
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