I bought a six piece North drum kit on May 8th 1981 for $944.80. I bought it at Edwin’s Music Store on 1515 Broadway, Buffalo, NY. That price included a kick drum, four hanging toms 6”, 8” 10”, and 12 and one 16” floor tom. I put down a $100.00 deposit on May 5th and then paid it off on May 8th, 1981.
The kit was a college graduation present to me… I had a little prodding from the band. They were anxious for me to ditch the Kent drum kit for an upgrade. The kit was tough for me to afford, I had to put aside upgrading my Kent snare but, the North drums really spoke to me.
It was no ordinary drum kit. It was an image. Progressive, artistic and present! The drums were striking visually; shaped like horns the sound is punchy with excellent projection. You could play a small club without amplifying the kit with microphones. I played Dad’s café that way. Dad’s was too small for drum amplification.
When I bought the kit, it came with a kick drum head and across it was the name “NORTH” written in bold capital letters. As I performed with the kit in clubs, some people assumed ‘North’ was my last name… and it was splayed across my drums like I was somehow advertising myself. Eventually, I got sick of having to explain the reason because even if I did, they were usually having too much fun to remember. So, it stuck. I became Gerry North.
It wasn’t long before I expanded the kit with a new Pearl stainless steel snare and set of clear quadrabans. In the mid 80’s I supplemented the North Drum kit with Simmons electronic drums. It was a great combination, but a bear to lug around and set up.