Like this store!

15 Oct

This weekend, I took my little drummer boy to heaven. Actually, what we did was drive down to Chicago, get lost for an hour, and finally arrive at what is probably the biggest drum store in America: Vic’s Drum Shop.

I do not see my son smile very often. The instant he walked past the front door, he got one of those little “I have been waiting for this my entire life but I can’t make it obvious because I’m with my mom” smiles.

Vic’s has room after room of drum stuff. There are two rooms for cymbals. There is a room bigger than my entire first floor full of fully set up drum kits. There is a room as big as my living room full of world percussion instruments. There is a room dedicated to snares. There is a room full of drum heads. There is a room full of drum sticks. There is a room full of drum stands. Just the stands! All of the rooms are sound-proofed. Drum heaven, indeed.

But, best of all, there is Vic. Vic Salazar is the Willy Wonka of drums. A slight but somehow still cuddly man, endowed with the most amazing hair, Vic himself waited on my son and I. By waited on, I mean he spent at least two hours with us. Us! And we were there to buy a cymbal. One cymbal.

Vic pointed out cymbal after cymbal, sharing with my son the variety of sounds available, the reasons the specific sounds were possible from each cymbal, the differences in quality and construction. My son nodded, crashing and riding each of the crashes and rides. I smiled and thought, “I have no idea what the hell they are talking about.” At one point, my son looked at me and said, “You have no idea what we’re talking about, do you?” It was one of the few times he looked at me at all, but who could blame him surrounded by all that shiny brass.

Why, you may ask, did we travel all the way into Chicago just to buy one cymbal? I wondered the same, frankly, as I thought about the nice little music store near our house. We love the guys at our local music store; they love us. But they have three crashes (cymbals, that is; not automobiles through the front glass–though that is possible). The least expensive crash they carry is $250.

Vic has an entire wall of crashes and rides. And Vic has prices! Oh, my god! Vic has prices! Having done our online homework, I had determined we would need to spend enough to buy me a really nice pair of leather boots. When Vic started quoting prices, the knot in my gut eased. I hugged Vic. He hugged back. He’s just that kind of guy.

I became a music mom happily, glad to escape the god-awful getting up at 5 a.m. to drive to hockey, soccer and swim meets all over the greater Chicagoland area. I patted myself on the back over not needing to spend fortunes on hockey equipment, Speedos and whatever the hell soccer players wear.

When my son started playing drums, we got a used kit. It’s a fine kit; we paid about $800 for the whole thing. Drum kits are made with nice sturdy metal things; replace a head now and then and we’re golden, I thought.

Then, I found out that cymbals can shred. They can literally shred, as in pieces. Entire chunks of brass peel off like a bad toupee. And drum sticks! They shred, too! And they break! Even though sticks are made of the same stuff as baseball bats, drummers go through sticks faster than my daughter can go from a whine to a kiss.

Guaranteed: All damage due to regular drumming; no malfeasance, no retouching.

At one point during our adventure in drum land, I watched my son and Vic happily banging away on cymbal after cymbal. My son is right; I had no idea what they were doing or why. But he was in heaven and it brought tears to my eyes.

Pretty, pretty. Shiny, shiny. The new cymbal, installed and ready to crash.

I have sucked up the idea of ever having really nice leather boots. I am a drummer’s mother. Until he finds a job, I’ll be making up the difference between what his allowance covers and the cost of a decent cymbal and a brick of sticks.

Vic’s Drum Shop is tucked away in a warehouse-y kind of place off of Ogden north of Lake Street. The address is 345 N. Loomis. Go if you can, but ’til then go to Vic’s Facebook page and give him a “like.”

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8 Responses to “Like this store!”

  1. SocietyRed October 15, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Music is always a great choice. Nice job mom!

  2. Mary Rayis October 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    He’ll get you those boots when his hit record goes platinum!

    • jmlindy422 October 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      If only! From your lips to God’s ear. BTW, there is a joke among musicians: what do you call a drummer without a girlfriend? Homeless.

  3. nevercontrary October 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Drums are really cool. Or at least Love Actually told me drummers get all the chicks.

    • jmlindy422 October 22, 2012 at 11:37 am #

      Hey, NC. I don’t know if he’ll get ALL the chicks, but apparently it’s essential for drummer. Here’s the joke: What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend? (wait for it as you try to guess…) Homeless!

  4. The Good Greatsby October 16, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    My wife wants our youngest son to be a drummer. I had no idea about the cymbals. I’d get our son a drum set if it came with some sort of mute button.

    • jmlindy422 October 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

      My son started playing percussion at 3 then quit at 7 to play guitar. He went back to the drums about 5 or 6 years ago. The good thing about starting early is that they sound pretty good by the time they are old enough to really whack on the drums. You might consider an electronic set. There is a magical outlet that the drummers plugs his headphones into and no one but he can hear what he’s playing.

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