Update: Drum Stick Quest

I recently got an email from a gentleman in Germany who had found the story of my drum stick quest here on this website.  You can find the story by scrolling down this page.  In the story of the drum stick quest I mention the Dino Danelli stick that I fell in love with years ago and then spent a number of years looking for a stick that was similar.

In his email he gave me the dimensions of the Danelli stick along with a photo.  The very next day I get another email that contained a link to a drum shop in Portland Oregon that carries  new old stock of the Danelli stick.  Pretty unbelievable, so I ordered the stick and it recently arrived.  Now here comes the kicker.  After all the years of looking to finally actually be holding a pair of these impossible to find sticks I discovered that I no longer like them.  However, I do like the idea of the stick which is what I based my stick design on along with the Gretsch 2B.

The end result is that I ended up with a stick that I am very happy with and the story has now come full circle.  Many thanks to my new friend in Germany for taking the time to contact me and give all the great information about the Danelli stick.


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As an active Drum Teacher in San Francisco I am proud and honored to announce that I recently became a member of the Vic Firth Education Team. The company just sent me this “Welcome Package”. It’s a box full of sticks, brushes, practice pad, key chain, drum key etc.. And slew of cool posters to boot.

I look foreword to a long and rewarding relationship with The Vic Firth Company.  For those not familiar Vic Firth is a major Drum Stick manufacturer with a strong dedication to education.

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Gretsch Round Badge Bass Drum

Just got this 14×22 Gretsch Round Badge Bass Drum.  The best estimate for this drum is late 50′s or early 60″s. It needs a little cosmetic work and I’ll have to attach all the missing parts.  This drum now completes the Gretsch Vintage set I have been working on for the last few years.  I hope to have the set up and running by the end of July.

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Update: Mojo’s Drum Stick Quest

Rich Sticks 1st Run

Click on image to expand.

Some of you are familiar with my whole drum stick quest.  An ordeal covering many many years. You can scroll down and get the whole story in two posts below if interested.

As I last reported in August of 2013 Nicks drum stick company was having problems and would no longer be making sticks.  I recently became aware of a new drum stick maker called Rich Sticks.  So, I emailed Nick to see where he was at regarding him making drum sticks again.  I waited for weeks with no reply so I pulled the trigger and contacted Rich Sticks.  They agreed to make the stick and I recently received them.  For the first time in over 30 years I finally have a drum stick that feels right to me.  I felt like I was flying around my drum set when I first played them

A big hearty thanks to Nick Fetzer (Drum Stick Nick) for working with me until I got the stick right.  Trust me, that was a lot of work and I would never have got to this point without him.

I hope to be in touch with Nick again.  A big thanks to Rich Sticks for doing such a wonderful job for me.

After 30 + years the saga has finally ended.  The photo shows the 2 sticks I sent to Rich Sticks, and the bottom four are the sticks made by Rich Sticks.

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New Bands

In addition to The Ratchilds and my teaching and recording session activities here in San Francisco I’m involved in two new bands that are being put together.

One is a guitar/drums duo where we loop various parts together live on stage. Nothing is pre-recorded. We should be ready to go live in a few months.

The third band is the latest one and will have 3 female singers backed by a full Rhythm Section. More details to come.

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Sam Adato’s Drum Shop

If you are a drummer in the San Francisco Bay Area then you will be familiar with Sam’s shop.  The  Christmas before last Sam moved to Eugene Oregon and opened his drum shop up there.

I really miss being able to go to Sam’s shop, get the supplies I need or a needed repair and just hang out.  Sam really was the local “Drum Doctor”.  However all is not lost.  I find myself quite often checking out Sam’s website just so I can geek out on all the cool stuff he has, especially the vintage drums.

I have been buying a lot of products to keep the tension rods on my snare drum from backing out and detuning the drum.  None of these products worked for me and I was getting frustrated  Then I remembered something Sam told me about how to fix the problem.   I called him on the phone and he told me how to handle the situation.   All I had to do was go to the hardware store and pick up some hex nuts, washers and a small wrench.  Problem solved and it was very inexpensive.  ”The Doctor ” strikes again.

I look forward to visiting Sam at he new shop in Eugene.  In the meantime I have the website and I also find myself calling Sam quite often to say hi and for advice on the vintage Gretsch drum set I’m putting together.  Heck, I got one of the drums I needed for that set from Sam in his Eugene shop.

So, I’m proud to say that I’m still a customer even though there are some miles between us now.  Call him up and he will be happy to help you with your drumming needs.  He’s a great guy  and remember that there is no sales tax in Oregon so all you need to do is pay for shipping.  I still get all my stuff from Sam

Check out Sam’s website:  https://samadato.com/drupal/

facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/samadatos

Phone:  (541) 654-5296

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Vintage Drum Set

I have been putting together a set of Gretsch vintage drums. from the early 1970′s.  These drums are referred to as Gretsch Stop Sign #1.  This refers to the shape of the logo badge that is on every drum.  In the 60′s the badge was round so those drums are referred to as Round Badge.

Gretsch drums from this time period had their own sound and is much sought after in the vintage drum market.  So far I have 8×12, 9×13, 14×14 and 16×16 toms.  All I need now is a 14×22 bass drum.  The problem is that I can’t find one that works for my needs. So the hunt continues.  I’ll post photos when it is all done but there is no telling how long this is going to take.

Work continues on The Ratchilds album.  I’ve been working on a new band that we hope to have out playing shows very soon.  More on that as it develops.

As usual i have been doing a lot of teaching and doing drum tracks for folks.


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Drums That Go To 11

In addition to my activities teaching drums and doing session work here in San Francisco I am always looking for ways to improve my drum sound and as a result i recently switched over to a new drumhead.  I saw this description of the drumhead on the manufacturer’s website:

“Noticeably louder than other ordinary single ply heads. Bright, crisp attack, slightly darker” sound. Great when you need a little “extra” projection”.

This made me crack up because I can now say:


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Tommy Wells

The drum world lost a great drummer on September 25. Tommy Wells was a Nashville session drummer. I was just getting to know Tommy in the past three weeks. We had been talking about drum heads and he pointed out to me there was a drum head very much like what I have been using but only better. So, I tried out the heads and am now in the process of outfitting my recording drum set over to these new heads. Tommy was right these new heads are fantastic.

I’ve been quite happy for years with my drum heads and was not looking to make any changes until Tommy pointed a few things out to me. Basically he said the new heads were very much the same as what I was using only better.

There is a lot of beauty depth and soul in Tommy’s drumming.  He’s the kind of drummer that other musicians “love” to play with.   Tommy Wells is the drummer for the Detroit Memphis Experience.  One of my favorite tracks of Tommy’s is Lets Straighten it Out: http://www.reverbnation.com/detroitmemphisexperience/song/15916555-lets-straighten-it-out

I found Tommy to be a very warm and down to earth kind of guy. I was surprised at how hard I took the news of his passing given that I really didn’t know him well.

He was just that kind of guy. Everybody loved him. He will be missed. And my heartfelt thanks to Tommy for my new drum sound.

More information on Tommy Wells:

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Update: Mojo’s Quest For The Perfect Drum Stick

Well, It’s been a while since I had any news on “The Quest”.  You may have noticed the new and improved website.   I have been keeping busy here in San Francisco teaching drum lessons and recording drum tracks for various projects.   I have been fortunate to record some really cool songs that I will be posting soon.

I recently spoke with Nick the drum stick maker.  He is still having some legal issues with his former partner and he hopes to have things rolling again with a new company in 2015.      His former partner somehow got control of Nicks stick making company and is now putting out drum sticks.   I understand that the sticks they are putting out are not very good. So, no option for me there for two reasons:

1)  I’m loyal to Nick and I will stay with him through all of this.  I like Nick, he worked with me when none of the big stick companies would.  Nick is a good guy and one heck of a drum stick maker.

2)   I was an endorser for Nicks drum stick company and when the partner got control of the company he removed me from the company’s artist roster without giving me any type of notice.  I find that to be very unprofessional and therefore not the type of folks I would like to be associated with.

I recently reworked this website and the drum stick that I’m talking about in the “Quest” is now the header for this website and my facebook page.   So there it is for all to see.   It’s a great stick and eventually Nick will be able to make it again for me.  It’s looking like this drum stick design has turned into my logo.  I’m planning on using it on my new business card as well.

Imagine that, I have a drum stick for a logo because I’ve never been able to find a drum stick that worked for me.  Who knew!!!

When there is any drum stick news I will post it here.    Interestingly, I received the very last order of sticks from Nicks former company.  The last time I got sticks from Nick was in November 2011.  I will be getting the very first order of sticks from Nicks new company when he gets it up and running in 2015.  In the meantime I’ll move on to other topics and some cool stuff for drummers.

And the saga continues…

Thanks for visiting.