My son Blake was five when he first learned that I used to play in a band. Wakefield was doing a 10 year reunion concert in Rapid City, SD for the 1997 Heritage Festival. He was amazed by all of the activity and all of the people, but he was especially mezmerized by Jeff Koller playing drums during the concert. The next day, he said he knew what he wanted for Christmas...a set of drums! There is still a video somewhere (I'm going to try and locate it and put it here for you to see) of a little five year old banging a way, and keeping a pretty good beat at that.
After several different drum sets, he was around 13 or so when he learned that Jeff was actually going to purchase a new DW kit and that he was going to be selling his old Ludwig Octoplus set. Blake happened to have money in the bank after selling his motorcycle, and worked out a deal with Jeff to purchase his old set and keep it in the "Wakefield" family. Between Christmas and New Years that year, we drove from Ohio to Sioux Falls and back again just to pick up the kit.
Below is one of the last pictures I have of Jeff's Ludwig set taken during tear down of a Wakefield reunion concert in Sioux Falls for Hot Harley Nights. The next picture I have is of Blake, the proud owner of the set with over 30 years of serious Wakefield road wear. I often give Blake some perspective by telling him his drum set was on stage with some of the most popular rock bands of the 80's.
Today, Blake often accompanies me on drums, and plays some version of the set shown in various clubs around the Midwest. Sometimes it appears with a single kick and sometimes without the two small toms. It is fun to have him play with me, giving him a little insight to what it was like to travel in a rock band, and for me a chance to feel a little younger than I actually am!
Hopefully, you will get a chance to stop by one of my performances. You may be lucky enough to hear Blake play that original Wakefield drumset behind me. Sometimes, when I am off in rock & roll bliss on stage, I forget that it is Blake behind me and not Jeff! Come and check him out for yourself!