< Return to Models Index
The Rogers Astoria &
Parklane Cocktail Drums
A Very Brief History
The Rogers "Parklane"
set was introduced on page 11 of the 1959 (60R)
catalog and it's Rogers first offering using Swiv-o-matic attachments. Page
18 of the 1962 catalog shows two sets the Parklane and the introduction
of the Astoria, a more compact kit. In 1964 the Parklane was gone and the Astoria
makes it's final appearance on page 14 and was dropped from the line before
the 67/68 catalog is printed.
A side note as
to the possible demise of the "Parklane"... Unless you had enough
weight from LARGE cymbals, the weight of the Tom-Tom and Snare would unbalance
the 16" x 16" Floor Tom, with the result that it would fall over if
you really "nailed" the Snare or Tom-Tom. Take a close look at Rob
Cook's Rogers book on page 158 (lower right corner at the bottom page photo).
You'll see an "extended" rod for the cymbal that went all the way
to the floor to keep the cymbal from causing the drum to fall to the right when
the cymbal was struck!
Kelly Smith's 1964
Rogers Astoria Cocktail Drumset with a very rare Black Onyx finish. As Rogers
Part Number 2882, this set that includes:
16" x 16" Floor Tom Tom
5" x 14" Snare Drum
Tom Tom Legs
mount (for the snare),
(w/optional Wood Block Holder),
....went for the
phenominal price of $272.00 (Federal Excise Tax included)!
x 16" "Holiday" Floor Tom Tom "Bass Drum". Standing about
26" high at the upper rim, it allowed for easy playing of the snare and tom
tom from either a standing or seated position.
Snare Drum with the
Swiv-o-matic all purpose holder. This allowed about 120 degrees of adjustment
in any position. Note, that the position of the snare drum mount, cymbal mount
and legs, perfectly offset any chance for unbalanced "wobble".
The Rogers "Upbeat" Pedal. Using a "Twist-Wrap" Rawhide strap
that tied to a circular cam, the pedal satisfied the need for a simple method
of striking the Bass Drum batter head in an upward fashion.
of the Rogers "Upbeat' Pedal, showing the cam and spring adjustment, with
a two point mounting to a single Tom Tom leg. Everything on the Astoria is adjustable
with the use of a drum key (but be sure and take one on the gig!).
pedal images for larger pictures)
Pedal Parts List (1964)
The secret to getting a reasonable "Bass Drum" sound from a 16"
x 16" Tom Tom on the bottom, while getting a Tom Tom sound on the top:
- Using a coated
Remo Ambassador Coated head on the top and a Remo Ambassador Clear on, place
a 3" felt strip offset from the center of bottom head by about 2"
- 3". Also, place a Remo Bass Drum impact pad at dead center of the bottom
- Tune the
bottom "Bass Drum" head until the wrinkles are just taken out (semi-loose),
and stretch the felt strip snug (but not tight) against the bottom head. Position
the "Upbeat" Pedal so that the beater hits the center of the impact
pad. Tighten all the tension rods about 1/4 turn and check the head for equal
tension at all the lugs. The bottom head, when struck - will have more "thud"
than "boom" (right now).
- Make sure
that the top head muffler is fully off, then tune the top head about a 3rd
HIGHER than the bottom head, and check the head for equal tension at all the
lugs. Hit the top head reasonably hard while listening for the bottom heads
sympathetic overtones. What we want to achieve is the inverse of tuning for
a Tom Tom... that is, to "unbalance" the natural resonance of the
two heads in the 16" air-column between the heads; and it's purely subjective.
- Tune the
bottom head UP, until you hear a clear Bass Drum "boom". The impact
pad helps to give the bottom head some "punch" when struck. The
3" felt strip helps to minimize the effect of the top head causing the
bottom head to resonate.
- Now tune
the top head until you hear that typical "boing" sound for a Tom
Tom, while maintaining the "boom" of the bottom head... one 1/4
turn of the tension screws on the top head can make all the difference in
de-tuning the whole drum (but thats what we want!).
- Now adjust
the top head muffler to remove any undesired wringing, and your done!
have the "Bass Drum/Tom Tom" higher in pitch than you may be use to,
for a "regular" drum set (don't expect this setup to sound like John
Bonham's 28" Bass Drum!).
There are many
advantages to the Rogers Astoria Cocktail Drumset:
no plywood baffle that seperates the "upper snare drum" from the
"lower bass drum" as in other Cocktail drumsets... You have a
true snare drum that is independent of the "Bass Drum/Tom Tom",
with a true snare drum sound, while retaining two (somewhat) independent
bass and tom tom sounds.
Cocktail drums suffer greatly from a true snare drum sound by attempting
to use a snare-wire "whisk-broom" under the top "tom tom"
head... It's not a snare sound and it's not a tom tom sound.
setup fit's in the back of Volkswagon, still leaving room for four cases
first one to leave the gig, with the drums in one hand and a girl in the
other (and by now, you still have two cases of beer)!
Text and drum images:
History and catalog
Special thanks to: