1970s Premier


New member
Can anyone tell me about Premier drums from the late seventies? What they were made out of, the different kinds, what to look for, etc.?



New member
If you can narrow down some more specific questions, I can help. But here's some info to be going on with.

At the start of the 70's, Premier made two lines; Premier and Olympic. Olympic was the 'budget' line, however, savings were made by using steel hoops instead of die cast, smaller lugs and the shells were the same, but were 'seconds', perhaps with knot holes and the like. Premier shells were thin, 3 ply Finnish birch with support rings but in the early 70's, many of the shells were a sandwich of mahogany/birch/mahogany, probably reflecting the prevailing cost of wood at the time. It was not uncommon for kits to be made up of a mixture of shells where the bass drum might be mahogany, but the toms would be birch.

In 1974, they introduced the 'Kenny Clare' range which was essentially the Premier range with an extra inner liner sprung inside the shell onto the support rings forming a 'sound chamber'. In 1976, this range was re-named the Resonator range and a year later, the Super Olympic range was launched sporting single tension lugs throughout as opposed the full length, flush lugs that appeared on all Premier drums except floor toms.

In 1978, the main Premier range acquired the name 'Elite', Super Olympic became 'Premier Soundwave', Resonator remained and Olympic became 'Premier Club'. It should also be noted that Premier had been manufacturing Beverley drums since 1957, Beverley were common worldwide, but when the brand was sold to Boosey & Hawkes in 1970, the same drums were marketed in the USA as the 'Premier 6000' series alongside the regular Premier lines. Olympic drums in the 70's also had a unique USA only badge.

Elite and Resonator looked the same cosmetically with flush hi-ten lugs (except for the floor toms) with die cast hoops, Soundwave had the Olympic single tension lugs throughout with steel hoops and Club retained the combination of single and flush Olympic lugs and steel hoops. In 1978, all the ranges had small ID badges that appeared below the red Premier 'P' badge, there were three ranges of hardware, Trilok (Heavy duty all steel) stands, Lokfast (flush based steel) and a choice of lightweight tripod stands or lightweight flush based. Tom mounts, cymbals arms and accesories abounded at this time as Premier were developing new, heavier components whilst still selling earlier, lighter versions but all kits by 1976 were supplied with the oval post tom holders and folding spurs.

Hope this helps.