The ‘flared trousers’ of 70s drums – Chris Kimball talks about Alan White’s North kit – 511

Produced by Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

Dave Watkinson in RAK studios with Alan’s kit and Jeremy North’s wonderful Tourmato photos from Wembley, 1978:

This week Mark and I spoke to Chris Kimball about a 70s oddity in the Yes instrumental arsenal – Alan White’s North drums. After restoring, playing and recording with these strange objects, Chris is ideally placed to explain why they look so weird and why drummers like Alan White were interested in using them.

It’s another engrossing story from a very knowledgeable musician and it’s packed with detail so I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

  • Why are North drums shaped like that?
  • What were they made of?
  • Why did they disappear?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

Some North Drums artifacts are available here –
I mention and highly recommend Gerard Bassols’ book, The Musical Instruments of Progressive Rock which is available here in the UK and here in the US.

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from: