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Olympic USA

usa gr 1I recently picked up a 1971 poster catalogue for Premier drums in the USA whilst they were distributed by Selmer and found this PD65 Olympic set which is rather unusual. Note that the finish is White Marine Pearl not available on UK drums at the time and the bass drum has 8 lugs whilst 99% of UK drums were 6 lugs. The hardware is still the 60's models and the floor tom has the spring loaded legs fitted. Nice looking set with its matching snare, i wonder where it is now!!

usa bdp 65Very rare 14x6.5 wood shell snare from the 70's in Black Diamond Pearl. There wasn't many wood shell snare drums made in the 70's. This is the only 6.5 one that has been seen.

aqua sparkle snareAqua Sparkle was mainly a Premier colour but was used on Olympics for a short time. This is a nice example and quite rare too.

green sparkle oly marchingLooks like a 14x12 marching snare drum in Green Sparkle, this finish was never used in the UK. Seems it was only for the American market.

floor blue1970's 16 inch floor tom in Polychromatic Blue finish. In the UK this finish was only available on Premier drums. This one has lost its bottom!

usa gold sparkleThanks to Darren Watts from Mansfield Ohio for this pic of his pristine Gold Sparkle wood shell snare, model 1002.

black oyster silk1970's USA 16 inch Floor Tom shown in Oyster finish, this was a Premier colour but was never used on UK drums (thanks to Tam Rankin for correcting us on this item).

usa oly 10051005 14x5.5 Chrome Shell 8 lug snare, USA badge.  This drum was available as a snare drum kit with case, stand, practice pad etc.

speedex pad and caseThis pic shows a case, practice pad and tutor book, there was also a Selmer.  A Speedex stand supplied with these kits. Selmer distributed Premier and Olympic drums in the USA at this time.

gold sparkle1967 Olympic Gold Sparkle Kit 63  USA model not featured in UK Catalogues.

usa gsp 661967 Olympic Green Silk Pearl Kit 66 USA model not featured in UK Catalogues. Note the address at the bottom of these pages.

gold sparkle 70s1970's USA snare, 8 lug model in Gold Sparkle with stand.

rebel1976 - USA catalogue shows this Olympic kit, which was badged 'Rebel'.  It has a 8 lug bass drum and is shown in natural wood finish.  This finish was not available on Olympic kits in the UK.

1025Here is a pic of a USA model 1025 snare drum, this is a 10 lug version of the 1005 and again this drum was never available in the UK. Note the Hi-Fi style strainer was fitted rather than the normal 1636 type.

new eranew eraThis small 12 inch snare 5 lug was named New Era in the UK and was mainly for school use, however this drum is shown with an American Olympic badge. Note the beer tap type strainer as fitted to Discus snare drums.

usa rebel USA Olympic "Rebel" kit with 8 lug Bass drum this is listed as shown in Blue Silk Pearl although the picture looks as if its Grey Silk Pearl.

purpleBass drum pictured in the 70's US catalogue and named as Lavender finish but here in the UK this was known as Polychromatic Royal Purple.

usa 1973 finishesswatch 2Thanks to Tam Rankin for these pics of Olympic colours available in the US around 72-73. The scans are from single swatches taken from Tam's Premier/Olympic finish samples.

It would seem that both Red and White Silk Pearl had been dropped, however as can be seen from other pics other finishes were available that never saw the light of day here in the UK. Natural Wood and Oyster come to mind. The relevant catalogue suggests that any finish including Premier ones could be applied to Olympic drums. Lucky Americans!!