Gon Bops

    Here on the West Coast, no other drum recalls the years past like Gon Bops! Made in Los Angeles California,  these excellent drums can be seen everywhere. I have seen photos of every famous conguero playing Gon Bops; from Mongo to Peraza, Barreto to Aguabella. Gon Bops grace the cover of many a vintage album, from R&B to salsa, latin jazz to acid rock. Before LP, Gon Bops were the drum to have. And Gon Bops can still be seen everywhere; at rumbas, drum circles, classes, etc.

      These particular Gon Bops were just dropped off at my house this very morning to receive skins form my favorite supplier, my man Micheal over at L&H percussion. This set of Gon Bops has such a wonderful patina of use. Just look at this tumba;
   This drum has been used but not abused! Played but not waylayed! Look at the scrapes caused by dozens of feet tapping the beat! Look at the golden hue of the aged wood that still sounds so good! The metal might have a little rust, but it won't bust! The bands are still tight and no cracks anywhere, though the tumba is a little egged shaped on the top, it still sounds great! What makes this old set of congas even more special is that they are a matching set bought together and never separated, just like a romantic elderly couple growing old together but still with a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step.

  This particular set is made from what is referred to as mahogany, which is actually Phillipine luan wood. This wood is very light in weight, and drums made from this wood are never heavy. What is so great about this wood is it creates a nice mellow tone that is never too loud or bright, just what you need for a nice sounding rumba. You never have to ask people to keep it down for the singer when playing these old mahogany Gon Bops. Gon Bops also made the quinto just the right size for rumba too, a nice tight little 9.5" that gets the tone you need for a good rumba quinto.

    Gon Bops made several styles and models of drums back in the day. I myself have an oak Gon Bops tres dos that I pair with a Valje tumba. This set up appeals to me as Valje is just as significant to the history of California percussion as Gon Bops. Also of course, Akbar Moghaddam is making the modern version of Gon Bops, which is ironic as Akbar used to be involved in making Valjes, who were Gon Bops main competitor at the time.
   Anyways, if rumba is what you are into, you could do a lot worse than  a set of vintage mahogany Gon Bops. They are such a nice sounding fun drum, that for me always recalls images of the early days of Afro-Cuban percussion in my home state of California.
  Seriously, is there anything more fun than talking about old drums? Well, except for playing them?