Wayne Hanley

Getting My First Drum Kit

My Game-Changing Moment actually happened right at the beginning of my drumming career. I grew up in a home where we did not have a so-called 'disposable income'. Finances were always very tight and both of my parents worked hard to make ends meet. I always wanted to play drums but my parents could never afford it. I use to steal my mom's knitting needles and drum on my pillow while listening to music. One day I ran into a guy that was in the process of running away from home and he needed money. He had a little jazz kit he was trying to sell for $65.00 dollars and needed the money NOW. Man I wanted those drums so bad but I did not have $65.00 and the only one I could ask for help from was my dad and he and I were not on the greatest speaking terms.

I decided that I would take the risk of being rejected and I went and asked my dad for the money. "Dad, I found a drum set that a guy wants to sell for $65.00 dollars, can you buy it for me?" I asked ready to be told where to go. But that did not happen. His response was "Sure go ahead and get the drums". I ran over right away and told the guy that I would take them.

I believe in miracles and getting my first kit was one. I will always remember my little multi-hued green Crown kit with cracked and warped cymbals. It is what started me on the road to becoming a professional drummer. It will always have a special place in my memory as the first kit I ever owned.

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In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.


We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!

Read Joe's Story