The place still looks much the same as it did when it opened June 1st, 1959. The same signage, building, and family offer a seemingly limitless assortment of drums and percussion instruments, as well as an incredible 53 year history in Hollywoods’s music industry.
To celebrate 50 years, the Professional Drum Shop, located at 854 Vine Street, produced a documentary a couple years ago, with snippets of interviews and recollections of renown drummers who have entered the shop or “hung out in Drum City” in the 1950s and on. I’ve been an occasional Pro Drum customer, buying sticks and add-ons for my son’s hand-me-down drum kit, but have so much larger an appreciation for the place after watching the seven minute trailer (below) for the full documentary (that can be purchased online.)
Brothers Jerry and Stan Keyawa pretty much grew up in the shop, and still manage it today. Their step-father Bob Yeager, co-founded it with friend Chuck Molinari. Their mother, Dolores Yeager, still does all the books for the store, and the two brothers obviously have a great time hanging out with drumming customers, pulling the punches on one another, and selling and repairing drums. The family rents the building, located across the street from the Local 47, the Musicians Union, making it easy access for industry musicians.
“I started working here when I was nine years old,” Jerry Keyawa told the Buzz. “It’s a totally family operation. In fact, I still have to go to my mom to get a check written for the business,” Jerry joked.
The Pro Drum Shop is “equal parts drum and percussion dealership, repair center, drummers hang, and museum.” They even have a printing business next door, Try Publishing, that up until about 6 months produced sheet music via offset press.
Keeping up with the digital age, the Keyawa brothers also operate an online storefront so you can shop from home. There’s nothing quite like stopping in, however, to revel in the sounds and sights of 50 years of drumming history. Makes you want to pick up a couple of sticks and start practicing that paradiddle again, just so you can hang with the guys.Professional Drum Shop, Inc. & Try Publishing
854 Vine Street,Hollywood, CA USA 90038
Store Hours: 9:30 to 5:00 Mon to Sat
Bravo! Long may they wave.
The Professional Drum Shop was not “Drum City”… Drum City was Drum City and it was located up the street on Santa Monica Blvd. and had a rich history in itself… owned by the late, great drummer Roy Harte and run by his family, his mother and father used to run the store, every great L.A. jazz musician hung out there as well… do not cheapen L.A. music history by rewriting it… Drum City was great and so is the Pro Drum Shop… they all contribute
Von – Thanks for sticking up for the truth. “Drum City” was, indeed, “Drum City.” Got my first Ludwig set there c1963.