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The History of Drums Perhaps

Holy crap, Dali painting depicts a freaking drum kit

Part of the ongoing series: “The History of Drums Perhaps

Traps A400 drum kit found in Salvador Dali painting

Holy crap, said art historians upon learning that there is a drum kit painted rather obviously into Salvador Dali’s, “The Persistence of Memory.”

Since the early 1930s, Savador Dali’s iconic painting of melting clocks, called The Persistence of Memory, has been viewed by millions of visitors to the New York Museum of Modern Art. So for museum tour guide Brian Marin, it was somewhat surprising on a recent museum tour when a 9-year-old boy from Lincoln, Neb., innocently asked, “What’s the deal with the drum kit in there?”

Said Marin, “Yeah, that kind of blew me away. I’ve given thousands of tours and told people all about the symbolism of the melting clocks, the artist’s theories of space and time, and all that crap, and then this little kid suddenly yells out, ‘I see drums … why did he paint those drums?’ My jaw just dropped because, you know, how the hell did we ever miss that? I mean, it’s not like you have to stare at it in a weird way or catch it in just the right light. It’s not even like a freaking Where’s Waldo drawing, because you actually do have to look pretty hard to find Waldo. Those drums are just right in your face.”

The painting is said to epitomize Dalí’s theory of “softness” and “hardness,” which was central to his thinking during the time of this painting. Some art historians suggest that the soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order, and some just say that Dali was doing a buttload of opium.

“He might have just been high,” said Marin. “I mean, those melty clocks are pretty freaky and they do look like something you would paint if you were listening to the Sgt. Pepper album and dropping acid.”

The question remains, however, as to why Dali painted what appears to be the Traps A400 flat, portable drum kit into his iconic painting. Marin has a theory. “We do know that Dali loved music, and in his other works we have seen him frequently include gourds and other percussion-oriented pieces. So the drums here appear to be a clear nod to his no-so-subtle proclamation that he wanted to kick out the jams and blast a phat beat on the drums.”

But what remains a mystery in the art world is the implied symbolism of the orange clock swarming with ants. Said Marin, “Yeah, supposedly Dali used ants in his paintings as a symbol for death, as well as a symbol of female genitalia, which is weird, I know. I mean, if I’m a woman, I’d be a little pissed because that’s just rude. In what world does a vagina mean death? But then again, drummers can be pretty weird dudes.”

I mean, how the hell did we ever miss that? It’s not even like a freaking Where’s Waldo drawing, because you actually do have to look pretty hard to find Waldo. Those drums are just right in your face.”

Newly found da Vinci sketch shows artist’s love of percussion

Part of the ongoing series: “The History of Drums Perhaps

Leonardo (the artist, not the Mutant Turtle) loved flat, portable drums

PARIS, FRANCE – Archivists for the Leonardo da Vinci collection at the Louvre Museum today uncovered a never-before-seen version of the artist’s infamous Vitruvian Man sketch, demonstrating da Vinci had mapped out plans for flat, portable drums long before the 20th century.

The flat drums helped Leonardo bed more than his share of maiden groupies.

According to Xavier Corcini, the curator who manages the da Vinci collection for the Louvre, the discovery demonstrates the artist’s fondness for unique percussive instruments. “Like many musicians of his time, Leonardo yearned for a way to quickly and easily move his percussion instruments to and from the various small pubs and concert venues in Bologna and Rome, where he often played — disguising himself as a local peasant street musician,” said Corcini. “Poor Leonardo had so many drums and cymbals and percussion pieces to carry that he looked like that dorky Bert the Chimney Sweep from Mary Poppins, with drums and stuff banging and clattering all over the place. It did nothing to help the young Leonardo in terms of impressing young women and possibly convincing them to discount their otherwise virtuous intentions. It was totally uncool, so he invented the flat, portable drum kit, which allowed him to quickly and easily transport and set up for the performance and, apparently, bed more than his share of maiden groupies.”

The sketch below clearly shows that da Vinci had specific plans for a flat and portable drum kit, which appears to serve as the precursor for today’s Traps A400 flat, portable drum kit.

Said Corcini, “Clearly, da Vinci was way ahead of his time. He did indeed love to rock.”

Recently discovered version of famous Da Vinci sketch shows that the inventor was way ahead of his time in creating flat, portable percussion instruments.

Whistler’s Mother loved to rock the drums

Part of the ongoing series: “The History of Drums Perhaps

Whistler’s Mother – A drummer of some renown

We at DrumOrDie.com didn’t know until recently that the subject of the painting, Whistler’s Mother, was indeed a drummer of high regard. The artist, American-born James McNeill Whistler, painted his otherwise seemingly tepid mother, Anna McNeill Whistler, in 1871 while she numbly clutched a pair of drumsticks and sat rather curtly in a chair next to a painting of what apparently was her very own beloved Traps A400 flat, portable drum kit.

Yea, did she but prefer portable drums?

According to Sir Philip Kensington, the curator for the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, where the painting resides,”Mrs. Whistler had a strong preference for the Traps flat and portable drums. Being a member of the fairer sex, who even then was somewhat slight of frame and, dare I say, indeed even a trifle frail, it was much more accommodating for the lady to use the Traps A400 drum kit, being that it was so light and amenable to transport. She was known to be seen conveying her Traps drums in and out of her carriage as she traveled to perform at the various taverns of the local townships, and even to the larger concerto venues. To be certain, M’Lady was, even by today’s standards, indisputably somewhat of a bad-ass on the drums.”

Whistler's Mother like to rock the skins

Whistlers Mother liked to rock the skins and kick out the respective jams, as it were.

Wherefore, then, is her throne?

Art historians have pondered and puzzled the obvious question for years: If Anna McNeill Whistler was indeed such a force on the drums, why, perchance, is she seated in a simple wooden chair instead of kick-ass throne, like a Pork Pie Big Boy or a Rock-N-Soc hydraulic throne? According to Kensington, “She was somewhat of a traditionalist in that she didn’t go for the fancier seating arrangements, preferring instead a simple, handmade maple high-back chair from which she would kick out her respective jams.”

About the painting

One of the more famous works by an American artist, the 57-by-64-inch painting is an oil-on-canvas displayed in a frame designed by Whistler. The Traps A400 drums are shell-less drums that are light and portable and tend to kick ass.

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