Chicago occupies a central place in American percussion history (PDF), with two of the oldest and most reputable names in drums, Slingerland and Ludwig, getting their start here. Saturday at 1 PM, the Wicker Park Bucktown History Society celebrates Ludwig’s history in the city with a free brunch presentation at the St. Paul Cultural Center (2215 W. North), a few blocks from the old factory site at 1728 N. Damen.
The Damen factory was one of the Beatles’ first stops in America; it provided the kit Ringo played for their 1964 Ed Sullivan appearance. William Ludwig Jr. called it “the show that launched a thousand purchase orders.” By the end of the decade, the Damen Ave. factory expanded to take up the entire block and was turning out 100 four-piece drum sets a day. Today it houses residential lofts.
At this weekend’s event, expect plenty of photos and other historical documents, plus testimonials from former factory employees and other long-time residents of the neighborhood. Local Italian restaurant Lucia’s caters the complimentary brunch.