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Steven Adler’s 1988 Tama Rockstar drum kit is up for sale

(Image credit: eBay)

Steven Adler’s three-piece 1988 Tama Rockstar drum kit (opens in new tab) has been listed for sale on eBay. This super-rare piece of rock memorabilia from is described as being in pristine condition, comes shipped with the original heads, and is priced at an eye-watering $125,000.

That is a lot of money for a three-piece, but then this is an instrument that saw action during what was final days of an era. What started with the big rock beasts of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the mythos of excess and rampant craziness, was having one last blowout before the paradigm shift of grunge, before the music all changed. 

It is also a reminder of GNR’s golden years of disgrace and great tunes going hand in hand. When Adler was fired from Guns N’ Roses in 1990, the band became momentarily more functional but lost a big part of its soul. 

Matt Sorum came in having previously kept time for The Cult and brought with him big-hitting power and drive. Crucially, he was reliable, too. And yet GNR purists still missed Adler’s style. The danger in what was then the world’s most dangerous band seemed somehow attenuated.

There is not much more information in the listings as to the kit’s history. The Rockstar set was used by Adler between 1988 and 1991, after which it was sold and “kept in pristine condition until recently discovered.” 

Sadly, this comes with the stock Tama bass drum skin and not Adler’s custom GNR heart, wings, and rose design – which he has tattooed on his arm.

Alder was most associated with his black Pearl kit that he tracked Appetite For Destruction with before later signing an endorsement with Tama. 

Check out the listing here (opens in new tab).

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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