Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame drummer Hal Blaine played on more Top 10 hits than any other musician. In fact, he played on 40 #1 singles, 150 Top Ten singles and 8 Grammy Records of the Year. If you don't know his name, you certainly know his drumming. As a pivotal member of the loose group of crack session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", Hal played the iconic beats on such diverse hits as "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys, "Strangers In The Night" by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley's "Return To Sender", and literally thousands of other songs from the 60's and 70's. The Monster Kit was developed by Hal along with his drum tech Rick Faucher and builder Howie Oliver.
The basis for the kit was a Ludwig Super Classic Blue Sparkle set without the rack tom.The single-headed toms were made of spun fiberglass and Ludwig hardware was attached. Faucher and Howie Oliver created the mounting system in two pieces so it could easily roll into place in the studio. The kit grew out of Hal's signature tom fills - producers began to request the sweeping sounds that only eight toms could produce. Hal was so busy in his heyday that he needed two of these kits so he could leapfrog them between sessions.
Listen to a great NPR interview with Hal Blaine here: