BACK IN THE MISTS OF PREHISTORY, someone slightly ahead of the hipness curve of the time picked up a thighbone and whacked a hollow log. Thus, presumably, was born the drum. And through all the mutations since, from snare to kettle to bongo, the concept of drumming has remained essentially unchanged: Hit something hollow with something else. But then along came Dean DeLorenzo, who looked at the drum and found it wanting. It was, he thought, a little too, well, naked.
DeLorenzo, 25, was a drummer with a Denver rock band called the Bratz when he became bored with his Gretsch drums. “I wanted to re-cover them without harming the original finish with a permanent paint job,” he says. Inspired, he went to a fabric store and bought cotton, which he sponge-painted a fluorescent mixture of pink, green and yellow and wrapped around the sides of his drums. “The covers had Velcro seams,” he says. “They were a little rough, but they worked.” And other drummers admired them.
In September 1989, after his band broke up, DeLorenzo, with help from his businessman brother, Bart, 29, formed Geddit?, a company that sells drum coverings—now made from tighter fitting type of spandex—to such titans as Sheila E, Karl Perazzo of Santana and Anton Fig of Letter-man’s World’s Most Dangerous Band. “Each tour we do, my equipment can look different,” says Perazzo. “It’s an amazing paint job without paint.” And Dean DeLorenzo, sort-of-starving rock drummer, has become Dean DeLorenzo, drumwear king. “When we started, “says DeLorenzo, “we were shipping about 50 sets a month. Now we sell a couple hundred a month.” And, says brother Bart, “1993 will be huge for us, well in to the six figures.”
A drumroll, please.