Thursday, December 3, 2009

Photos & video: Marlon Brando early 1950's

With a nice pair of early Cuban 1950's "tack-head" bongoes.

With an early 1950's Cuban "tack-head".

Marlon playing a 'Gonzalo Vergara' drum.
Late 1950's.
(Photo contributed by
'Geordie Van Der Bosch')

Marlon playing bongoes with band.
Tunable with metal lugs.
(Photo contributed by 'Geordie Van Der Bosch')

After Marlon Brando died, many of his personal possessions were auctioned off publicly about ten years ago. Included were a pair of bongoes given to him by 'Mario Diaz' in 1956.
I bought a pair made like these on Ebay five years ago on Ebay,
I made the mistake of selling them.
These styles of bongoes (typically with red and black bands) were commonly sold in music stores in Havana in the 1950's, many sold at the well known 'Solis' music store in Havana.
Drums sold by 'Solis' usually had the stores
sticker on the inside of all their drums.

The reason why Solis put a "disclaimer" sticker on the inside was because the majority of drums were bought by tourists, who would then take them back to the U.S.A. where the climates were very different than in Cuba, in cold weather the wood often would contract, sometimes causing the 'stave's' to separate and the drums to then fall apart.

Below: Marlon's "tack head" tumbadora, with a "custom made" travel case with his name on the top. It was also auctioned off.
(Photo contributed by 'Geordie Van Der Bosch')

Video: Marlon "jamming" with 'Jack Costanzo'
Interviewed by 'Edward R. Murrow'.


Juan said...

Ok here is the link to Marlin playing the congas, it's awesome.

Fidels Eyeglasses said...

Thanks Juan, let me know if you find the one with Paul Newman playing.

Bongos not Bombs said...

Nice post and thanks for the credits

I always thought Marlon Brando playing Afro-Cuban drums was an interesting subject.

Apparently James Dean was into Afro-Cuban drums as well.