Westend
Westend drums, the story
In 1914 Justus de Hooge establishes a store for musical instruments at Westeinde 176 in The Hague, Netherlands. The name of the firm: J. de Hooge. Almost every kind of musical instrument can be bought. In 1947 two sons of Justus, Bram en Just, become co-owners and founder Justus steps back. The new name of the firm: J. de Hooge & Zonen (J. de Hooge & Sons).

Knowledge

Bram en Just still sell regular musical instruments but they decide to specialize in drums. The brothers indeed do repair more and more (mainly English and American) drums and after a while there is a lot of knowledge about repairing drums. Soon they decide to sell and repair only drums.

A Dutch professional drummer, called Tonny Nüsser, sympathizes with Bram and Just and gives them lots of practical advise. Also because of that the brothers decide to build a drum kit, fully produced after their wishes and in 1954 their first hand build drum set is for sale. The mark: Westend, named after the Westeinde in The Hague.

Hard

The first two, three years are hard, not more than about eight drum sets are being sold, mainly to jazz drummers. Bram, the technician of the two brothers, is constantly looking for approvements and that’s why many details are different, every time they deliver a new build drum kit.  In 1960 Just decides to leave the firm and Bram is on his own now. Inspite that the name of the firm has never been changed: J. de Hooge & Zonen.

During the sixties more and more drummers hear about the high quality of the mark and a lot of kits are being ordered. Not only to jazz drummers, but to many rock drummers as well.
Some names of groups, playing on Westend in those years: Dutch Swing College Band, Q65, Motions, Shocking Blue (Venus, recorded in 1970) and Golden Earring (Radar Love, recorded in 1973 with two 26” bass drums).

History

In the end of the sixties lots of relatively cheap Japanese drums such as Pearl and Tama reach the European market. The American marks as Gretsch, Ludwig, Rogers and Slingerland are expensive (because of the high rate of the US dollar), but because of expanding income also in the Netherlands, Westend is already loosing grip on the market.
January 1, 1976, after producing by hand 300 – 400 Westend drum sets, when Bram de Hooge is 69 years old, the production of this remarkable Dutch brand is history.

This article is a short cut of the history of Westend, as can be found on the website (in Dutch only): www.westenddrums.nl [Source: thanks to Rob van der Werf, Netherlands. email 26/11/2009]

Dating Westend drums

Logos over time