premierIn 1922, Albert Della Porta and George Smith founded The Premier Company in London, where the current Footes Music Store is currently located. They began producing drum kits for wholesalers, who would then sell them as their own. Later, Della Porta and Smith began producing drums under their own name.

The company enjoyed great success worldwide during the 1960s, and won the Queens Award to Industry in 1966. Premier invested in a new factory to meet demand for their products in the 1970’s, but in 1983, the Della Porta family resigned from the board following a management buyout in 1984.

That same year brought big changes within the company as the company’s name was changed to Premier Percussion to emphasize the fact that they were a new company, and also to give a clearer indication that they produce a wide range of percussion instruments.

In October 1987, Premier merged with Yamaha, and in 1992, Tony Doughty, who originally arranged the Yamaha merger, took over the Premier Company.

In 1997, Premier was sold to the Verity Group of Companies before another buyout by a British consortium a few years later. And today, The Premier Company continues to produce drum sets, marching and symphonic percussion, including timpani and mallet percussion.

The Official Premier Website


Some of the most notable drummers that play, or have played, Premier:
Billy Rankin – Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe, Big Jim Sullivan
Blake Mattson – Independent
Bobby Colomby – Blood, Sweat & Tears
Brian Bennett – The Shadows
Carl Palmer – Emerson, Lake & Palmer / Asia
Charlie Morgan – Elton John
Clem Burke – Blondie
Doane Perry – Jethro Tull
Ed Lowery – Magadog / The Unrequited Loves / The Boozers
Eric DeWolf – College Hill Music / Dj Troublemaker
Graeme Edge – Moody Blues
Hugo Burnham – Gang of Four
Jeff Rich – Status Quo
Joe Nunez – Soulfly
John Coghlan – Status Quo
John Haithwaite – Rakit
Keith Moon – The Who
Matt Helders – Arctic Monkeys
Mel Gaynor – Simple Minds early 80s
Mick Underwood – Episode Six, Quatermass Gillan, Raw Glory
Mitch Mitchell until 1968 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Neal Smith – original Alice Cooper band
Nigel Olsson – Elton John 1970-71
Olly Betts – The Duke Spirit
Phil Collins – Genesis
Phil Selway – Radiohead
Pierre van der Linden – Focus
Rick Buckler – The Jam
Rod Morgenstein – Winger, Dixie Dregs 1980s- present
Ted McKenna – Rory Gallagher band
Thomen Stauch – Blind Guardian
Virgil Donati – Planet X, Seven the Hardway
Andres Olimon – The ZBT Project
Craig Blundell – Dr Oktopus
Dan Zimmerman – Gamma Ray
Nicko McBrain – Iron Maiden Mid-
Tommy Portimo – Sonata Arctica

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