In 1860-1870, settlers coming west for the gold rush made their camps in and around the area that was to become Pony. According to local legend, in a fit of pique, the saloon drummer Tecumseh “Pony” Smith hurled his sticks into a patch of wild strawberries. Later, while retrieving his sticks, he discovered gold.
Tecumseh “Pony” Smith acquired his nickname due to his small stature. Ponytown, the current assignment of Le Rev Dr, is a long, long way from Montana. Pony was once called by the Madisonian “the metropolis of the thousand”. Pony is an old town; even before the Alder Gulch resonant snare discoveries Smith had built a cabin on the stream that was to be called Pony Creek and was going hard with some avant-placer drumming.
Several generations along, Steve “Pony” Smith carries on this fine tradition, which has culminated in the development of the Yamaha Pony Smith™ series drums, ‘pon which he has pounded since 1976. Pony himself is known for using the Pony Smith Yamaha Recording Custom™ drums, but also favours the Pony Smith Birch Custom Absolute™ toms and a Pony Smith maple bass drum. He also belts and praises Pony Smith signature snare drum models which, in a nod to tradition, incorporate some of the innovative features of the original Alder Gulch resonating snares. He is, however, most well known for using a chrome-over-brass, Pony Smith Ludwig Supraphonic Super Snappeur™ snare in conjunction with a Soviet-era bootleg Big Muff distortion pedal.
This unique sound may be heard on the magnificent Short Gay Man Power anthem “Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover“, a Paul Simon classic. According to Legend, Pony Smith instigated, indulged in, and then copyrighted the very idea of throwing two large tom-toms on the floor, and then naming them “floor toms“. [see Reference 3] Pony Smith also uses his own signature Pony Smith series Zildjian K Pony Smith Custom Pony Smith Session cymbals™
Pony Smith also rocks the signature Vic Firth/ Pony Smith splitsticks™ with his Pony Smith signature on exactly one half of each. These sticks are very light, thin, black and “normal”; with Pony Smith™ colored-wood on the tips. There is also an almost identical Pony Smith model (lacking the signature of Vic Firth on the other side) with Pony Smith™ nylon tips. The Pony Smith™ stick is also slightly shorter than the American Classic® 5A, and is distinguished by a Pony Smith™ barrel tip for improved recording sound. It is 15 3/4″ long and the diameter is .550″. (inches, ‘Tish)
Along with having his own Pony Smith™ signature stick, he also has his own Pony Smith™ signature brushes. These Pony Smith™ brushes are intended to solve the problem of wire brushes snagging on the new specialty goathide drumheads by slightly angling the wires in the top 3/4″ of the playing end. Laboratory tests show that the Pony Smith™ wires glide across the head, allowing a smoother sweep and a velvety, more goaty, swish sound. This innovation has been enthusiastically embraced by the musical community and may be enjoyed on releases from a diverse variety of artists including Prince, Kenny Loggins, Justin Timberlake, Lindsay Lohan and Michael Buble.
• As a young boy in the 1950s, Pony Smith played the drums as a guest star on the Mickey Mouse Show.
• Pony Smith is credited by Paul Simon for creating the unique rhythm of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover“.
• Pony Smith is the drummer on Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle” and is widely acknowledged to have created the “disco beat.”
• Pony Smith is of Sicilian American descent.
‘Tis a shame he & Keith couldn’t get together to compare notes…
Today, Pony is a place of beauty and solitude, known for it’s magnificent views, excellent hunting and it’s infinite mountain trails and alpine lakes. The rhythm is good, the beats are frantic, and don’t be surprised if Dave Grohl drops by for a visit! Much has changed over the years, yet the feeling of bygone days remains. The one remaining business in town is the old saloon, now better known as the world famous Pony Bar, noted for it’s inclusion by both Playboy magazine and Men’s Journal as “one of the best bars” in America.