Earlier in this thread our pal Jeff mentioned getting creative with funding. I have a story I'd like to share too...
I was a poor college student when I discovered the Zendrum. This music store I frequented had a demo video they were playing in the drum area, and I was HOOKED. I saw that video a hundred times! And then... I went in there one day, and literally sitting on the floor was a Zendrum. Just sitting there. Apparently a guitarist had seen the video, bought one, and then for whatever reason traded it in at the store. So I played it, and of course LOVED it. I had to have it; I was rabid! And of course, other people were looking at it too. I vividly recall that my "good buddy" price was quoted at $1100, which may as well have been $11,000,000 for the likelihood of my getting the cash together before it sold.
Well, I finally put together enough cash (with the help of a credit card too) and went down to the store to buy it after a month or so of wiping drool off my chin after playing it. And, of course, it had been sold mere hours before. I was crushed... I couldn't afford a new one, and this opportunity had just seemed so fortuitous.
I immediately left the store and drove to a buddy's house for band practice (at which I had planned to unveil my new Zendrum). He met me at the car with a sly smile and said "guess what I just bought?" Of course I had no idea, and was not in the mood for games anyway. He shrugged and helped me load my gear in. Next thing I know he's smiling and teasingly opening a long narrow box. You know what was inside of course.
I was LIVID. He KNEW I wanted that Zendrum and how hard I'd been scheming to buy it. I knew he liked it too, but, damnit, I was the drummer!!! I tried to be happy for him but inside I wasn't. Once he finally realized how angry I was, he laughed and said "Dude, I bought it for YOU!" Turns out, some guy was looking at it in the store and it was starting to look like he was going to get it... so my buddy swooped in and slapped down a card, and the rest is history. It took a long time for me to pay him back, but we had a coffee shop acoustic gig THAT NIGHT and I played my new Zendrum... didn't even bring a drumkit. (I probably really sucked, but that's another story!)
That's a good buddy for you! That was 1997, and we're STILL playing together, Zendrum and all (different Zendrums though!)
Sorry for the lengthy post. Happy 4th!