Buddy and DW

ARGuy

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I don't know if this has been posted here before, but it just showed up on the "Buddy Rich Road Stories" page.
From Facebook:


Don Lombardi: Remembering Buddy and His DW Kit
I had the opportunity to spend time with Buddy on many occasions when he would visit Nick Ceroli and Frank DeVito’s house while he was in town to play at Disneyland. They would invite me over; I was always intimidated being around Buddy while they just hung out as old friends. One day Frank called and asked if I knew anyone from a few of the drum companies and could I call on Buddy’s behalf. He said Buddy was “looking around.” The next time he came into town, Buddy, Frank, Nick, and I spent the afternoon at Nicks house. The subject came up and Frank said, “Why don’t you take the kid’s drums out—that (kid) being me. (I was just getting into the business and it’s something you remember like yesterday, especially with Buddy.)
Of course he knew we could not afford to pay him but he said, “Yes, bring them to a TV show I’m doing Monday and I will try them out.” It was some kind of a fantasy game show where he played a three-minute solo. I took the kit, a standard four-piece. He came over while I was packing them after the show and said if we could make him a kit for the next tour to get a hold of Steve Peck (who was his road manager) and get it on the bus. I said, “Your regular sizes?” and he said, “Yes, but a 26″ bass drum.” I said, “When does the bus leave?” and Buddy said, “Friday.” I said ok, while thinking that is only four days—impossible.
I got the covering from one person who had the shells except the 26″ bass drum. Keller made them in a day and sent it overnight to us. We got it Thursday and stayed up all night finishing the kit. They left LA and as I understand, used the kit until they got to New York. At which time Steve Peck called and said Buddy wanted to talk to me as they were going to go back to the Ludwig kit they had as backup. Buddy said the bass drum was too open even with two felt strips, though he liked the snare drum and toms. I said I would make another one when he got to LA mid-year. I then told Bob Yeager the story and he immediately said I should have never made him a 6-ply bass drum; it has to be 10 to 12 for a 26″. That was a hard lesson learned.
The accompanying photo was sent to me while Buddy was playing the DW kit for a few shows. We were ready to make another kit for him but we never connected again and he never went back out on tour and then sadly passed away.
May be an image of playing a musical instrument, cymbal and indoor
 

K.O.

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I've heard that Buddy didn't care for the look of the DW round lugs which he supposedly said looked like "little clocks". Whether true or not I can't say but I've always felt that if Buddy had lived a few more years that it would have been inevitable that he'd had ended up playing a DW set as an endorser, at least for a while. There was a period in the late 80s/early 90s when DW drums seemed ubiquitous as far as what you saw guys using on TV and in concert. DW or Yamaha ruled the day until Ludwig and Gretsch made some strides to return to the forefront and steal some players back.
 

Mcjnic

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Very interesting.
Tough lesson, though. Imagine if he would have nailed it first shot. Buddy and DW ... would have been a cool ad.
 

bassanddrum84

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Do you guys think if he was still around he would play newer luds, older ones or a completely different company all together?
 

Matched Gripper

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Do you guys think if he was still around he would play newer luds, older ones or a completely different company all together?
I think he would have dug the Legacy Maple and Mahogany, maybe even the CM’s.

I read somewhere, many years ago, that the Keller DW’s were a Ludwig replica with better build quality.
 

K.O.

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Do you guys think if he was still around he would play newer luds, older ones or a completely different company all together?
I think he'd burned his bridges with Ludwig when he moved on in the early 80s. At that point he used his own set rather than having an endorsement deal with a drum company which would seem to indicate that no one was offering up whatever he was seeking. Still...as I mentioned above, if he'd been alive for a while longer who knows? Maybe DW, maybe Pearl ( who had Shaughnessy, Bellson, Blakey, and Elvin at various points), Remo? Who knows? If someone had offered up whatever amount or sort of deal he was hoping for it seems he would have been willing to play ball...at least for a while, although it does seem from his brief tenure with Fibes and Vox that he wouldn't play drums he didn't like for very long.
 

bassanddrum84

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It always make me wonder if the big timers would still play retro kits or go for newer modern. I see a lot of people go for vintage so would the pros?
 

JimmySticks

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It always make me wonder if the big timers would still play retro kits or go for newer modern. I see a lot of people go for vintage so would the pros?
None of the modern day pros played vintage kits during the Buddy Tribute shows, and honestly, I think the big band swing music lost a little something on the big modern day kits with a lot of cymbals they played. It didn't quite fit IMHO.

I'd love to hear Tommy Igoe on a vintage 5 piece Slingerland with 3 cymbals. That's big band!
 

K.O.

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It always make me wonder if the big timers would still play retro kits or go for newer modern. I see a lot of people go for vintage so would the pros?
I would guess that most endorsement deals specify that endorsed players use stuff that is current production. Otherwise it sort of defeats the whole purpose which is to spur sales of new equipment There are some exceptions (Steve Jordan seems to be able to play whatever he wants to despite his endorsement for Yamaha) but, unlike guitar heroes who seem to relish using vintage guitars (which their endorsed companies usually create replicas of) , most big name drummers you see on Tv or on concert stages will have the latest and greatest that their respective endorsees have to offer.
 

hsosdrum

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When the guy's floor tom leg collapsed while he was playing I love that Buddy went over and put the drum back up for him!
 

Deafmoon

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I think he'd burned his bridges with Ludwig when he moved on in the early 80s. At that point he used his own set rather than having an endorsement deal with a drum company which would seem to indicate that no one was offering up whatever he was seeking. Still...as I mentioned above, if he'd been alive for a while longer who knows? Maybe DW, maybe Pearl ( who had Shaughnessy, Bellson, Blakey, and Elvin at various points), Remo? Who knows? If someone had offered up whatever amount or sort of deal he was hoping for it seems he would have been willing to play ball...at least for a while, although it does seem from his brief tenure with Fibes and Vox that he wouldn't play drums he didn't like for very long.
That is true. DeVito even called Hoshino and tried to get Buddy an endorsement deal with Tama. Buddy wanted 100k and they said ‘no’.
 


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