Terry Bozzio's Zappa drum equipment: i.e. cymbals/drums/hardware/heads/sticks.

Ludwig26

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Saw&watched the current/recent Zappa documentary movie on saturday arvo at local cinema/theatre.
Dissapointed there's NO interviews with ANY of his drummers,
Does anyone know what brand/model/series &size cymbals&drums Bozzio used with Zappa?,
&Hardware/heads&sticks?,
Love, peace, respect&stay safe!!!!!! :).
 

Pat A Flafla

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I don't recall what drums he used on stage, but it was probably whatever Zappa gave him to play. I do seem to remember that Bozzio auditioned on an Octoplus kit.
 

KevinD

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I've seen photos and maybe a video of Bozzio using a Dbl Bass, black Rogers (Big R Era) set.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I've seen photos and maybe a video of Bozzio using a Dbl Bass, black Rogers (Big R Era) set.
Not 100% on topic, but man I love the Big R hardware. I like to imagine that every single item they produced is still functioning somewhere.
 

CC Cirillo

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I don't recall what drums he used on stage, but it was probably whatever Zappa gave him to play. I do seem to remember that Bozzio auditioned on an Octoplus kit.
An Octaplus for Bozzio is like the rest of us showing up to an audition with just kick/snare/hats.
 

Deafmoon

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Terry played various kits with Frank. There was Gretsch, Rogers, Slingerland along with Pollard Syn-Drums and Remo Roto Toms. Towards the later stage with Frank he played rack Remo Roto Toms over dual Slingerland or Gretsch Bass drums and an acoustic snare and floor toms. I don't remember if the basses were 24" or 26" Bass Drums. In 1977 with The Brecker Brothers, in 1979 when he joined U.K. and in 1980 in Missing Persons; I believe he stayed with the Roto Toms over the dual Bass Drums through 1984. Then he got electronic but that didn't last long. By the late 80's, Terry decided it was time to get signed with a drum company and he did with Remo Belli. I believe Terry was playing Remo Acousticon Drums until sometime in the 90's when he left and signed with DW.
 

John DeChristopher

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Terry played various kits with Frank. There was Gretsch, Rogers, Slingerland along with Pollard Syn-Drums and Remo Roto Toms. Towards the later stage with Frank he played rack Remo Roto Toms over dual Slingerland or Gretsch Bass drums and an acoustic snare and floor toms. I don't remember if the basses were 24" or 26" Bass Drums. In 1977 with The Brecker Brothers, in 1979 when he joined U.K. and in 1980 in Missing Persons; I believe he stayed with the Roto Toms over the dual Bass Drums through 1984. Then he got electronic but that didn't last long. By the late 80's, Terry decided it was time to get signed with a drum company and he did with Remo Belli. I believe Terry was playing Remo Acousticon Drums until sometime in the 90's when he left and signed with DW.
Great synopsis of Terry's drums throughout the years. He played A. Zildjian cymbals with Frank through The Brecker Brothers period (wasn't a Zildjian endorser) and signed with Paiste around 1979 or 1980 when he joined UK.

By the early 1980s with Missing Persons, he was using two black Tama Imperialstar bass drums under his Roto Toms. I think he started using the Tama bass drums with UK and I believe they were 14x24s. He was using Tama Titan hardware (except an old Sonor hi hat stand) with Missing Persons and I believe a Tama metal snare drum, so he probably signed with them for a short time. In the early 1980s, Tama was by far the most aggressive company with signing artists.

Around 1983 Terry ditched the Syndrums and Synares and incorporated Simmons SDSV pads and modules into his Roto Tom kit. This was prior to designing his own electronic kit in 1984. He signed with Remo Drums in 1985/1986.

One more point. Terry endorsed Mapex Drums for a brief period between when he left Remo and signed with DW.

Here's Terry circa 1982/83 and you can clearly see they're Tama Imperialstar bass drums, probably 24"s. I saw MP in February 1983 in Boston and literally stood a foot in front of those bass drums for the entire show! (Terry used to set up in front) It was life-changing!

Terry Bozzio 80s MP.jpg


This is from a Tama catalog circa late 70s/early 80s probably during the UK period. Looks like a hollow logo A. Zildjian to his right.

bozzio tama 80_thumb[2].jpg
 
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Lee Van Kief

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I'm no expert on Rogers (if this actually is a Rogers), but maybe this one? Found it alongside a write up on "Zappa in New York/The Black Page".

View attachment 487550
That’s his Gretsch kit if I’m not mistaken. The lugs are a little small to be Rogers. Here’s a couple of clips from “Baby Snakes” from the same era. Those look like Gretsch lugs and die cast rims.
AF4FC86A-ACF0-40B5-AC16-9C3D7BC53398.jpeg

471B59CA-A966-4530-BA24-0F7D015C1F48.jpeg
 

spelman

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Bozzio's Zappa kit looks a lot similar to his Brecker Bros kit (Heavy Metal Bebop era). This kit was described by Bozzio himself in Modern Drummer September 2002:
"The setup I used then was a black Gretsch kit, with 12",13", and 14" rack toms, 16" and 18" floor toms, two 22" bass drums, and a 14" Chrome snare. The cymbals were A Zildjians, including a 22" ride, 18" and 20" crashes, and a 22" china. I used a Sonor hihat and Camco bass drum pedals..."

In Modern Drummer December 2002 , the Zappa era kits are also mentioned:
"When Bozzio first came to prominence with Frank Zappa in 1975, he played Frank's huge [Ludwig] Octa-Plus kit, but soon stripped it down to three rack toms, two floor toms, and double bass. Terry soon switched to his own black Gretsch double bass kit (three rack toms, two floor toms) with broken Zildjian cymbals, bongos , and castanets. During his last year with Zappa, Terry started using Syndrums on his left. He also played the same kit when he performed with the Brecker Brothers in the late 70's.
Bozzio's next big musical step was with UK in 1979. "That's the first time I used a full set of chrome RotoToms and started stacking cymbals" , he recalls."
 

cribbon

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Here's some equipment info on Terry before and slightly after Zappa. I first saw Terry on his initial foray with Zappa on the Bongo Fury tour with Captain Beefheart in the mid-70s. He was just an unknown skinny little kid playing the beans out of Zappa's natural maple Ludwig octaplus (bongos in the back).

Before that, he had a black Gretsch kit that he used with Azteca:

Terry0035.jpg

When he got settled in with Zappa, he used his own drums, a black Gretsch double bass kit with Rogers Memriloc hardware. It was on display a few years ago at some kind of trade show:

Terry-OldGretschKit2.jpg


Terry-OldGretschKit3.jpg


Terry-OldGretschKit4.jpg

Zappa suggested that Terry use roto-toms instead of normal toms, but he couldn't figure out a way to mount them securely at the time, but he finally figured out a way to do it after he left Zappa. He said he began using them with UK because he was impressed with the way Bruford's rotos sounded on the band's first album. He also mentioned that they were more mic-friendly than conventional two-headed toms. He used them in conjunction with Pollard syndrums and Slingerland bass drums. When he started up Missing Persons, he continued using that set up, but moved to Tama, where he became an endorser.

Bozzio-Rotos017.jpg

Bozzio-Rotos021.jpg

Bozzio-Rotos011.jpg

After that, he took the plunge into an all-electronic kit, which he eventually abandoned for a return to acoustic drums, going from Remo to Mapex to DW. Here are a couple of shots of his electronic set while under development:

Terry0082.jpg

Terry0083.jpg

And here's Terry playing his ass off at the US festival in the early 80s:

 
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drummertom

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I got to see Terry twice with Missing Persons, once with the roto kit and once with the electronic kit he built. Saw him later with Jeff Beck, mayb on the Remo kit? One of the most captivating live drummers you will ever see.
 

Pat A Flafla

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The only time I ever saw him was on the clinic circuit for Drawing the Circle. It was a small music store with no stage, so I was "stage right" about 10 feet from the gong he had bungeed up as a ride surrogate. It was pretty cool.
 

wolfereeno

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I saw him with UK from the 4th row at NY's Palladium. I was a Bruford/Holdsworth nut and was disappointed at first but it was just amazing. He had the big chrome BD's and all rototoms. It was so cool. Probably around that time I went all rototoms too for a few years. :)
 


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