Why Don Henley Switched to Tama in '78-'79

singleordoubleheads

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Odd question I know, but I've always wondered why Henley switched after spending close to a decade with Ludwig? Did he approach Ludwig about a bigger kit and they declined, or did Tama come to Henley? To add to the confusion, on the inside photos on the 1980 Eagles Live album there is a pic of Don playing the Tama kit but with what looks like a Ludwig reso bass drum head on the batter side(!)

Can anyone here shed any light on this? Obviously Ludwig was pumping out as many Concert Toms as Tama so that shouldn't have been an issue.....
 

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speady1

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Tama was aggressively trying to raise their profile during this era, and rumor has it, they paid for The Eagles to make this switch. It wasn't just free gear, but actual payment to Henley for advertising. I've also heard that he HATED the drums, but that isn't firsthand knowledge.
 
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In the 70's I don't think Don was "with Ludwig".
He used his Ludwig set he'd had since Texas (I think), but didn't endorse Ludwig Drums as an endorser.
In 1977 he purchased rebuilt Radio King solid maple snare drums from Paul Jamieson and Pat Foley so he wasn't exclusively using Ludwig.
I'd opine his old Ludwig kit was in need of replacing and he went with Tama.
 

singleordoubleheads

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...and, the last time I saw Eagles, he was playing Ludwig...
Really?? I saw the Eagles in 1994 during HFO and he had switched to DW and has played DW ever since as far as I knew. Now, during the History of the Eagles tour in 2013-14 he did play in front to start the show on what looked like his old Walnut Cortex kit with a single-headed rack tom and one floor, but played the majority of the rest on his new DW
 

singleordoubleheads

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In the 70's I don't think Don was "with Ludwig".
He used his Ludwig set he'd had since Texas (I think), but didn't endorse Ludwig Drums as an endorser.
In 1977 he purchased rebuilt Radio King solid maple snare drums from Paul Jamieson and Pat Foley so he wasn't exclusively using Ludwig.
I'd opine his old Ludwig kit was in need of replacing and he went with Tama.
Oh wow, thanks Bun...I had no idea about that. Wonder why Ludwig didn't pursue Don in the late 70s since the Eagles were Huge at that time??
 

singleordoubleheads

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Tama was aggressively trying to raise their profile during this era, and rumor has it, they paid for The Eagles to make this switch. It wasn't just free gear, but actual payment to Henley for advertising. I've also heard that he HATED the drums, but that isn't firsthand knowledge.
I would bet the suits at Tama were'nt very happy with the Ludwig bass drum head on the Tama drum photo because your average person would almost certainly assume he was playing Ludwig, not Tama just going off the photo and not taking time to really LOOK at the lugs/badges/etc.
 

DanRH

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I wonder if Tama secured Stan Lynch from Petty as well. It’s actually all I ever say him play. Stewart Copeland as well...
 

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I saw the 1994 tour and I definitely saw a 402 snare behind the DW kit, 70's blue/olive badge and all. I think Don's DW affilation began before that tour, as I saw him with DWs at the ill-fated Guns N Roses appearance for that MTV show.

I'm reasonably sure that SC pursued Tama. Jeff Seitz probably has a better understanding than I.



Dan
 

Bri6366

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Tama was aggressively trying to raise their profile during this era, and rumor has it, they paid for The Eagles to make this switch. It wasn't just free gear, but actual payment to Henley for advertising. I've also heard that he HATED the drums, but that isn't firsthand knowledge.
Tama said they never paid artists to endorse their products.
 

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I wonder if Tama secured Stan Lynch from Petty as well. It’s actually all I ever say him play. Stewart Copeland as well...
Copeland courted Tama. He did it before he was in the Police so that he could get a free kit. Been there ever since because they treat him well.
 

Bri6366

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People and companies say lots of things that are patently false. Again, it's a rumor I heard from an "insider" back in those days. Who knows?
I'm more inclined to believe a Tama exec than I am insider rumors. One Nike sneaker deal is bigger than the combined sales of any two or three drum manufacturers combined. For a small business like a drum company, supporting a major artist is expensive as it is.

I don't recall a lot of fanfare when Henley became a Tama artist. Not on the level of Cobham, Elvin, Peart or Copeland. Many drummers were making the switch from the classic American brands to Tama, Pearl and Yamaha at the time. As Bun said above, they were not necessarily official endorsers of those American brands. There wasn't a ton of cash for Tama to throw around in those days.
 

singleordoubleheads

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I saw the 1994 tour and I definitely saw a 402 snare behind the DW kit, 70's blue/olive badge and all. I think Don's DW affilation began before that tour, as I saw him with DWs at the ill-fated Guns N Roses appearance for that MTV show.

I'm reasonably sure that SC pursued Tama. Jeff Seitz probably has a better understanding than I.



Dan
I'm almost 100% sure he used his Tama Concert Tom kit on that show, not the DWs. I never saw Don behind a DW until the 1994 HFO stuff where he had the beautiful natural wood finish DW kit and later a darker colored one.
But that show with GnR he is def using power sized Concert Toms
 

equipmentdork

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I'm almost 100% sure he used his Tama Concert Tom kit on that show, not the DWs. I never saw Don behind a DW until the 1994 HFO stuff where he had the beautiful natural wood finish DW kit and later a darker colored one.
But that show with GnR he is def using power sized Concert Toms
Argh...you are correct, sir! :)

Dan
 

singleordoubleheads

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I'm pretty sure Don played a single-headed Ludwig kit on the last tour they did with Glenn Frey.
He did but only on the beginning part of the show with Bernie Leadon and the guys sitting on their amps and such. I think Don was paying homage to HIS past using a retro setup, but the rest of the night he went back to his regular black-ish colored DWs
 

K.O.

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Did he even endorse Tama? I don't recall seeing him in any ads at the time, same with Ludwig prior to that. Could it be that such deals simply didn't interest him and he just used whatever he wanted? The fact that he used the same Ludwig set instead of having different ones over the course of a few years seems a good indication of that he had no deal with them. Maybe he decided it was time for a new set and felt that Tama better suited his current needs. By that time he could certainly afford to buy his own drums.

I don't know but if he was an endorser of either or not but if he was he seemed to keep a low profile, at least as far as I can remember. Always loved that Walnut Stain Thermogloss set of his. I wish Ludwig had advertised that finish better and sold more of them so they'd be easier to find today.
 

bellbrass

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He did but only on the beginning part of the show with Bernie Leadon and the guys sitting on their amps and such. I think Don was paying homage to HIS past using a retro setup, but the rest of the night he went back to his regular black-ish colored DWs
Sounds like he did play Ludwigs on that tour.
 

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