Buddy Rich’s 1960s Zildjian Cymbals

Buddy Rich's 1960s Zildjian Cymbals

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Several years ago I stumbled onto a trap case that had supposedly belonged to Buddy Rich. Inside the case was a complete set of Buddy’s 1960s Zildjian cymbals and set of Slingerland cymbal stands. The person selling the case was the uncle of a former Rich bandmember, whose nephew had passed away a few years earlier. At some point during his tenure with Rich’s band he came into possession of this case and its contents. How exactly this happened remains a mystery. The case ended up in the uncle’s barn where it sat for many years until we met. He was happy to sell it to someone like myself who he knew would appreciate it.

Everything appeared legitimate. The cymbals and stands were consistent with what Rich used for most of his career, but still needed to be authenticated. A little detective work led me to Lennie Dimuzio, who was one of Rich’s closest friends and had worked in the drum industry for decades.

As artist relations manager at Zildjian during the 1960s, it was one of Dimuzio’s duties to hand pick cymbals for Zildjian endorsers. He had a “Special Selection” rubber stamp custom made to identify his personal choices. Dimuzio was one of the few people Buddy trusted to select his cymbals since he clearly understood Rich’s specific musical needs.

I contacted Dimuzio, who agreed to in- spect the cymbals. He was able to positively identify them as a set he had picked for Buddy by their size, weight, and interval, as well as his “Special Selection” stamp on each cymbal.

The cymbals are a classic example of legendary 1960s A Zildjians – bright, sparkly, and shimmering. The set included a 20" ride, two 18" crashes (one slightly thinner than the other), a pair of 14" New Beat hi-hats, and an 8" splash.

Dimuzio was able to solve part of the mystery of these cymbals, but how they ended up with Buddy’s deceased bandmate is still unknown. Anyone have any clues? I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Lennie Dimuzio is still active in the drum industry and recently wrote a book about his experiences called Tales From The Cymbal Bag.