Monday, March 14, 2011

Zildjian cymbal set-ups of the 70's

In the mid-70's the Zildjian cymbal company put out what has become a classic booklet of cymbal set-ups of their pro endorsers. Who were all using those same bright, middle-of -the-road 70's A's across a variety of genres, apparently. It's hard to believe Kenny Clarke would've left his K's at home when he was working, but drum catalogs don't lie.

When I was in junior high school, I inherited a copy from my brother, and I used to pore over it, seeking out the most enviable array of cymbals, or the most inexplicably modest. What was most intriguing, without me really being aware of it, were the photos, which were mostly not very good or flattering to the subject. The fashions are deep in the early-mid 70's, with many afros, a rhinestone-encrusted peacock baseball jersey, a few splashes of psychedelic paisley, and a whole lot of mustaches- that was another day at the office at the time. But they made you wonder, who is this ugly Art Blakey guy who only uses two cymbals, and why did think enough of him to put him in this book? My brother told me "he plays really loud", which really made me want to find out what was up with him.

The message I took from it was "here's a not-real-attractive guy with an unremarkable set-up and he's great and you should figure out why." It also seems notable that most (half plus one, anyway) of the artists in the booklet are African-American, over 40, and/or not in the biggest groups of the moment.

Visit to download this and other cool old drum catalogs.


ggill1970 said...

nice ! hoping to see an Zildjian "earth ride" but maybe that was early 80s.

Unknown said...

Hats off to the genius that compiled that thank you