It is with great sadness that I have to annouce that my longtime friend, Arnie Lang, passed away on July 5th. Arnie was almost 90 years old, but you would never have known that if you were in his presence. His energy and love of drums was inspirational, and defied his age. He was more energetic than a lot of 20 year olds.
Arnie was a member of the NY Philharmonic for decades, and those of us in the drum world remember him for his dedication to the great Billy Gladstone. Arnie acquired a Gladstone from Billy and always treasured it, so much so that he spent decades creating superb replicas of Billy's wonderful instruments. I worked with Arnie on many "Gladstone" projects over the years and we always had fun doing them. He never tired of his love for drums and the Gladstone legacy that he helped preserve.
Billy Gladstone's legacy basically fell to two people: Chet Falzerano dedicated much of his life to documenting Billy and his work, and owns many of Billy's original drums. Arnie was the person who kept the Gladstone legacy top-of-mind for modern day drummers. If not for Arnie's superb replicas, many drummers would never have heard the Gladstone name, or ever been able to experience the incredible innovations that he created. I'm thankful to them both, and have tried my best to support the Gladstone legacy as well, and always will. I've have had the privilege of selling many original Gladstone drums and can tell you that I have always relied heavily on the expertise and knowledge of Arnie and Chet.
Arnie is gone, so now it falls to us to help preserve his legacy. Thankfully, he willingly shared his knowledge with us so that we can continue to pass it on to future generations. I know that I will certainly be proud to do my part to preserve the legacy of my friend, Arnie Lang.