Today is a sad day for all of us in the percussion world, because we lost a great man who also had the best ear for cymbals of anyone who ever lived: Lennie DiMuzio, a dear friend and wonderful man, passed away today. Lennie had been ill on and off for the past several years, but we all thought he was so tough that he'd end up out lasting the rest of us. Lennie's career spanned over 50 years between his tenure at Zildjian and then at Sabian. His ear was SO GOOD that he picked cymbals for Buddy Rich. And, despite the sadness I feel today, I can't help but smile when I think of the years of antics that Lennie recalls with great pleasure in his book "Tales From The Cymbal Bag". Lennie talks about his many outings with Armand Zildjian and many of the artists who came through the Zildjian factory. The book is not only informative, but hilarious. This is a guy who had a blast and enjoyed life to its fullest! And, he made it to 83, so that's not a bad run!
Lennie was at my NY shop in October 2014 for a Sabian event. When he was there we did a podcast episode which is on my podcast channel. I had wanted to get this interview with Lennie so that there would always be an audio record of his stories and his wit. It's an 11 minute trip down a very wonderful memory lane and I think you'll enjoy it. Here is the link: maxwelldrums.podbean.com/e/episode-09-lennie-dimuzio-interview/
In life we don't like to dwell on the inevitable, which is the end of life, but when Lennie was ill again in December, one of the things I set in motion was for us to do a "Lennie D" series of cymbals. I wanted to do this for a few reasons: 1) I wanted Lennie to be remembered. It is too easy for us to forget about people who have left us, and I want Lennie to be remembered not only by those of us who knew him, but by the next generation who did not get the chance. 2) I wanted to see a portion of revenue go back to Lennie and his family. Here's why: In this part of the music business you don't do it to get rich. You do it because you love it and it is what you were born to do. So, my goal was to share a portion of the proceeds with Lennie and his family. Although we hadn't yet launched the series, Lennie knew about it and loved the idea. We want to see the Lennie D series go forward, and it will be a tribute to the type of cymbals Lennie picked for some of the greatest players that ever lived. And, it will be an ongoing lesson to everyone as to how to train your ear to "hear like Lennie". Believe me, that's a lesson you want to learn. So, stay tuned for more on this.
Meanwhile, pick up Lennie's book "Tales From The Cymbal Bag", listen to the podcast, and call me up and talk to me if you like. This guy was wonderful and you need to know about him. Don't miss the opportunity to learn.
So: Lennie, normally at a time like this I would say "rest in peace", but that would not be in keeping with your spirit. So, have a drink, "raise some hell", and say hi to Buddy for me.