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3/30/23: I am so excited to have these cymbals available for sale. Buddy Rich was my drumming hero from when I was 12 years old and that remains the same today. I've had items of Buddy's in the past, but I am especially excited about this latest item. These cymbals come from the family, so the provenance will include a letter from Cathy Rich.

What makes this set of Zildjian cymbals extra special is that these were the cymbals used on Buddy's last recorded performance. The album is titled "Just in Time. The Final Recording" and is taken from live performances over two nights in 1986 (Nov 19th and 20th) at Ronnie Scott's club in London. (Ronnie's was one of Buddy's favorite clubs). Buddy passed away on April 7, 1987, so, this recording was done just 4 months before he passed. It took 33 years, but Cathy Rich finally was able to gather these recordings and released the album in 2019. 

This set of cymbals reflects a change from the typical sizes and weights Buddy used for his high hats and ride cymbal. In the 60s-70s his hats were 14" and his ride was a medium 20. During this later era Buddy had 13" hats that were heavier, and his 20" ride was a heavier "ping ride" with a large bell. His crashes were both 18" (thin and medium thin), and very consistent with what he used from the 60s onward. His 8" splash is present, and there is also a 20" china cymbal which is something Buddy added during this time. And, we also have his cymbal bag! 

The historical significance here is, of course, incredible: The cymbals used for Buddy's last recorded performance, complete with his cymbal bag and provenance from his daughter, Cathy, who was present for the performance in 1986. 

We will of course have photos and more information in the near future. Pricing is still TBD. Contact me at vintagedrums@aol.com if any questions. Steve

Cathy's own words: In November of 1986 I was living in Los Angeles, the mother of a two-year-old boy. On the 15th of that month something compelled me to get on a flight to London to visit my father who was on tour in the UK, leaving behind my son which I had never done before. Looking back on it now, it was the best decision I ever made. My dad was getting ready for a two-night live recording at his favorite place to play, Ronnie Scott’s. This was a deep and long love affair with the country and this particular club. Ronnie Scott was a long-time friend and the owner of the premier jazz club in the world. Their mutual admiration was palpable. Playing there was always the last week of an incredible month of touring the UK and was looked forward to like Christmas. No one knew at the time but this would be my last trip with him and his last performance there.

The band personnel on that tour had been together for a couple of years which, for my dad, was an eternity. They were the hottest, tightest group of musicians that he had had in a long time and his happiness with them showed. He was the most relaxed and at ease that I had seen him in a very long time. No angst, no worries, no issues. It certainly showed in everyone’s playing, including his. They were a laser beam of music. Fifteen people playing like one.

The Rolling Stones mobile recording studio blocked tiny Frith Street and the buzz in the club was overwhelming. It was almost supernatural. We were all witnessing something that we would never see again.

My dad chose set lists for the two nights that I hadn’t heard before. He was always brilliant in choosing the right sets, but this time he shied away from the tried and true and went to places musically that were very different. It was as if he knew that he didn’t have to prove anything anymore and could relax and go wherever he wanted and enjoy it. I think the end result proves just that. For two incredible nights I got to sit in the audience and cheer right along with everyone else. I will always remember that time as one of the greatest moments in my life. Now I can revel in the fact that, thankfully, his last recordings were caught on tape for all of us to enjoy forever.

It has taken thirty-three years to finally get these recordings out. An absolute labor of love that I never gave up on. At times it was quite a struggle, but in the end it was all about the music.

 


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