Win Charlie Watts’ Gretsch Drum Kit
Guitar Player and Rolling Stones Gear have teamed up to give you a chance to Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones! Now you can own some of the major brands of equipment the Rolling Stones played including Fender, Martin, Framus, Zemaitis, Gretsch, and Vox in this exciting new sweepstakes! They are also giving away the new book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost. If nothing else, enter to win a set of gorgeous Gretsch drums just like Charlie used to love! Read below for an excerpt about the kit from Rolling Stones Gear.
Charlie used his 1950s maple Gretsch kit and included an Italian UFIP 18-inch Chinese cymbal. Later, when UFIP was German-owned, Richard King (who supplied Charlie with a lot of his gear) remarked: “[Charlie] did accept an endorsement from an Italian cymbal company UFIP. He likes their 18-inch China crash cymbal, and when the new German owner sent Charlie sixty to try out, only two were up to his standards.” Charlie later revealed: “I play a UFIP cymbal. I play it the Chinese way, with the edges up. I like them because they’re very trashy. They do tend to crack, and I can only drill them so much before they lose the sound and go dead. I’ve kept them all though, for thirty years.” Charlie, not a man of many changes, shed further light on his cymbals, a setup that has remained steady throughout the years: “John DeChristopher at Zildjian is always sending me cymbals. He’s a lovely guy, but I never use them right away! I choose the ones I like, put them away, and let them marinate. For me, finding a cymbal is about going into a second-hand shop and digging. I prefer one of Shelly Manne’s old cymbals to ten new ones. Even a guy in a dance band or a club; HIS cymbals get a sound and a look about them. I don’t like new drums either, and I HATE new shoes.” He continued: “I like things that are well made, like Zildjians, but that are fifty years old. I use an old 18-inch flat ride, and I’m scared stiff it’s going to go. They’ve sent me new ones, but they’re never as good. I found it in Paris in ’70- something with Chuch Magee. We were bombed out of our ’eads at the time, but I’ve never stopped using it. I’ve used it in a piano trio, and I’ve used it behind Keith, and it’s fabulous. It’s a beautiful cymbal to record with.” Concerning Charlie’s stage sound, Benji Lefevre, the front-of-the-house soundman/sound engineer for the tour, commented: “Charlie tunes it his way, and it just produces the Charlie Watts sound, so I don’t mess with it. He does, however, have a very light jazzy bass drum technique, which enables me to use delicate high quality microphones on it.”
Posted on October 13, 2014, in Music Fans and tagged andy babiuk, Backbeat Books, Charlie Watts, Fender, Framus, Greg Prevost, Gretsch, Martin, rolling stones gear, sweepstakes, Vox, win, win stuff, Zemaitis. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.