This submission comes to us from reader Joe Renda:
This is a Drum Workshop set that I purchased March of 1983 that was custom built for Buddy Rich in August 1982. He used it for the beginning of the 1983 tour and played them until he had the heart attack when he was in Ann Arbor Michigan. It was ordered and built to his specifications through Joe Cusatis at the modern drum shop in NYC. He wanted the Slingerland TDR throw off on the snare, He wanted Pearl spurs and a Ludwig rail/banana mount for the tom tom. He also wanted Ludwig cymbal holders for the bass drum. The rest of the set is DW but is wrapped in Ludwig white marine pearl. It has the BR on the front bass drum head and "Buddy Rich Fragile" on the cases.
I've been in touch with Don Lombardi about the set. As a matter of fact, I think he found out that I had this set through Steve Maxwell. Either way, someone gave him my number and he called me. We spoke quite a bit about it and he said that he had been looking for this set for years.
My question is I'm being told by some of the experts that they're not that valuable because "Buddy's been gone for years" and "no one knows who he is" and that "they will continue to drop in value". Some others are saying they are extremely rare and quite valuable. I know a great deal about drums as I'm a working musician and have been playing drums since 1965. I know an exceptional amount about Buddy's sets through out his career and know that this set is truly one of a kind and I think it's quite valuable. I know that Don Bennett has the very rare 1967 Fibes set that Buddy played but it's incomplete. I was with Bob Grauso when he authenticated that set for Don. I think he's asking a fair price for that set for what it is.
Very few people know that this set even exists. I have video of Buddy playing them on a show called "Fantasy" and Don Lombardi said he would send some pictures of Buddy playing them on a gig. He also said that he would be interested in talking about having them in the DW heritage collection.
I'm looking for the right buyer. I never wanted to sell this set, first, because I'm a HUGE Buddy fan and I absolutely love this set, and second because it is my most prized possession in my collection. I was playing drums for Connie Francis up until she retired, and I keep busy doing a bunch of one-niters - but I'm not getting any younger.
I appreciate your time and any correspondence would be appreciated.
****************** Hey Joe,
I think they are worth a lot of money to the right buyer and I think there are a lot of right buyers. Buddy's fame and infamy and the worth of that drum set will only grow. Collectors will lowball you most of the time. I know, I used to be one! :o) I would love to publish this and the pictures and the video. It's perfect for the Not So Modern Drummer audience. Thanks very much for giving us the opportunity.
Interested in this set? Send us a message and we'll put you in contact! - NSMD