Drumstick icon Vic Firth dead at 85

Drumstick pioneer Vic Firth has died at the age of 85.

He launched his stick business in 1963 in Boston, Massachussets, during his acclaimed career as a concert percussionist. He enjoyed a 50-year stint with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, running a leading teaching studio and publishing a series of training books.

Everett ‘Vic’ Firth was once described as “the consummate musician, educator and businessman.” He said he’d been inspired to start making sticks when he found the ones he was using didn’t meet his requirements. He reported: “It came out of necessity – not of imagination or my ability to start a company.”

The Vic Firth brand now manufacturers over 12 million sticks a year and boasts endorsees including Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain, The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts, Tool’s Danny Carey, Rammstein’s Christoph Schneider, Bullet For My Valentine’s Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas and many others.

The company say: “Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people – but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made.

“Vic’s spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.