Remo Belli (1927 – 2016)

Remo BellWhat Xerox is to copying machines and Kleenex is to tissue, Remo is to drumheads: a trademark that has become virtually synonymous with an entire product category. Remo Belli, the man behind the product, did more than anyone else to introduce the world to synthetic drumheads. With his passing, the industry has lost one of the few individuals deserving of the much-overused phrase “icon.” Not only did he revolutionize a product; he built a world-class company and spent an entire career promoting the benefits of drumming with an unmatched zeal. 

While the origins of rock ‘n’ roll remain the subject of debate, it’s safe to say the genre would never have gotten as far as it did without Remo’s synthetic head. Previously, drumheads were laboriously made by wrapping calfskin around a wooden hoop. As rock ‘n’ roll gained traction in the early 1960s, driving demand for drumkits, the makers of calfskin heads were simply unable to keep up. Remo’s Mylar solution, dubbed the “Weather King” because it was impervious to climate, saved the day, providing drum makers with enough heads to fill their growing order books.

The story behind Remo and his drumhead is a classic entrepreneurial tale. Born in Mishawaka, Indiana, Remo developed his interest in drums at an early age, watching his uncle’s polka band at the local Italian Club. His father urged him to take up the accordion, but he was determined to play drums. Remo, who often said the market for musical instruments was made up of “compulsive” musicians who had no choice but to play and “impulsive” musicians had only a passing interest, placed himself squarely in the “compulsive” category. 

By the time he entered high school, World War II had broken out and all the local drummers had been drafted. As one of the few drummers left in Northern Indiana, he soon had more gigs than he could handle. The varied performance experience honed his skills, and when he enlisted in the Navy at 18, he was immediately assigned to the Navy band.

After receiving his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles and began his career as a professional drummer. Starting in saloons, he quickly graduated to touring with singers Anita O’Day, Betty Hutton, and a host of other notables. When he was off the road, he was a first-call studio drummer.

Although Los Angeles had five drum shops at the time, Remo didn’t think any of them were serving the market properly. In 1950, with $2,300 borrowed from his parents, he rented a small space on Santa Monica Boulevard and opened Drum City. It quickly became a destination for top West Coast drummers.

Drum manufacturers began actively courting Remo, not just because Drum City was a growing customer, but because his proximity to leading players gave him unique insights into the market. On a visit to the Slingerland Drum Company in Chicago, owner Bud Slingerland asked for his opinion about a new head, made from Mylar, Dupont’s revolutionary new plastic film. Remo was impressed with the material, but immediately realized that a new technique was needed to attach it to the rim; tacks just didn’t work.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Remo’s accountant put him in contact with a chemist named Sam Muchnick, who devised an innovative solution: punching holes around the edge of the Mylar head and using a fast-setting liquid resin to bond it to a u-shaped aluminum hoop. The unique bonding system was patented in 1957, and Remo immediately began head production in a 500-square-foot space adjacent to Drum City.

As with any new invention, Remo’s synthetic head initially drew criticism from purists who argued that it “wasn’t the same as calfskin.” He responded by marshaling an all-star list of endorsers including Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, and Gene Krupa to vouch for the musical quality of Mylar heads. As demand for drumkits soared, manufacturers and retailers enthusiastically embraced the new head, and by the time the Beatles made their U.S. debut in 1964, the Remo Weather King had become the undisputed head of choice.

In the early 1980s, Remo developed a “Pre-Tuned” head, which involved tensioning Mylar film on a hoop without the use of any hardware. This invention led to the development of a broad line of world percussion instruments. It also dovetailed with Remo’s personal interest in drumming as a tool for enhancing human well-being. He explained, “Drums can be used by anyone for relaxation and enjoyment. They can be used for helping people with autism or Alzheimer’s-or for someone just showing up at a recreation center on a Tuesday night having a ball.” With his wife Ami, a holistic healthcare practitioner, he partnered with neurologists and education experts to develop wellness-based programs using rhythm. 

Remo Belli made the world a better place by giving drummers better tools, by pioneering the concept of music as a means of enhancing health, and by creating a valuable enterprise that employs hundreds. His name, emblazoned on millions of drumheads worldwide, is a fitting and perpetual epitaph.

Courtesy of musictrades.com

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Notice of shop opening hours due to stock take

We would like to inform all customers that our South Great Georges street store will be closed on Sunday the 3rd of April due to stock take. Our Blanchardstown store will be closed on Monday the 4th of April for the same reason.

We would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused during this time and if you have any queries please email info@waltonsmusic.ie.

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Huge price reductions on Gibson Guitars while stocks last!

We are happy to announce huge reductions in price on a select range of Gibson Guitars while stocks last. For further information on this feel free to contact either of our stores (Waltons Blanchardstown) (Waltons Georges Street) or email info@waltonsmusic.ie.

To see the full range available please click on the link below.

http://www.waltons.ie/home/offers/

 

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The new Novation Lauchpad Pro is now available!

The Novation Launchpad Pro is now available to purchase both in-store and online here at Waltons Music. For more information on this product click on the link below or contact one of our stores and chat to our staff members who will be happy to help.

http://www.waltons.ie/home/products/view/06cnov-novlpd03-novation-launch-pad-pro/

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Zoom launches new ARQ Aero Rhythm Trak!

Zoom recently launched their new Zoom ARQ at the 2016 Namm show. While it is not available to purchase just yet, we thought we would give you a sneak peak prior to the anticipated April 2016 release.

The ARQ is a drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, loop station, and MIDI controller with a built-in accelerometer. Even more, ARQ is freedom. With its wireless Bluetooth Ring Controller, you can escape the booth, move the music, and get in front of the crowd.

While this machine certainly shows innovation in the EDM production world, we would like to know your opinion on it. How practical is it? Would you buy one for yourself? Any thoughts on the product are open to discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

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The new Zoom G5N is now available!

Waltons are happy to announce the arrival of the Zoom G5N available to purchase in-store and online. For more information on this product please click on the link below and see a full product description and specs list. You can also contact our stores and have our staff answer any questions you may have.

 

http://www.waltons.ie/home/products/view/06bzoo-g5n-zoom-g5-guitar-multi-effects-pedal-amp-simulator/

https://i2.wp.com/www.digimart.net/magazine/img/zoom_G5n.jpg

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The all new Zoom Q4N is now available!

We here in Waltons Music are happy to announce the arrival of the Zoom Q4N. This model follows the highly successful and popular, Q2, Q3 and Q4 models.

They are available to purchase in-store and online. For a detailed product description and specs please click on the attached link below, or call our stores and speak to one of our staff members who will be happy to answer any of your questions about this fantastic product.

http://www.waltons.ie/home/products/view/06bzoo-q4n-zoom-q2hd-video-recorder/

https://i0.wp.com/info.shimamura.co.jp/digital/img/upload/shimastaff2/2013/HandyVideoRecorder_Q4.jpg

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NEW YEAR SALE

Waltons Music New Year SALE starts Saturday 2nd January. Don’t miss the big reductions on Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Taylor, Takamine, Yamaha, Roland, Dunlop, Zoom and other big brands!

2016-SALE-FB-banner

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Last Order Dates for Christmas Delivery

LAST-ORDERS-image

If you are ordering a Christmas gift, please ensure that your order reaches us by the dates below so that we can have your package delivered on time for Christmas.*

Europe & UK : Wednesday 16th December
Ireland (Republic & North) : Monday 21st December (1 pm)

REMEMBER

Don’t wait until the last minute to check your order when you receive it.


To avoid any disappointment due to damages caused by transit,
 shortage or any other reason, please check your package as soon as possible.

* Subject to stock availability

Our online store will be closed from December 23rd until January 4th.
Orders can be placed during those dates but will not be processed until 4th January.

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Christmas Opening Hours at Our Stores

WALTONS MUSIC GEORGES STREET Christmas Opening Hours

Wednesday 9th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Thursday 10th December – 9 am to 8 pm
Friday 11th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday 12th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday 13th December – 12 noon to 5 pm
……………………………………………………….
Monday  14th December- 9 am to 6 pm
Tuesday  15th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 16th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Thursday 17th December- 9 am to 8 pm
Friday 18th December – 9 am to 8 pm
Saturday 19th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday 20th December – 10 am to 6 pm
…………………………………………………….
Monday 21st December – 9 am to 8 pm
Tuesday 22nd December – 9 am to 8 pm
Wednesday 23rd December – 9 am to 8 pm
Thursday 25th December (Christmas Eve) – 9 am to 6 pm
Friday 25th December (Christmas Day) CLOSED
Saturday 26th December (Stevens’ Day) CLOSED
Sunday 27th December – 12 noon to 5 pm
…………………………………………………….
Monday 28th December – 12 noon to 5 pm
Tuesday 29th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 30th December- 9 am to 6 pm
Thursday 31st December – 9 am to 6 pm
Friday 1st January – CLOSED
Saturday 2nd January – 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday 3rd January – 12 noon to 5 pm

WALTONS MUSIC BLANCHARDSTOWN Christmas Opening Hours

Wednesday 9th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Thursday 10th December – 9 am to 9 pm
Friday 11th December – 9 am to 9 pm
Saturday 12th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday 13th December – 11 am to 7 pm
……………………………………………………….
Monday  14th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Tuesday  15th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 16th December – 9 am to 10 pm
Thursday 17th December- 9 am to 10 pm
Friday 18th December – 9 am to 10 pm
Saturday 19th December – 9 am to 8 pm
Sunday 20th December – 11 am to 7 pm
…………………………………………………….
Monday 21st December – 9 am to 10 pm
Tuesday 22nd December – 9 am to 10 pm
Wednesday 23rd December – 9 am to 10 pm
Thursday 25th December (Christmas Eve) – 9 am to 6 pm
Friday 25th December (Christmas Day) CLOSED
Saturday 26th December (Stevens’ Day) – 12 noon to 6 pm
Sunday 27th December – 12 noon to 6 pm
……………………………………………………..
Monday 28th December – 12 noon to 5 pm
Tuesday 29th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 30th December – 9 am to 6 pm
Thursday 31st December – 9 am to 6 pm
Friday 1st January – CLOSED

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