Vic Firth and my Dad were great friends. RZ helped Vic start his business and with great humor and compassion, helped him build it. From the days of Vic having his mother in-law winding mallets in the family garage, to finally seeing Vic take his own booth space at the Frankfurt fair, these two had a great ‘wise guy’ friendship. There were only a very few people in the industry who could get away with saying the things these two said to each other, all in great fun. Some would say that they were the personification of the ‘Waldorf and Statler’ characters from the Muppet show; two curmudgeons who enjoyed ribbing each other on a daily basis. The best part of that friendship, from my view, was being able to listen to both of these close friends talk and laugh together and enjoy each other’s company. No question Vic has made a difference in the industry; his innovative designs, sharp focus on quality and his support of players and educators have set standards that are the benchmark for todays industry. For those of us who were lucky enough to have called him a friend, we will miss him, his stories, his sense of humor and his presence in our lives. Love to his daughters Kelly and Tracy, and his Wife Olga, who are some of the nicest people I have ever met.Andy Z
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