Norwell, Massachusetts, USA — 31 October 2006 - Drumming icon Charlie Watts of the world-renowned Rolling Stones made his first visit to the Zildjian Factory on September 21st, 2006, following the Rolling Stones kicking off the US leg of their “Bigger Bang” tour at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 20th.
According to John DeChristopher, Zildjian’s Vice President, Artist Relations & Event Marketing Worldwide, Charlie has had an open invitation to visit the Zildjian Factory for many years, but had never been able to fit it into his and the band’s busy schedule. This time the timing worked out perfectly for Charlie and saxophonist Tim Ries, to spend the entire day at the Zildjian Factory.
From L-R: Paul Francis (Research & Design/Quality Manager), John DeChristopher (VP, Artist Relations & Event Marketing Worldwide), Craigie Zildjian (CEO), Charlie Watts, Debbie Zildjian (VP, Human Resources) & Tim Ries (Saxophonist for the Rolling Stones).
During the visit, Charlie spent time in Zildjian’s famous “Hall of Fame” looking at photos of all his jazz heroes and the rich history associated with Zildjian. He also spent time in the “Drummers Lounge” selecting cymbals to use with the Stones and his jazz band. Other highlights of his visit included a factory tour conducted by Research & Design/Quality Manager, Paul Francis, watching Emily Zildjian (daughter of Debbie Zildjian) lathe a cymbal and seeing the entire manufacturing process. Charlie commented, “Well, it took me 40 years, but I finally got here.”
Afterward, Charlie joined John DeChristopher, Craigie Zildjian and Debbie Zildjian in John’s office where John presented Charlie with a 1960s A Zildjian 16” crash he had been saving for Charlie. After tapping the cymbal with his finger Charlie said, “I prefer older drums and cymbals, and this cymbal is lovely”.
Commented John DeChristopher, “It was thrilling beyond words to have Charlie spend the day with us. Needless to say, he’s very special and we’re honored to enjoy a great relationship with him.”