Each month Rhythm Magazine tracks-down vintage gear in order to important moments in drum-making history.
This Zickos Plexiglas (acrylic) set is a rare example of the first ever commercially-produced plastic drum kits.
Bill Zickos was a big band jazz drummer who owned a music store in Kansas City, USA, during the 1950s. Towards the end of the ’50s he started to experiment with making plastic drums, but it was 1969 before he got his first big name convert, Ron Bushy of Iron Butterfly.
He soon got further orders and, although he patented the acrylic drums concept in 1970, it was not long before Ludwig and everyone else started to market their own plastic kits.
Acrylic kits went out of fashion in the late 1970s and Zickos disappeared until Bill and his stepson John revived production from the late 1990s.