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“Charlie is very much known as the Gretsch player, but as we point out in the book, he was playing Ludwig throughout the bulk of the ‘60s. He’s said that this was because he saw Ringo with his cool, American-made Ludwig set, so he went off and got his in a different color.
“At the end of the ‘60s, Charlie started to add new pieces; for a time, he would have kits that were both Gretsch and Ludwig. He had a few Gretsch kits throughout most of the ‘70s, but it wasn’t until ’78 that he got the famous ’57 Gretsch round badge kit. He’s been playing it ever since.
“The kit’s been refinished. It actually came from SIR in Los Angeles. Charlie was playing on a Ronnie Wood session, and SIR showed up with this kit. He fell in love with it and persuaded SIR to sell it to him.
“He interchanges a lot of his cymbals. The most important one here is the flat ride. No one seems to know what it is, though. One day, Charlie walked into a music store in France, saw this cymbal, bought it and has used it ever since. He loves cool old stuff. He still uses a Speed King pedal that’s pretty ancient.
“He’s very meticulous – won’t clean his cymbals, won’t change anything once he’s set on it. The wing nuts even have to face a certain direction. The clothes hanger is for Charlie: After soundcheck, he hangs his jacket up and puts out a little sign that says, ‘Open.’ Once he’s done with soundcheck, he flips it back: ‘Closed.’ You gotta love that."