RZ died this week–Robert Zildjian, founder of the famous cymbal company, Sabian. Though I don’t personally know the man, I feel sad. Afterall, I’ve invested countless dollars in the products that bear his family’s name, and a few more that bear his company name–even most recently as this past Christmas, which set me back a couple of hundred bucks for a “sweet” crash cymbal.
Suffice it to say, my son is a drummer. And I got to know the brand thanks to his enthusiastic passion to own something great.
And through the brand, I got to know a little something about the man and the bittersweet life that prompted him to go out on his own and start his own company following a dispute with his brother. Both of them were heirs to the Zildjian family secrets and cymbal manufacturing company, but the bitter argument between the two in 1981, resulted in the birth of Sabian.
It’s not a new story. Families in business together break apart all the time. What we may never know is what it was that fractured the family. But what remains, at least for the music world, are two fierce competitors.
And some pretty sweet cymbals.