Was the Drumstick company Eric Carr used while the drummer for KISS.
Regal tip has been the champion in Drumsticks and Drummer supplies. We are proud to be able to interview Nick Mason,
Regal tip Artist relations, who will take us through the history of Regal tip and the many years they have partnered with Eric Carr
and still till, today feature a beautiful, Eric Carr white signature stick. Sit back and enjoy. Remember below is a link, so you can visit
Regal tip and see for yourself, why they are the leaders in the industry!

 

July, 2005 Interview with:

Nick Mason
Regal Tip Artist Relations

Q: Please give us a brief history of the Calato Company and the Regal Tip brand.

Regal Tip is a 50 year old company that was started by drummer Joe Calato ( MEET THE MAN WHO STARTED IT ALL ) when he invented the nylon tip drumstick. The invention was the result of his desire to design a stick with a tip that wouldn't chip or wear. Joe also is credited with significantly improving the quality of drumsticks. For example, no one paired sticks before Regal Tip. Joe also developed a special finish, making Regal Tip the best gripping stick in the world. Word about the new stick spread quickly among drummers and it was soon being used around the world. Regal Tip then added a line of wood tip sticks and began developing a line of brushes. Regal Tip is second to none in the drum brush business and once again is credited with having the highest quality brushes on the market today. The Regal Tip line has expanded over the years to include timpani mallets, marching sticks, practice pads and an ever-growing array of specialty sticks. Two years ago, Joe invented what just may become the most significant development in drumsticks of the 21st century. His new E-series drumstick has a newly designed tip which brings out dark, warm cymbal tones, like a wood tip. So now Regal Tip offers drummers the durability of nylon with the sound of wood

Q: What are the advantages of nylon tips versus traditional wooden tip drumsticks?

A nylon tip lasts much longer than a wood tip and it won't splinter and chip like wood. The nylon tip also produces a brighter sound on cymbals which some drummers prefer, in general. Some drummers will switch between wood and nylon, depending on the playing situation.

Q: How did your company first become acquainted with Eric Carr?

We got to know Eric when he replaced Peter Criss with KISS.

Q: What do you remember most about Eric?

Eric's enthusiasm and talent gave KISS an immediate resurgence that no one expected. That is why he was so easily accepted by loyal KISS fans. And his warmth and personality came out on stage. He was always energetic and always smiling, we loved working with Eric.

 

Q: How involved was Eric and/or his drum techs in the design and color choices of his signature model drumsticks?

Eric fell in love with the balance and feel of Regal Tip sticks and never really felt a need to change the sticks...he used a2B nylon. However, he frequently wanted to change the look of the sticks to coincide with different tours. That is why there are so many versions of Eric's 2B model.

 

Q: How many pairs of sticks would Eric typically order for a tour?

He would normally go through 200 pair of sticks per tour. We'd send one gross at the beginning of the tour and another sometime into the tour. When KISS played in our area (Buffalo/Niagara Falls) we'd often bring sticks to the show and hand deliver them.

Q: These appear to be made with a metal stamp and resemble Eric's early 1982-3 era signature and logo. When might these have been made?

Regal Tip printed sticks with an ink roller system until early 1981 and then switched to hot-leaf printing. A brass stamp issued for hot leaf printing and an impression is left in the wood. So these sticks were made sometime between 1981 and 1987, when we began silk-screening sticks.

Q: When did you first begin to make painted sticks?

Regal Tip first experimented with colored sticks in the early 1980's and launched its Colors by Calato series in 1982.

Q: Rumor has it these may have also been made in orange?

The sticks must have been made in red because the only colors we ever produced were Red, Black, Blue, Yellow and White. Perhaps the red looks orange-red in certain light or faded.

Q: These were Eric's first signature model sticks circa 1982, correct?

As far as we can recall, yes.

 

Q: When would this version have been made with the KISS logo next to his name instead of underneath??

Eric seemed to always want a different look on his sticks, which was very limited with our hot leaf printing process, so we would sometimes change the location of the print for him. Also there were actually two different hot leaf stamps made for him in slightly different sizes.

Q: And is the signature brown or black ink? (They look black in photos, but look brown upon personal inspection.)

Our hot leaf prints were predominantly brown, except on our darker colored sticks, which were white.

Q: Were any Regal Tip signature models made for Eric between 1984-1986? (I have only been unable to find Rug Caddy and ProMarks).

There was a brief time when Eric experimented with other drumsticks. As he explained, he was constantly asked to try competitors sticks. But we continued to make sticks for Eric.

 

Q: If so, what did his signature models look like?

They would have been the same as the 1983 models.

Q: And if not, was any reason given as to why Eric temporarily switched drumstick companies?

Eric remained on our endorser list and, to the best of our knowledge, never signed with another company. Therefore, he never really left Regal Tip.

Q: In 1987, there was an explosion of different color combinations for Eric's sticks (black on wood, silver on wood, silver on white, silver on eggshell). How did that come about?

As previously noted, Eric always wanted to change the look of his sticks. In 1987 Regal Tip started silk-screening the sticks. This made it much easier for us to change color, style of print, design, etc.

Q: It also appears a different signature was now being used?

Once again, because of our new printing process we could easily change fonts. We must have done so at Eric's request.

Q: These also appear to have been made in 1987, although no one can seem to remember Eric actually playing with this color stick. Was this a test color?

We believe this was just a test color, along with other prints that Eric never actually ordered but only tried out.

 

Q: When might have this pair featuring the green "stick man" logo have been made?

Eric received some of the first ever sticks to be printed with the company Stick-man logo on them. According to our records, the logo was adopted around 1990.

Q: Much evidence seems to point to THIS pair of sticks being the last version of sticks Eric used before being taken from us: These drumsticks without the green stickman figure were handed out by Eric at his final ever live performance (at Madison Square Garden on 11/9/1990). A few pairs like this without the green stickman figure were left with his estate. After the tour, one of his road cases was filled with 13 pairs of non-signature model sticks bearing the same thin Regal Tip logo as these, but again no green stickman figure.)

 

They may have been left over stock before the stick man was added and anything he received without his signature was probably due to time restraints. Often an artist runs low on sticks and needs them sent over-night to a venue or hotel. If they have a signature model and we are out of it, or we don't have time to print them, the artist will receive normal stock.

Q: Tell us about the Eric Carr signature models your company still makes today.

We currently make a 2B nylon tip stick that has a white finish on it. Eric's signature, along with a drawing of his KISS makeup, is printed on them in black.

Q: Are there any new product lines coming out that have you excited?

 

Regal Tip has just launched a new line call the E-Series. The E-Series has a new tip that will last much longer than wood, yet still give the darker tones drummers are used to hearing from a wood tip.

 

Nick Mason
Regal Tip Artist Relations

 

 

We want to thank Nick and all our
friends at Regal tip, who have always been kind and helpful, to the memory of Eric.

Special thanks to Carol Calato and thanks to , Karen and Paul. Keep up the awesome work!

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