In 1946, Remo Belli arrived in California, United States, with only 60 dollars in his pocket. After moving from New...
In 1946, Remo Belli arrived in California, United States, with only 60 dollars in his pocket. After moving from New York to Los Angeles, he became a musician, drum store owner of Drum City in Hollywood, and after that, starting in 1956, he built one of the most successful companies in the music industry with the development of the first successful synthetic drumhead, best known as the Weatherking. Drummerszone had the opportunity to talk with Remo for over an hour, resulting in one of the most valuable interviews we ever did. Remo realized over 20 years ago that the music industry was going to be too small for him and Remo Inc. A well put basis and force for the success and innovative power of both Remo and the Company. Remo D. Belli died on April 25, 2016.
Watch Remo Belli in these 14 videos in which he talks very openly about his life, starting from when he was a boy born during the Great Depression. But also about his businesses and his perspective on the music industry, which already became clear for him more than 20 years ago: the music industry was just too small for him and the Remo Company. Remo D. Belli died on April 25, 2016.
The last video is an excerpt of Remo's last annual speech at the NAMM Show on January 21, 2016. The speech was always for worldwide distributors and business contacts and international press. This speech was different than other years. Not only because he gives a short history of the drum head and the first Remo drumhead, moreover because he made it extremely funny, once again showing his relentless energy and positive attitude.
Remo D. Belli is best known the world over for the innovative percussion products he created and the company which he founded. His products today are sold in over 80 countries around the world.
Because of the manpower drain created by World War II, Remo Belli was able to become a professional drummer at 16 while still in high school. After a stint in the Navy, he played with jazz and swing groups and moved to Hollywood, California. He toured with jazz singer Anita O'Day, actress Betty Hutton and trumpeter Billy May.
In 1952, along with associate drummer Roy Harte, Remo Belli opened Drum City, a prestigious and successful Hollywood drum shop catering to professional musicians. Along with dealing with famous percussionists from all over the world, he also serviced the percussion equipment needs of the Hollywood motion picture and television industries. In addition, he gave lessons to celebrities such as Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Mae West, Ralph Edwards, Gary Cooper and Little Ricky.
In 1957 Remo Belli sat behind a set of drums and played for Mae West when she performed in southern California. That gig, he recalled, was one of his last bookings as a band member: that same year Belli became a Mylar drumhead manufacturer...
With the assistance of chemist Sam Muchnick, Remo Belli developed a drum head prototype made of DuPont Mylar. The result was the Remo WeatherKing drum head. It was a revolutionary new product in the percussion industry and led to the founding of his new company: Remo, Inc.
Following the success of the WeatherKing drum head, Remo set about creating additional innovative and exciting products for the percussion industry. From concert halls to football fields, the hallmark of all Remo drum products is true sound, durable wear and the ability to foil the damage of climate changes?the enemy of all percussion instruments. Today the company he founded has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Taiwan and China, and its products are sold in over 100 foreign countries.
Having the heart of a drummer, Remo Belli was interested in far more than just making products. In 1963, he helped found the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) to promote education and the enhancement of Percussive Arts. He also took an active role with the National Association for Music Therapy ? encouraging drumming as a therapeutic activity for children, patients with physical and/or emotional disorders, and as a recreational activity for the ?Well Elderly? community. Strong believers in the power of music making, both he and his wife, Ami Belli, MD have supported and funded scientific drumming research projects and both Remo and Ami are powerful advocates for Recreational Music Making.
Throughout his career, Remo Belli has served on the boards of many organizations in both the music education community and the music products industry, including the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). He has received numerous awards and honors, and although his handprints grace the Rock Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, he is not content to rest on his laurels. Both Remo and Ami Balli maintain rigorous schedules that include traveling throughout the world attending medical conferences and speaking on behalf of the importance of Recreational Music Making and the contribution it can make to both wellness and the quality of life.