I approach the custom drum business in an artist's way. I correspond with you directly and I myself make each drum. In this way you are assured that all of your questions, concerns, and special requests about Orlich drums will be addressed. There are no middle-men. I do not sell wholesale and my drums are not available through music instrument dealers. Orlich drums are made on a limited basis per year, assuring that your investment will rise in value. Each drum is signed and numbered by me and includes your name on the inside of the badge.
Early picture from 1988. Prototype idea for lug attachment (rejected).
How I developed the concept of the actual glass drum.....
My name is John Orlich. Like you, I too am a drummer. Enamored of the British Invasion of rock, I started playing drums in the mid '60s at the age of thirteen. I grew up in Detroit and was surrounded by a wealth of musical talent, from Motown to legendary local acts like the MC5. When I was fifteen, I was asked to join the Stuart Avery Assemblage, a band that played the Detroit-area circuit including gigs at the infamous Grande Ballroom. Our band opened for the Yardbirds; Blood, Sweat, and Tears; Procol Harum; and Alice Cooper, to name a few. Shortly thereafter we landed a record contract with a national label and released an album and '45 which charted nationally. A few years later the group disbanded, but the experience I enjoyed helped me grow as a musician and define my drumming style.
In 1977 I developed an interest in the glass arts. I worked for a number of studios as a designer and fabricator, and eventually had studios of my own on both the east and west coasts. In 1988 I experimented with making a glass drum shell. It was my desire to combine the beauty of glass with the resonance of a quality instrument. After much experimentation I opted for a glass shell comprised of beveled flat panes held together by a superstructure of brass. This meld resulted in a shell that yielded great tonal projection yet put the reins on brashness and unmusical overtone.
And here's a picture twenty-eight years later, in 1998 building an eight-piece Orlich glass kit for Alan White, drummer of "Yes".
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Here's a picture of me from 1970 in the recording studio recording our album.