Vinnie Colaiuta Leaves Ludwig

vinnie_bannerIt has been a little over a year since Ludwig announced that Vinnie Colaiuta was an official Ludwig artist. I remember when the rumors began that Vinnie was leaving Gretsch and Zildjian. At the time, a quick look at his website revealed that the links to those companies had been replaced with links to Ludwig and Paiste.

Well, guess what?

The Ludwig logo on Mr. C’s website is now absent. In it’s place? A grey box. And to the right of that grey nothingness where the Ludwig logo used to be is the Paiste logo….still firmly in place.

There has been no official word on Colaiuta leaving Ludwig as being a stone cold fact; and I was tipped off to it by a posting on the Vic’s Drum Shop blog. But based on the evidence apparent on Vinnie’s own site, it appears to be highly likely that Ludwig and Vinnie are no more.

A quick look at the Ludwig website shows no Vinnie on their list of artists, either….hmmmm.

Let’s see what happens next.

I know, it’s gossip. But we’re not talking trash about anyone….just watching interesting things happen in the industry we love, with the drummer we all love.


  1. Carl Arena says

    I heard about Vinnie C quitting Ludwig just over two weeks ago. Going to his website I noticed the Ludwig link removed and recently his name removed from their artist roster. who knows what happened. Speculation he may be going back to Yamaha. Screw him!!! I’ve been playing Ludwig since high school 45 years ago and just got a new Classic Maple kit for myself! Vinnie is a great drummer but He’s lost credibility with me. If he loved the drums, he would have worked out something with Ludwig.

    On the subject of endorsements….is it enough for a company to give an artist their equipment to use free of charge in exchange for promoting the product or does a company have to pay an artist to use their equipment? And if an artist gets paid for using a company’s equipment, does that artist sincerely believe in the product or just looking for a paycheck?

  2. Joe says

    Vinnie had made a comment on his @fake_vinnie Twitter account (which is no longer active) that he was very interested in Sakae drums. Sakae was the manufacturer of many of Yamaha’s top lines including Recording Custom, Oak Custom and the Absolute Custom, up till June of this year. Sakae now manufactures drums under their own name.

    • Donnie says

      That fake Vinnie account wasn’t him. It was a parody. I busted the guy out because he said some things I knew would never come out of Vinnie. God riddance

  3. sean says

    Ludwig is a legendary brand and make great drums but I would love to see him play Yamaha again. I just think their drums are a cut above most and I think with their new factory, the drums will be phenomonal. Can’t wait for NAMM 2014 at the Yamaha booth.

    • Carl Arena says

      Starting next week, Vinnie is booked to play with Herbie Hancock in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. So…….you can be pretty sure a visit to Yamaha will be part of his plans.

  4. Mikko says

    Adam and Eve, Vinnie and Yamaha drums. That´s how it is supposed to be. I really hope, that Vinnie is coming back to home.

  5. Chris says

    I’m watching the Kennedy Centre Honours right now. Just saw him play in a group for Herbie Hancock, it was great. It looks like he’s back at Gretsch, as the kit he was playing was his old signature Gretsch.

    • Carl Arena says

      I guess drums really confuse him. Some guys are not sincere and appreciative of the endorsements they have.

      • Joe says

        A lot of players jump from company to company simply for the money. Carmine Appice is the most notorious for doing this. I’ve lost count of how many drum, cymbal and drum head companies he’s endorsed over the years.

        • Carl Arena says

          It’s been going on for years. I’m currently reading the William F Ludwig !! autobiography and he talks about trying to get Gene Krupa as an endorsee. Slingerland paid Gene to endorse. Buddy Rich endorsed Ludwig from 1949-1959 then jumped to Rogers, Slingerland, then back to Ludwig in the later ’70’s, then played his refurbished Radio Kings in the ’80’s till he passed in ’87. Yeah Carmine is notorious….Ludwig, Pearl, Slingerland, Mapex, ddrum currently. Then you have Ringo and Allan White Ludwig all these years and Steve Gadd with Yamaha for 35 years.

          • feldiefeld says

            I think I need to read this book. I always wondered why Weckl and Peart would switch to Sabian. I prefer Zildjian. In fact, I prefer Zildjian so much, that I actually terminated my Sabian endorsement of my own accord just because I didn’t feel right about endorsing them when I realized that I truly preferred Zildjian. It just felt wrong. I’ve endorsed Vic Firth for about 25 years and I LOVE their sticks and feel great about that.

        • feldiefeld says

          I don’t know that much about Carmine, so I can’t say. I heard a great story about Rod Stewart deciding–after Carmine was out of his band—not to ever hire a drummer who put his own name on his bass drum heads, however. That was amusing.

          • Carl Arena says

            Good one. I was considering doing that or initials on my 22″. My 20″ would be too small for that.

      • feldiefeld says

        Pehaps….but I don’t think we really know the story. Who knows why any of these changes were made? I don’t. I just know they happened. The why….? Don’t know.

        • Carl Arena says

          PS….on a side note Re: Sakae. didn’t see Vinny C but both JJ Johnson and Tyler Greenwell from the Tedeschi Trucks band are now playing Sakae. JJ formerly with Ludwig and Tyler with Gretsch, recently too. Go to you tube and search Tedeschi Trucks Band 2013 for Oct or Nov and you will see the Sakae kits.

  6. says

    I’ve also heard Vinnie may be interested in Sakae (sock-eye-eh, as my friend from Osaka says). I have a set. They sound amazing. The hardware is great too !

  7. Carl Arena says

    Vinnie is on the road with Sting in Feb and March. Still no drum link on his site but I’ll bet he was a the NAMM show in Anaheim this weekend.

  8. CWildrick says

    Just my thought, but I wouldn’t necessarily speculate too hard based on what’s on his kick drum head.
    Remember that Vinnie likely has who knows how many kits from over the years, and likely a pretty sizeable store of Gretsch gear given the long term that he was with them (and the fact that he didn’t depart from them too awfully long ago.
    Anything we see him playing currently or in the near future (before new announcements) may well just be something he called for to be sent out of his stash at SIR, or wherever his gear is warehoused.

  9. Brian Jezuit says

    I’ve been playing for 23 years this coming June & I started w/ Zildjian until 11 years ago, when my hero Neil Peart & Sabian made the Paragon line. I’ve come to love the different models that Sabian makes, but am still passionate about some of my favorite Zildjians. As far as I’m concerned, Drum Workshop are the best drums made currently. My 1st Professional kit was a Ludwig Super Classic, then a Sonor Designer Series (both of which I still have & play on occasion), but my DWs are by far the best sounding, best crafted, & best finished drums that I’ve eber sat behind!

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