Originally Posted by jazzgregg
He played Gretsch up until just before his last recording, 'Young at Heart' where he played an awful sounding (and looking) DW set. Apprently they did those set colours as a joke and Tony dug it and kept it.
His Gretsches before that were everything from Broadkasters back in the 60's to likely USA Custom in the 90's.
As for Tony's cymbals? Heh, yeah, Old K's, many famous ones. In the 60's he used an 18" and a 22".
The 70's a 20" and a 22" (at least, sometimes more like another 18")
in the 80's he started using some modern Z's like A's and modern K's and expanded his set up too, I think something like 18" crash, 15" or 16" crash, 22" ride, 18" crash (all in this photo).
He also used 15" hats for most of his career too, I think. To my knowledge he never ever played a K Con, just K's and A's with his ride after 1980 being either a modern K or an A of some sort.
edit- don't take Z's site's word, we've been down that road before. Look at pics and videos instead and see for yourself. That said, that setup on Z's site looks pretty close to his last one.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who hated the sound of those DWs Tony played towards the end of his life.
My jazz cherry was popped listening to my dad's lp of "Four and More". The speed, precision and intensity of Tony's ride cymbal floored me. Soon after I had my own copy of "Four and More" and "Miles Smiles" and never looked back. A few years later my dad took me to hear Tony with his jazz quintet and I was floored again: who on earth played with such fire, such clarity, such originality??? The man could peel paint at 30 yards....
Tony's been my drum idol ever since.