Drummer and Pro-Mark founder Herb Brochstein passed away this week. The multifaceted Brochstein played many roles in the music industry throughout his long career, recording and performing, teaching, owning a drum shop, and, in 1957, launching the Pro-Mark drumstick company.
In a piece on the Pro-Mark website, “The Pro Behind Pro-Mark,” Brochstein recalled the experience that inspired him to create his own line of sticks. “I had bought six pairs of Japanese-made drumsticks from a passing salesman,” Herb said. “I didn’t remember who sold them to me, and I didn’t know what kind of wood they were made from. All I knew was that they were much better quality than domestic sticks.” Brochstein, with the help of Tat Kosaka, went on a quest to find the Japanese factory that had produced the sticks, and soon the Houston-based Pro-Mark was born.
At the 1997 Modern Drummer Festival, Brochstein joined MD founder Ron Spagnardi, Don Lombardi, Roy Burns, and Vic Firth on stage in the Percussion Originators Ensemble. Here’s a clip from that performance; Brochstein is second from left.