"Play me. I will make you happy." - In Memory Of Remo Belli - 1927-2016

April 26, 2016

Remo was an inventor extraordinaire, a business man, father, husband, bold visionary and my dear friend of 54 years. He said, “In order to drum, you must have a good drum and a good drumhead.” In 1957, Remo himself a drummer, imagined a new membrane that could withstand the cold, the heat, the rain and survive the impact, the contact of the drumstick. 

He then created portable hand drums, easy to carry anywhere that anyone could play, young and old alike. His lightweight, inexpensive, durable, and beautiful sounding creations are the gold standard for a lifestyle built on a notion that rhythm, the sonic energy made by a drum, has power. Through the use of his eloquent hand drums and his remarkable energy, rhythm is now a potent force as medicine, a healing agent used to treat cognitive disorders such as Autism, Parkinson’s and a variety of dementia. 

Remo believed he was making a better world filled with the joy of healthy rhythms, creating happiness and fun. He inspired drum circles and group drumming in schools, hospitals or a friendly groove in your living room after dinner. He created hundreds of sound tools used to celebrate the rhythm of life and ride that magic carpet of rhythm to your hearts content. 

If you asked him, who his market was, he’d smile that familiar smile and say, “Everyone!” 

My heart goes out to his family at home and at REMO, Inc.

Bon voyage my old friend,
~Mickey

--- “Through his ongoing efforts, the professional, the enthusiast, children, the elderly, those at risk and those faced with both emotional and physical challenges have been brought the joy of drumming. We mourn his passing and he will be missed by people in all walks of life. His spirit lives on and we will continue to pursue his vision of making drumming available to everyone alive.” ~REMO Company Statement ---

Remo was involved in numerous projects centered around the healing power of music and percussion. He served on the board of many organizations and was a pioneer beyond compare. Take a look at some of our shared passions.

Mr. Remo Belli @ PASIC
A side of Remo we rarely get to see - Mr. Belli participating in a drum circle at PAS.
The sign reads "Shhhh - we're drumming!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j9TOoy-zxQ

Community Drum Circle
"The Drum Circle is a huge jam session. The ultimate goal is not precise rhythmic articulation or perfection of patterned structure, but the ability to entrain and reach the state of a group mind. It is built on cooperation in the groove, but with little reference to any classic styles. So this is a work in constant progress, a phenomenon of the new rhythm culture emerging here in the West."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvnMRHE2enI

Hidden Wings
Hidden Wings Drumming Circle Celebrating the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary
https://youtu.be/syVeaYxnDws

Remo Belli, founder of Remo Drum company, delivered a custom “drum table” May 4 to Santa Ynez Valley Family School as a donation for Hidden Wings, a program for autistic young adults.  The specialized drum table is designed to produce a bandwidth that simulates a heartbeat, which creates a connection to people with autism, the school said. Belli joined in a drum circle with Hidden Wings and Family School students.
http://syvnews.com/news/local/education/drum-maker-grateful-dead-player-helping-local-students/article_4ca96a32-a2d8-11e1-a6a4-0019bb2963f4.html

Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds
College of the Canyon's Cougar Stadium for the 'Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds' World Record Drum Ensemble Event this morning. Approx 7600 6th & 7th Grade Students from the entire Santa Clarita Valley filled the football field in bright colorful shirts and an additional 3000+ filled the stands, all in unison playing drum pads called 'Sound Shapes' provided by Remo, Inc. and lead by Mickey Hart (of Grateful Dead fame) and other celebrity drummers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYNPMKshKiA

Rhythm For Life Early Activities w Mickey Hart, Glen Velez and Bongo Barry
In 1991 Mickey Hart founded Rhythm For Life to study the health benefits of drumming. This video documents some of the early activities of the 
Rhythm-Based Music Therapy movement. Drum Circle techniques are utilized.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1gEjI_vjzU

Music For All / Bands For America
Music for All is one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music making. Music for All is unique in that it combines programming at a national level with arts education advocacy. Music for All has been creating, providing and expanding positively life-changing experiences through music since 1976. Music for All, Inc. was formed through a merger of Bands of America, Inc. and the Music for All Foundation in 2006. Music for All is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization.
https://www.musicforall.org/who-we-are/bios/remo-d-belli

The Percussive Arts Society
PAS: A Community in Rhythm!
Mission: To inspire, educate, and support percussionists and drummers throughout the world.
Vision: To be the global leader in percussion and drumming by providing unparalleled and interactive resources and experiences in percussion education, performance, and research.
http://www.pas.org/pas-news/2016/04/26/pas-remembers-remo-belli

TERI - Campus Of Life
TERI is embarking on our most ambitious project to date, the creation of a state of the art campus. The first facility of its kind, the Campus of Life will be a true center of excellence in the education and empowerment of individuals with developmental disabilities. 
https://www.teriinc.org/remo/

Remo Belli - Clip from 'Sonic Healing' Meet the Masters Video Course
This session meets with music therapist Christine Stevens and pioneering drum maker Remo Belli to reveal the power of percussion to lift the human spirit. Their groundbreaking research related to group drumming demonstrates the ability of rhythm to measurably enhance the immune system. Melinda Witter, a specialist in conflict resolution, tells her courageous story of using percussion workshops in Iraq to bring opposing groups together and Arthur Hull shares how to build community through drum circles.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2BOm9DzrqE

Learn more about Remo.

Having paying gigs by the time he was sixteen was just another day in the life of Remo Belli, founder of REMO drums, and one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met.
A dear friend and colleague for the last 4 decades - it was very hard to hear the news today that he has passed on. He had an amazing life and his vision will live on and effect humanity in many ways, known and unknown.

His contributions to my life, as well as the entire percussion community, will never be forgotten. We shared a passion for world music and exploring rhythm together. He was so curious about the connection between human healing and percussion as therapy. Visit the REMO company website and learn more about the ground breaking programs he helped to develop using drumming and percussion for healing.  http://remo.com/experience/health-and-wellness/

Originally from Indiana, Remo got his start in music by sneaking into small Indiana clubs as a teenager. He started playing drums when he was 12 and went on to become a professional drummer after moving to Los Angeles following some time in the Navy during World War II.  

"The drums attracted me, so I told my dad I wanted to play them. You wouldn’t believe the drum set my uncle helped my parents buy me. I think it was a 26” bass drum with a hanging Chinese tom and cymbal. My first snare was a Gretsch, and we paid fifty cents a week for it." ~Remo Belli

Remo started the company in 1957. He invented the first successful drum skin from a synthetic material, Mylar – because the traditional animal skins were a problem for drummers in the rain or humidity. He got a patent, and the rest became history. Remo’s invention became an industry standard. Continuing to innovate, Remo launched drums using 100% recycled wood fiber in 1983. By the early '90s, however, Reno took note of the growing studies in education and medicine showing the healthy connections to music. He expanded the reach of his company by hosting drum circles for children and adults alike.

"Business is not complicated for me. I'm a golden-rule guy: If I made it and I sent it and it doesn't work, that's my responsibility. I enjoy people; I enjoy the one on one. In running the business, product development and marketing was my responsibility." ~Remo Belli

You can also find some great articles and interviews with Remo here:

MD Spotlight w/Mini Documentary: Remo Belli​
How Time and Circumstance Gave Rise to the King of the Mylar Drumhead
http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2016/03/md-spotlight-wmini-documentary-remo-belli/

How I Did It: Remo Belli
Remo Belli shares how he went from playing the drums to selling them to musicians (and nonmusicians).
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110301/how-i-did-it-remo-belli.html

Watch a May 2015 interview with Remo Belli on KHTS AM-1220
http://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/santa-clarita-based-drumming-icon-remo-belli-dies-from-pneumonia-169959


 





A young Remo in his office.
5000 REMO drums set the World Record for...
Remo with Chalo Eduardo and Mickey
Remo and his kit.
5000 REMO drums set the World Record for...
Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, left,...
Playing REMO at Fare Thee Well
Drumbohead visits UCSF Benioff Children's...
College of Marin 1991 Rhythm for Life...
Remo and some of his babies at the corporate...
Great minds think alike.
Remo Belli handprint on the Hollywood...
5000 REMO drums set the World Record for...
5000 REMO drums set the World Record for...
5000 REMO drums set the World Record for...