Vic Firth, percussionist and founder of the Vic Firth Company, has passed away at the age of 85. His company is well known in the music industry for making drumsticks and percussion mallets that are used by many of rock's top drummers.

Among those who have endorsed Firth's products over the years include Hellyeah's Vinnie Paul, Rammstein's Christoph Schneider, Animals as Leaders' Matt Garstka, Social Distortion's Eddie Livingston, Queen's Roger Taylor and Vanilla Fudge's Carmine Appice.

A statement on the Vic Firth Facebook page states:

To our dear friends around the world:

We are heartbroken to share the news with you that Vic has passed away.

Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people, but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made.

Vic’s spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words.

Firth founded his company in 1963 and became a force in the industry. In 2010, the company merged with the Avedis Zildjian Company. Firth grew up in Sanford, Maine, as part of a musical family. By the time he reached high school, he devoted himself to playing percussion instruments.

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