Necessity is the mother of invention. No one knows this better than Joe Calato, who revolutionized the drumstick industry in 1958. Prior to that time only wood tip sticks were available. Although the sound was great, many drummers were frustrated when their wood tips wore out too quickly. That’s when professional drummer and woodworker, Joe Calato, decided to try to make a stick that would last longer and would offer a new, cutting edge sound.
After much experimenting, Joe perfected the idea. A drumstick with a nylon tip that stayed on, didn’t shatter and produced a sound pleasing to the ear. In fact, the sound was so pleasing that it helped define the musical styles of the day with its signature clarity on the drumheads and ride cymbals.
Joe’s invention marked a revolution in percussion manufacturing and design that continues today. Joe took it as his mission to upgrade the lowly drumstick, beginning with the quality of the wood; the drying of the wood; the famous Regal Tip P.E.F. finish; inspection for straightness of grain, weight, knots, warp; and finally the matching and pairing of the sticks. To this day the drum world credits Joe Calato with establishing modern standards in drumstick crafting.
The nylon tip drumstick was only the beginning of what has become a long list of well-manufactured, inventive products. Regal Tip's brushes are considered the best-selling, best-quality brushes in the world. The company applied its determination to produce quality products to the wide range of brushes it designed for the market. Today this line includes the world's best selling " Classic" model, as well as signature models designed for such brush masters as Clayton Cameron, Jeff Hamilton, Ed Thigpen and John "JR" Robinson. Specialty items, such as the Blasticks, nylon-capped timbale sticks, the Conga Stick, and the Handbourine are a tribute to the company's continuing interest in the design of products that meet the needs of today's players. In2003 Regal Tip introduced one of its most significatnt contributions and inventions...the E-Tip, which is manufactured of nylon, for duability, but offers the warmer sound of wood on the cymbals. Of the three types of tips available to drummers today, two were invented by Regal Tip.
All Regal Tip products continue to be manufactured at the company's facility in Niagara Falls, NY under the watchful eye of 2nd and 3rd generation Calato family members, as well as long-time, dedicated employees.
The Percussive Arts Society recognized Joe's contribution to the percussion world in 2001, when they inducted him into the Hall of Fame.