1964 Ludwig Super Classic Oyster Black Pearl
Kit Number 4
After the Beatles first visit to the US, the Ludwig Drum Company assigned Dick Schory to be the liaison between Drum City and Brian Epstein. Dick explained to me the growing concern about the band’s upcoming world-tour, performing in large non theater venues that were not the norm for that time. Ludwig sent larger sized drums for Ringo to try, looking for something that would project more sound. Ringo decided on a Super Classic model. The oyster black pearl kit along with another Jazz Festival was shipped to Drum City. Upon arrival, the Ludwig tom mounting bracket and consolette were removed and a Rogers Swiv-o-matic tom mount was installed. In addition, the front bass drumhead was replaced with a new Beatles drop-T logo head.
The first song that Ringo recorded with this drum set was Matchbox, on June 1, 1964. This was Ringo's workhorse from May 31, 1964 thru September 11, 1968 when he began using his Ludwig Hollywood maple kit.
I Feel Fine (Drum track)
Here are photos of Ringo with his 1964 Ludwig Super Classic drum kit on June,25 1967. The Beatles performed 'All You Need Is Love' live to a worldwide audience of 350 million as part of the Our World satellite broadcast. The Beatles drop-T logo drumhead is the 2nd drop-T head on this kit and it was replaced after rehearsals. This is when the orange and yellow LOVE drumhead made its international debut. Many people ask of the heads whereabouts. Here is the long answer; Look at the photo of George with the solid orange head over his right shoulder. This is a screen grab from The Beatles 'Hey Jude' performance on the David Frost Show. Look closely at the drumhead and you can partially see the LOVE painted lettering under the orange paint. The Beatles LOVE and solid orange drumheads are one in the same. From all indicators, this valuable piece is lost to history.
With A Little Help From My Friends
1964 Ludwig Super Classic
9”x13 - Tom (Keystone badge # 33649 / No stamp date found)
16”x16” - Floor Tom (Keystone badge # 33571 / No stamp date found)
14”x22” - Bass Drum (Keystone badge # 89896 / No stamp date found)
3-ply Shells w/ white interiors. Snare, tom, floor tom, bass: Mahogany / Poplar / Mahogany
Keystone badges (16"x16" floor tom has the Keystone badge positioned in the center of the drum)
3-ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany shells with white painted interiors
Baseball bat tone controllers with red or white felt tone control pads (Ludwig changed from red to white early in ’64)
Threaded mount casing with wing-bolt (P-1672)
16.5” floor tom legs with knurled stems
Fold out bass drum spurs with knurled stems (P-1305)
Rogers Swiv-o-matic tom mount assembly
Chrome over brass (COB) tom and floor tom rims
Ticket To Ride - Drums
What a surprise. When I removed to top drumhead from the tom, I was shocked to see this business card inside of the shell. It was there for 50 years (and still is in the drum).
Here’s Dave Golding. I met him in Manchester, England when I gave a talk at the UK Drum Show. Also shown is legendary drummer, Roy Holiday.
I Am The Walrus | Drums
Photo: Gary Astridge
Ringo took possession of this kit on May 31, 1964. Except for The Beatles 1965 tour, He used this kit exclusively through September 11, 1968, at which time he began using his Ludwig Hollywood maple kit. In addition to studio work, this appears in the majority of tours and promotional videos.
Photo: Gary Astridge
Check out these great photos showing the two Rogers tom mounts on Ringo's bass drum. I thought it interesting that the existing holes from the original Ludwig consolette rail mount were not used.
A Day In The Life - Drums
Revolution - Drums