1967 Ludwig Hollywood Maple Kit   Kit Number 6

Most think that Ringo obtained his maple kit at the start of the Let It Be (Get Back) sessions. The truth is that he took possession of this kit on September 11, 1968, the same day the Beatles started work on Glass Onion. 


So, why switch from oyster black pearl kit to a maple?


In early ’68, The Beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India, to study transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and a few friends, which included musician Donovan Leitch. There, Donovan shared a thought with John, Paul and George, telling them that a guitar sounded better without a heavy finish. After returning to London, during sessions for the self-titled White Album, both John Lennon and George Harrison sanded the finishes off their Casino model guitars. George said that once they’d removed the finish, they became much better guitars. “I think that works on a lot of guitars,” he explained. “If you take the paint and varnish off and get the bare wood, it seems to sort of breathe.” Paul followed suit by removing the finish from his Rickenbacker bass guitar. Because of this mindset, a natural maple drum kit was ordered. The thought was that the plastic wrap drum finish restricted the sound of the drums. 

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Scott Robert Ritchie


8"x12" - Tom (Keystone badge # 469170 / Black stamp date: MAR 24 1967)

9"x13" - Tom (Keystone badge # 464609 / Black stamp date: MAR 28 1967)

16"x16" - Floor Tom (Keystone badge # 466825 / Black Stamp Date: )

14"x22" - Bass Drum (Keystone badge # 470730 / Black stamp date: MAR 24 1967)


Spurlock Direct Pull hi-hat stand (Model 1123)

Buck Rogers snare stand (Model 1358)

Speed King bass drum pedal (Model 201)

Cymbal stands (Model 1400)

Dual Tom Floor Stand (Model 1345-1)

Some interesting facts:

All toms have Chrome Over Brass (COB) rims

Cotton was found inside of the top lugs of the 16"x16" floor tom

A Drum City label was found inside of the bass drum shell. It is located at the top front next to the reinforcement ring

Scott Robert Ritchie

Dick Schory, Ludwig’s liaison between Brian Epstein & Drum City remembers working on the order. One interesting point that cannot be explained are the stamp dates on the kit. It was ordered in the summer of 1968 but the stamp dates are March of 1967.

The Let It Be album / movie project was originally called Get Back. They, meaning The Beatles, wanted everything to be like it was in the beginning, very “NATURAL” and recorded live with minimal editing and post-production work. John apparently was adamant about this.

A nice rear view of Ringo behind his Maple kit. The backrest on his seat homemade. During the Abbey Road album sessions, Ringo began using a Sonor stool.

Ludwig Weather Master Heads

Ludwig Calfskin heads

Though this kit came with calfskin heads, they weren’t always used. When the Beatles rehearsed at Twickenham Studios for the Get Back sessions, and performed on the roof of Apple, Ludwig Weather King heads were used. Calfskins were later used for the Abbey Road album. 

1971 - Here's a rare photo of Mal Evans behind Ringo's maple kit on June 1, 1971.

Ringo played on B.B. Kings "B.B. King - In London" album.

Here's an interesting photo of Ringo's son, Zak, using the toms from the maple kit, post Beatles.

2005 - Ringo Recording Choose Love

2013 - Grammy Museum | Los Angeles, CA

Ringo In Studio

1972 - Ringo used his Maple kit at the Concert For Bangladesh.

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