Ringo's first Ludwig Downbeat Oyster Black Pearl 

Kit Number 2

Photo: Scott Robert Ritchie
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I think that we've all heard the story dating back to early 1963 when Brian Epstein and Ringo Starr went to the Drum City music shop on 114 Shaftesbury Avenue in London to purchase a new drum kit for Ringo. Drum City was owned by Ivor Arbiter and was London's new Ludwig distributor. The condensed version is that Ringo was drawn to the American made Ludwig drum kit that he saw in the shop. In a conversation, Ringo stated that he wanted the smaller sized kit. In addition, he opted for a Jazz Festival snare drum, which had to be ordered. When asked why he chose a Jazz Fest over the traditional 4x14 Downbeat, e said that he wanted a deeper sound for the studio. 55 years later he would learn that his supposed 5x14 Jazz Festival was actually 5.5x14.

To here's Ringo telling the story of that day as he remembers it, click on the Drum City photo.

Ringo took possession of his new Ludwig drum set on May 12, 1963. The kit was delivered by Gerry Evans (store manager) and Mark Goodwin of Drum City to the Alpha Television Studios in Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire. The Beatles were making their first appearance as headliners on Thank Your Lucky Stars. Ringo last used his Premier kit during the rehearsal and he Ludwig kit for the performance.

FIRST LUDWIG OYSTER BLACK PEARL KIT:

5.5"x 14" Jazz Festival snare drum (Pre-serial Keystone badge / Red ink stamp date: APR 18 1963)

8"x12" Tom

14"x14" Floor Tom

14"x20" Bass Drum (clear interior)

Photo: Scott Robert Ritchie

Ringo took possession of his new Ludwig drum set on May 12, 1963. The kit was delivered by Gerry Evans (store manager) and Mark Goodwin of Drum City to the Alpha Television Studios in Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire. The Beatles were making their first appearance as headliners on Thank Your Lucky Stars. Ringo last used his Premier kit during the rehearsal and he Ludwig kit for the performance.

Photo: Scott Robert Ritchie

FIRST LUDWIG KIT HARDWARE:

Speed King bass drum pedal (Model 201)

Flat base cymbal stand (Model 1400) [1]

An Olympic cymbal stand was also used

Flat base snare drum stand (Model 1363)

Flat base hi-hat stand (Model 1121)

Bass drum anchor (Walberg & Auge Model 1304) 

Note: Photo evidence indicates that only one Ludwig model 1400 cymbal stand may have been purchased with the first Ludwig kit. You can see Olympic cymbal stands also being used.

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