Ringo's Percussion, Accessories and the Unique

It was always thought that this Ludwig drum kit was delivered by mistake and used until the NEW Ludwig kit arrived from Manny's Music Store, just in time for the Sunday morning rehearsal.


The truth is that Carroll Musical Instrument Rental located less than a mile away from the theater, supplied rental instruments to the Ed Sullivan Show on a regular basis. The Ludwig white marine pearl kit (5" x 14: snare, 9" x 13" tom 16"x16" floor tom & 14"x20" bass.) seen in these photos was a rental.  Look closely at the photos and you'll see the front and back hoops and you will see small areas of missing black paint. You can also see a missing section of inlay near the top of the front hoop.

Many ask what happened to this particular drum kit. Unfortunately, it has been lost to history.

On September 5, 1964 the Ludwig Drum Company presented Ringo with a gold-plated Supersensitive snare drum as a thank you for choosing to play Ludwig drums. Here's a bottom view of the snare drum as it looks today. Ringo claims that he never played this drum. In fact, he has said that the first and last time that he saw this snare drum was when he gave it to Mal Evans right after he received it. You can see that some of the snare wires are missing in addition to strips of masking tape on the outer portion of the bottom head as well as inside the shell. The two photos below also show wear and missing parts. There is also a strip of medical gauze tape on the inside of the head in the center of the drum. Ringo has no knowledge of using this drum.

This drum was on display that New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan from July 7, 2010 (Ringo's 70th birthday) through December 2010. Press reports during this time, stated that this snare drum was used during the Beatles 1964 US tour. This information is NOT true. NOTE: This was the first time that any of Ringo's drums have ever been on display. This beauty later reappeared for public viewing at the Grammy Museum in LA for the Ringo: Peace & Love exhibit, which took place from April, 2013 through April 2014.

I have documented the Ludwig Silver Sparkle kit and it is in great shape., It's a custom made kit, the drum shell sizes are: 28"x14" bass, 20"x18" floor tom, 16"x11" tom & a 20"x6.5" snare. The snare drum has two dial-up mufflers and Two-Tone Wire-Gut (calf intestine) snares, which were identified in a Ludwig 1960 catalog. Two-Tone snares were used on Ludwig parade / field snare drums. (Thanks to Paul Nieft Jr for this tidbit). The snare stand was modified by having one of the three snare basket arms lengthened to hold the extremely wide drum. This drum kit was sold on December 4, 2015 at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills for $115,200.

During the filming of the Hello Goodbye promo film, Ringo used his 1964 Oyster Black Pearl Super Classic and the two kits. The small White Marine Pearl kit shown above was a Star Micro Bop drum kit aka "Midget Drums." 

Gary Astridge

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Gary Astridge
Gary Astridge
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