​​Ringo's Beatle Kits


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Photo: Gary Astridge

It was always thought that this drum kit was delivered by mistake and used until the NEW Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl kit arrived from Manny's Music Store, just in time for the Sunday morning rehearsal. New information has come to light that  another Music Store a few blocks from the theater often rented gear to the Ed Sullivan Show. This WAS a rental kit, which makes sense, especially with seeing the older style hardware. Manny's Music Store delivered Ringo's new Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl kit in time for Sunday morning rehearsals.

Photo: Gary Astridge

Look closely at 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.

Photo: Gary Astridge

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.

The day before the show, Manny's delivered a used Ludwig White Marine Pearl Super Classic kit. Ringo used this kit for Saturday's rehearsal and Ringo's new Oyster Black Pearl kit was delivered for the Sunday morning dress rehearsal.

These two Ludwig tambourines were used during the recording of Hey Bulldog. Interesting to see Paul using a tea towel to help protect his hand from blistering. These tambourines are very heavy and hard to control over a period of time.

This is an actual set of Ludwig Expando Tuning Bongos

Photo: Gary Astridge

Other Percussion

Photo: Gary Astridge

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.

Ringo using a cowbell live. Now that's rare.

Here's a set of Ludwig Expando bongos as seen in the movie A Hard Day's Night. Note the creative tuning design.

Here's a set of Premier bongo's that Ringo was using in 1963

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.

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. You can also see 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.

It would be interesting to ask Ringo's son, Zak, if he remembers using this snare drum.

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." It was rumored that Ringo gave this kit to his son Zak as his first drum kit.  

These are photos of Ringo using a set on ASBA conga drums during the recording of A Day In The Life. Here's a link with more information, which was provided by Brendan Peleolazar:

Ringo using a set of timpani drums during the recording of Every Little Thing.

These are a set of Tabla drums found at Abbey Road studios

Here is the hi hat tambourine bar used during the Let It Be sessions. I am not sure of the manufacturer BUT I have found two during my years of collecting. I have these reproduced to original specifications and sell them at Shop.RingosBeatleKits.com.

This is a Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl (OBP) Jazz Festival snare drum with a four digit badge number (6734). This badge number helped determine that this drum came with Ringo's second OBP drum kit, which was purchased at Manny's Music Store in Manhattan on February 9, 1964. 

When The Beatles first came to the US in 64', Ringo brought with him a new Beatles logo drum head, his cymbals and the OBP snare drum from his first Ludwig OBP kit, which was left behind in the UK. The purchase of the second OBP kit was prearranged for the reason that in the near future, Ringo was going to need one kit for the recording studio and another for the movie set of A Hard Day's Night. Filming was scheduled to start shortly after the band return to England. 

It just so happened that Ringo used his first OBP snare drum throughout his time with The Beatles. All photos, videos, film clips and first hand accounts verify this as fact. The snare drum shown above may have been used by Ringo in the studio but there is no public documentation to verify. What has been verified is that Paul McCartney did use this snare drum.

When recorded his first solo album "McCartney", he borrowed a combination of first two drum kits. He used the bass drum and tom from Ringo's first OBP and the snare drum and floor tom from his second. Paul continued to used this mixed kit when his began recording some of his initial Wings tunes.


​This snare drum was sold at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills on December 4, 2015 for $75,000 to an anonymous buyer.