Ringo's Beatle Kits
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 The Beatles in 3D Fab Four Exhibits
Any text in this color is information discovered from my personally documenting Ringo's gear. Updates done on a continual basis.

Other Percussion

Other Percussion

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

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.

Ringo using a cowbell

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

Ringo with Timpani Drums

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

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.


Ludwig tuneable bongos used at Abbey Road Studios

Ringo with Ludwig Expando Bongos

Ringo playing Ludwig Bongo Drums

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

This is an actual set of Ludwig Expando Tuning Bongos


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:

http://www.andyyouell.com/asbadrums.com/reference/aboutasba.htm. Thanks, Brendan!


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. 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..


This drum was on display that New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in Mannhattan 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.

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


During the filming of the Hello Goodbye promo film, Ringo used  his 1964 Oyster Black Pearl Super Classic and the two kits shown above. The small White Marine Pearl kit 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.  

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 the strand snare wires are a combination of wire and what I would say is organic strands (for the lack of a better term) that were connected together. The snare stand was modified by having one of the three snare basket arms lengthened to hold the extremely wide drum.

This one-of-a-kind 1967 Ludwig drum kit was used by Ringo Starr while filming a promotional clip of The Beatles miming to their new single, Hello Goodbye, on November 10, 1967 at the Saville Theatre in London.  This custom drum kit had two shells dated OCT 4 1967. This kit was built and immediately shipped to London for the shoot.  Its big moment in the clip came during the break in the song where Ringo plays his trademark fills and towards the end of the film. The finished clip was shown in the US on the Sunday, November 26, 1967 broadcast of the Ed Sullivan Show. The Hello Goodbye video can be viewed here.

Hi hat tambourine bar used during the Let It Be sessions

Drum Revelations

Two Rack Tom Set Up Before Maple Kit

Below is a cropped photo from Andy Babiuk's book Beatles Gear. I would like you to focus on the added tom mount dead center on the top of the bass drum. For those that do not know, it is a Rogers Swiv-O-Matic dual tom mounting bracket.

The two photos below were captured from the George Harrison video "When We Was Fab." Coincidently, I recently discovered that Ringo actually used this set up as a Beatle, prior to obtaining his Hollywood maple kit. Stay tuned for more information.


Two Bass Drums? Two Bass Drums!

The photo below reveals is that at some point when Ringo had his maple kit, he experimented with using two bass drums. A 14x22 oyster black pearl bass is seen at the bottom right of the photo with the front head off. The tom in full view is the 8"x12" tom from his maple kit. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the Drum City label on the upper right side of the drum for verification. This set up would also explain why Ringo had the Ludwig dual tom mount stand that we see in the movie Let It Be. 



Some believe that Ringo used, owned and/or played a oyster blue pearl Ludwig kit. This simply is not true. The above photo was taken on February 15, 1964 when The Beatles rehearsed at the Deauville Hotel in Miami, Florida. Pictures such as the one above add to this false notion. Reasons for the blue range from the camera flash to stage lighting to altered photo, film and video colorization.


This Ludwig White Marine Pearl Super Classic kit was a loaner. Look closely at the front hoop and you will not only see chipped off black paint but a section of missing White Marine Pearl inlay near the top of the drum. 
Ringo w White Pearl kit at Sullivan rehearsal

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. The BIG question is when did Ringo's OBP kit arrive? Was it late Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning and why the delay? Some things we may never know.

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