Ringo's Beatle Kits
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Any text in this color is information discovered from my personally documenting Ringo's gear. Updates done on a continual basis.
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 live. Now that's rare.
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.
Ringo with Ludwig Expando Bongos
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 the two Ludwig kits shown above. It was rumored that Ringo gave the miniature kit to his son Zak as his first drum kit. According to Andy Babiuk, author of Beatles Gear, the drum sizes of the silver sparkle kit are: 28"x14" bass, 20"x18" floor tom, 16"x11" tom & a 20" snare. He stated that Ringo still owns this kit.
This is an interesting photo showing a back view of the Ludwig silver sparkle kit because of the play wear on the heads and tape, which is sometimes used to adjust the tone of the drums. Is it possible that this kit may have been used on a Beatles recording? (Photo from Andy Babiuk's book Beatles Gear)
Hi hat tambourine bar used during the Let It Be sessions
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.
THE OYSTER BLUE MYTH
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.
WHAT LUDWIG KIT IS THIS?