We photographed Steve’s Blue Note as it appears in the catalogue shots, complete with bongos, cowbells and canister throne.
There are two 22x14-inch bass drums, 12x8-inch, 13x9-inch, 16x16-inch and 18x16-inch toms. Earlier Blue Notes had paired 12x8-inches, but by 1967 one had been replaced by a 13x9-inch.
The Blue Note also included a matching wood shell Jazz Festival snare right up till the final 1971 catalogue shot, which has a metal-shelled SupraPhonic 400. The original snare is the only piece missing from Steve’s kit and he’s provided a 400 for the pictures. It’s likely many late-’60s drummers would in any case have requested a 400 snare.
There are two other fascinating things about Steve’s kit. Look closely you’ll see the 18-inch tom and canister throne have the earlier, Ringo-style Oyster Black Pearl wrap, while the rest of the kit has a transitional, slightly lighter-patterned Oyster Black.
Soon after this Ludwig went to a noticeably different Oyster Black, usually called ‘bowling ball’. Inside the shells, the reason becomes clear. The 18-inch and canister have clear mahogany shells which would probably have been made in the late-’50s.
The rest of the drums have maple shells. However, they are all dated July 1969, which indicates when the kit was put together in the factory. It would seem Ludwig had these two items hanging around for years (they probably sold very few 18-inch toms and canisters) and conveniently made up the Blue Note with them in 1969.