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© James Cumpsty
THE BEATLES IN THE USA: There are iconic drum kits, and then there's Ringo's Ludwig kit.
There's arguably no more recognisable kit in the history of rock and roll, thanks to the style and sound that Ringo wrenched from it. Ringo had four Oyster Black Ludwig kits, each with its own Jazz Festival (14"x5") wood shell snare.
The first two were 20", 12", 14", plus 14" snare and the second two 22",13",16", 14" snare. He played a 20" kit on the Ed Sullivan debut, Feb ’64. He changed to the bigger 22" kit from the end of May 1964.
Although this late ’60s example is not one of the four black Ludwigs (two 20", 12", 14"s and two 22", 13", 16"s) that Ringo Starr actually played with The Beatles (he's kept hold of them for himself), it did feature in the video for ‘Real Love’, the second single that the then-surviving three Beatles cobbled together from old Lennon demos and released in 1996.
The kit belongs to Tommy O’Donnell who bought it brand new in Glasgow. “I got the kit when I was 16,in 1969,” he says. “All the bands were using them, but it was tremendously expensive. I got Paiste 602 hi-hats anda 602 22" ride at the same time and with the HP (purchase agreement) it cost me £650.”