The Pearl Export is a staple beginner drum set, known for its affordable price tag and durable build quality. That is, unless you're buying one that fuelled one of the best-loved UK bands of all time. Original Oasis drummer, Tony McCarroll’s late-'80s Pearl Export kit is up for sale on eBay, priced to attract only the best-heeled of Oasis fans at £41,000/$48,500 (although the ‘Make an offer’ button is present too).
The kit, which will be well-known to Oasis fans was originally bought by McCarroll from Manchester shop, Johnny Roadhouse Music. It was later sold by McCarroll via auction with Christie’s in 2014 with a guide price of £12,000-£15,000.
Notes from the original auction sale state that it was the kit used by McCarroll on Oasis’ debut album, Definitely Maybe, therefore appearing on the band’s earliest hit singles, Supersonic (including appearing in the video) and Live Forever - both featuring drum intros - as well as album stopgap single, Whatever.
It was also used to record Some Might Say - Oasis’ first No.1 hit and McCarroll’s sole contribution to follow-up album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, and featured heavily on early Oasis television appearances and tour dates.
“This drum kit was used by me throughout my time with Oasis, from the very beginning during rehearsals at the Boardwalk in Manchester through touring and the recording of 'Definitely Maybe’.” McCarroll told Christie’s in a 2014 press release, “I have owned the kit ever since and as it is just gathering dust, I have decided to give Oasis fans the opportunity to own it.”
Included in the sale are the four Pearl Export shells: 12”, 13” 16” and 22” bass drum - although McCarroll is often seen playing the kit with only one rack tom - along with McCarroll’s 14”x5.5” Pearl Masters maple snare.
There’s a set of cymbals too - a pair of hi-hats, two crashes and a ride cymbal - and while the listing is light on the details, McCarroll can be seen using a mixture of Sabian and Paiste throughout his tenure in the band. The included images appear to show Paiste hi-hats, a Paiste ride, plus a crash each from Zildjian and Sabian.
The kit is cased in a combination of Pearl gig bags and a heavier-duty vintage hardcase, with a selection of hardware including the tom mounting post, snare stand, hi-hat stand and cymbal stands. A handwritten note from Tony McCarroll as provenance is also partially-pictured, dated 20 June 2014, the date the kit was sold.
Tony McCarroll was the original drummer in Oasis, as well as pre-Oasis incarnation, Rain. His time in the band was turbulent - as documented in his memoir Oasis: The Truth, My Life as Oasis’s drummer. He remained in the band until tensions reached a peak in April 1995, when it was announced that McCarroll was no longer in Oasis, replaced by Alan White.
Four years later, McCarroll attempted to sue Oasis for compensation of royalties, enlisting solicitor Jens Hills who had previously secured £2,000,000 for former Beatles drummer, Pete Best in his battle against the Fab Four.
McCarroll’s case would have set a legal precedent, with the drummer and his legal team seeking 20-percent of the band’s future royalties, including albums McCarroll hadn’t contributed to under the band’s five-album deal with Creation Records. Ultimately, McCarroll settled out-of-court for an undisclosed amount, estimated to have been over £500,000.
In 2021, McCarroll was hospitalised after suffering a heart attack. Addressing his fans from hospital, McCarroll - who is now seemingly back in good health - said, “Wanted to let you know I was admitted to hospital on Thursday after suffering a heart attack on Wednesday night. I’m not quite out of the woods as yet but just want to give a massive big up to our #NHS We are more than fortunate to have such a service! Thank you!!”