Ludwig Drums

Since the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, Ludwig's production suddenly tripled. Everyone wanted Ringo's drum kit…

In the early months of 1963, wanting to replace Ringo's old Premier drum kit with a more visually appealing one, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein visited Drum City in London. The owner, Ivor Arbiter, had recently acquired exclusive rights for importing Ludwig drums from the USA but struggled to sell them due to their high price. In the store, Ringo fell in love with the new Black Oyster finish, and when he found out it was a Ludwig color, he immediately said, «Deal!». However, before finalizing the deal, Epstein remarked «Wait, it says Ludwig on the drumhead. The band's name is not Ludwig; it's the Beatles!». So, Arbiter, being a good businessman, didn't want to lose the deal and wanted to promote the brand. He grabbed a piece of paper and sketched the bass drum with both the “Beatles” and “Ludwig” logos. He even came up with the famous elongated “T” in the Beatles logo and had a designer complete it, all for just £5. On May 12, 1963, Ringo received the new kit, and the rest is history.

The one in the photo is a 1963 Ludwig Club Date kit with its 1963 “Ludwig Pioneer” snare drum and the same mid-'60s “Zildjan New Beat” Hi-Hats. The snare drums include a “Ludwig Black Beauty” 100th Anniversary and a mid-'70s “Ludwig Supraphonic”. You can see it in the videos for Get Back, Help!, We Can Work It Out, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Something, Rain and Dear Prudence.


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