Ringo Starr


Junior Member
This is a picture of Ringo at his first Beatles recording session, 9/4/62, using his Premier Drum kit, which he would soon replace with the Ludwig kit after seeing session drummer Andy White use a Ludwig kit on 9/10/62.

http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/1962/62.09.04 emi/thumbs/21.jpg

Here are some more photos of Ringo using his original Premier Drum Kit. Most drummers have commented that they had different sound and feel than the Ludwig kits.

http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/1962/62.09.XX majestic 1/fall62majestic.html
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Platinum Member
I posted this on another site in response to the 13 reason to respect Ringo and 20 years ago I would have agreed with those reasons

I'm not familiar with the 13 reasons and can only get a basic idea based off what you've written to counter them.

From what I can gather, I don't think I'd actually rate many of them though. Hard to take a lot of it seriously to be honest. If things like volume, drum risers, grip and brand of kit are being used to so push the Ringo cause then you're bound to be disappointed. What did you expect? They are truly feeble arguments to begin with. They serve no purpose in highlighting anything that endears him to people in the first place.


*To say that all the drumming in the ‘50s were heavy is a little too much, there were all kinds of drumming: sutile, heavy, jazz-tainted, country-orientated, good, bad, loud and soft, it all depended on what artist was recording and who was producing. Besides, on those days ¿who really, REALLY knew the name of the drummer of Elvis, Berry, Perkins or any other star?
*The thing with Ringo and his grip, his use of risers, his loud drumming sound, etc, it all comes from one thing and one thing only: Visibility. Because he was with the Beatles he was everywhere: TV, newspapers, magazines, even movies. 73 million people in 23.240.000 homes watched the lads on the first Ed Sullivan Show and 70 million in 22.450.000 on the second show ¿who could be more influential at that time? He was not only a very fine drummer, kids looked at him and said: if he can play I can too. He didn't looked like a hero and kids liked that. As simple as that. ¿Was he really influential? Well, you could ask the Ludwig guys, they had more then $6 millions in profits in ’63 and in’64 they double that numbers, all thanks to Ringo. For three years they sold drum kits like crazy, working 24/7 to fulfill the orders. And he played those kits really loud. Listen to him and his Premier kit in the first Beatle LP. He was loud, period. Ask D.J.Fontana if Ringo was good at time-keeping.
*They were hearing rock’n’roll at nights in England, Radio Luxembourg specifically transmitted at 8 o’clock from the continent. They heard Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & the Comets, Carl Perkins, Little Richard and minor acts like Freddie Bell & the Bellboys.
*Ringo bought his first drum kit, a single-head Ajax kit, british made, in the summer of ’58, 46 quid, I believe. In november he joined Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, he used his Ajax all the way through november ’61 when he bought a Premier kit in Mahogany Duroplastic finish, either in Hessy’s or Rushworths. He used that kit when he joined the Beatles, he recorded their first LP with it and played with it up until May’63. He, along with Brian Epstein bought his first Ludwig kit at Ivor Arbiter’s Drum City shop in London. He fulfilled the order or, for better say, Brian Epstein did for him in late April and the kit was delivered to him in May 12th 1963 just in time to appear on TV, the show was Thank Your Lucky Stars, taped on Alpha Television Studios, Aston, Birmingham and aired on the 18th. His Premier kit was included in the purchase, displayed on Drum City’s window and later sold to an australian guy.
*The drummer was a position that the Beatles never really fulfilled until Pete Best arrived. And he was only taken because they needed a drummer to go to Hamburg. Allan Williams arranged the trip of the Beatles in early August, 1960. Pete made an audition in August 12th and they made their debut at the Indra Club of Bruno Koschmider the 17th. So, is safe to say that Best become part of the band just because they desperately needed a drummer. Besides, Pete was just an average drummer, adequate to make girls scream and wet their panties but nothing else. Specially for recording purposes he was useless. And he never, NEVER could have played what Ringo did, listen to those Decca tapes, he was a pointless, mediocre, uninspiring drummer. He didn’t merge with the others, he was quiet, distant, kind of apathetic whenever the others were frantic, crazy, wild.
*¿Were they jealous of Pete because of his good looks? You bet, but still he was a mediocre drummer. He was bound to be dismissed from the band as early as January’62 when they failed at the Decca audition. The boys didn’t told him right away that they failed, they “forgot” to tell him. Then George went to Ringo’s house to talk with his family about Ringo joining the band. And John and Paul traveled to Skegnes to talk to Ringo. He didn’t comment this talk with Rory Storm. In August 14th John telephoned Ringo while he was at Skgness with Rory and offered the job. Pete played with them for the last time at The Cavern on the 15th and then Johnny Hutchison(of The Big Three) replaced him on two gigs on 16/17th and then Ringo joined them the 18th at Hulme Hall, Birkenhead. In August 22th they were filmed at The Cavern.
* The Big Question: ¿why they didn’t approached Ringo before? Well, he was playing with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, a big name in Liverpool in those days but they were going nowhere, playing the same songs over and over. When the lads called him in 1962, they had a recording contract and that was atractive enough to get Ringo. Without it, they were at the same point that the Hurricanes.
*The story about Bobby Graham being asked by Epstein to play with the Beatles in June’62, well...Pete was their drummer in June’62 and wasn’t dismissed until August 16 so...go figure. I checked a few Beatles forums and websites and couldn’t find a thing about it but ¿why Brian would ask a professional drummer to join his then-unknown band?
*The same with the story about Andy White claiming that he played in the Please, Please Me version that’s on their first LP, that he can recognized the way he tuned his drums and that Ringo bought a Ludwig kit because of his kit...White recorded a version of that song but it was the slow version of it. Right after that recording George Martin told John and Paul that the song would be better if they increased the tempo and worked out some better, tighter harmonies.They did their homework for the November 26th session in wich they recorded the version we all know now...with Ringo on drums. And some have claimed that Ringo liked Ludwig because he had played in Tony Mansfield’s kit(he was the Dakotas’drummer). White played at de September 11th session, Ringo bought his kit in late April'63 ¿because of White using the same? Hmmmm.
*¿Isn’t really weird that we are still discussing about Ringo(and sometimes bashing him) 40-something years after the Beatles broke up? ¿Is this all necessary after all?

PS: excuse my somewhat poor english.

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Which snare drum has he been using on tour with his All Star band?
I checked Ludwig's Artist page but no luck.


Platinum Member
Which snare drum has he been using on tour with his All Star band?
I checked Ludwig's Artist page but no luck.

I'd bet even money he's using a Legacy 5.5 or 6.5 x14.He was using a 6.5 with a double row of small classic lugs on the black sparkle "star" kit.

Steve B


Junior Member
Ringo was a major influence on me when I first started playing about 5 years ago. Sure he wasn't the reason why I picked up sticks (it was actually my brother's high school marching band, which I was later a part of) but my favorite band at the time, and still is, The Beatles, so I sat down and drummed along to Ringo tracks. I absolutly love him. Plus I saw him live, so eat that!

Even though now I've moved on and I'm jamming with Cream, Hendrix, Deep Purple, and The Who, I still go back to my all-time favorite band and lay down some 'slightly' more complicated fills on top of Ringo's. Its so much fun, he is such a great drummer. I still have trouble playing the End solo :(

Even compared with all the drummers of today, just take a listen to Abbey Road, and on it you'll hear some of the best drumming of all time. Even if you aren't impressed with his skill, listen to his drum sound. It is unmatched before and since. Those toms just give me the willies when I hear them!

trouble with the solo u kidding correct, I can do inagaddavida solo so...... but Ringo ya love the snare sound he had


Gold Member
Some drummers rip into Ringo as a simpleton drummer. I think where they miss the boat is that you have to put the Beatles into context. Their trademark that swept across the globe were those harmonizing vocals. When you have that as your forte, you don't need some Keith Moon or Carl Palmer stealing the focus away from the forefront back to the rhythm section. Paul's Bass lines weren't the most complicated or substantial and certainly John or George's guitar lead solos did not compare with say the Yardbirds 3, either. But that is not what their focus was and had they had such a musician in the Beatles at the time, he would have most certainly been fired. You had similar situations in the Stones and AC/DC.


It's impossible to define the meaning of a good drummer. That being said, in my opinion, the single most important element that makes a drummer good is a solid meter. If that's all a drummer has, he or she is good in my book. However, if he or she has everything else except that, the word good cannot be used.


Platinum Member
Some drummers rip into Ringo as a simpleton drummer. I think where they miss the boat is that you have to put the Beatles into context.
You had similar situations in the Stones and AC/DC.

I hear this a lot, especially with the Stones thread a while back, and despite the brilliant-artist-good-taste-thing, the difference for me is that Ringo would occasionally whip out some proper drumming, often subtle and unrecognized by most. The roll in the intro for "Ticket To Ride" for example. The pre-chorus to "Please Please Me" with the double on the left hand, the quick unisons in "Help". Little things, here and there, that make me say "I really need to work on my (insert random rudiment here).

I know the examples are hard to find, and he was by no means a virtuoso, but occasionally the gent whipped out the real deal. I don't get that with CW or PR, even when I listen critically for the gems.


Gold Member
Yea, he cant drum at all! Smooth and effortless...I couldn't look that relaxed if I was only singing, forget about the shuffling!


Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
I just watched the movie Yellow Submarine, which I bought not long after it came out 50 years ago. Lots of ads lately for the re-mixed version, but I deal with the original just fine.