The Beatles’ drop-T logo

Drop-T drum head number five

In August 1965 The Beatles returned to New York for the start of their US tour. Ringo Starr unveiled his fourth and final black pearl Ludwig drum kit, along with a fifth head - a 22" Remo Weather Master.

This time a Ludwig sticker was used instead of a painted logo. It was placed at a slight angle, with the letters on the right slightly higher than those on the left. The Beatles' logo featured a fatter typeface than on previous versions.

The Beatles' Drop-T logo, number five

The fifth head first appeared in public on 14 August 1965, the day before their triumphant first concert at New York's Shea Stadium. The Beatles recorded their fourth Ed Sullivan Show appearance in Manhattan, though the recording wasn't screened until 12 September.

The kit and head were used throughout the group's 1965 US tour.

Drop-T drum head number six

The Music Of Lennon & McCartney was a UK TV special filmed on 1 and 2 November 1965. As The Beatles were in the middle of recording Rubber Soul at the time, Ringo Starr used his first 22" Ludwig kit, along with a sixth drop-T logo.

The Beatles' Drop-T logo, number six

This logo was used on every live and film appearance up until Magical Mystery Tour in 1967. It was also used during the Sgt Pepper sessions.

The sixth skin was used during the rehearsals for Our World, the worldwide satellite link-up for which The Beatles wrote and performed All You Need Is Love. However, prior to the live transmission, the drum head was replaced by the orange and red skin later seen in the Magical Mystery Tour film.

The logo returned for the Hello, Goodbye promo film, although it hasn't been seen since the footage was shot at the Savile Theatre, London, on 10 November 1967. It disappeared after being stored in an annexe to Abbey Road's studio three in early 1968.

Ringo's drum with the Beatles skin on it was left in there, and I remember thinking how attractive to a collector that particular item would be. Strangely enough - and I plead not guilty on this - we came in one day and someone had neatly trimmed the skin out of the drum frame, So someone somewhere has got the original Beatles skin that came out of Starr's drum kit. After that they used the red-painted skin with 'Love' in yellow, rather than bother to get another Beatles skin, because they obviously weren't going to be appearing on stage any more.
Brian Gibson, studio engineer
Beatles Gear, Andy Babiuk

Drop-T drum head number seven

The final drop-T logo was seen in public very briefly, at the beginning of the Let It Be film, being carried by Mal Evans. The head - again, a 22" Remo Weather Master, with Ludwig sticker - was intended for Ringo Starr's maple-finish Hollywood drum kit used during the shoot in January 1969.

The Beatles' Drop-T logo, number seven

However, it was unusual at the time for a front head to be used on Starr's bass drum in the studio, to give greater flexibility in recording and dampening. As a result, the head was never attached to the drum, nor was it played by Starr.

The Let It Be head was put up for auction in September 1988 by George Peckham of The Fourmost, who had worked for Apple in 1969. Peckham claimed that John Lennon had given him the item. However, it failed to reach its reserve price and remained unsold.

The head was eventually sold by Sotheby's in August 1992 to an anonymous bidder. It is believed to have remained in private ownership.

The Beatles' Drop-T logo, number seven

18 responses on “The Beatles’ drop-T logo

  1. brian

    Previously I would have guessed that Ringo or The Beatles as a whole came up with the “drop T” idea. Its was certainly a big improvement on the previous drumskin that had beetle bug antennas (antennae?) on top of the letter B.

  2. Kevin Michael

    In the days of Jesus, the cross used to crucify people was actually a ‘T’ shape, just like the T in the BeaTles’ logo. I wonder – is that part of the reasom for their success? Maybe the Fab Four are Our Lord’s chosen band! I wonder if Brian Epstein was a Christian at heart, and used this as a subconscious marketing ploy….

    1. mr. Sun king coming together

      Epstein was Jewish. It’s meaningless. Religion and the Beatles are linked enough without crazy theories. What next, Jesus sent codes in certain vinyls to tell the truth of Paul’s death? Religion and the Beatles mixed rarely, but not here

      1. Edgar Anciano

        Religion was a part of the Beatles growing up years. it was clear that they knew who God was , as evidence we can listen thru there music. But just because of christians brothers who persecute & judge them. they stumble in believing in jesus. John Lennon knew about this, that’s why he wrote “Imagine there’s no religion” & the religious people attack him again. they are stumbling block to John.
        Cause religion can not save us. But only a personal relationship with Jesus !!

    2. Bruno Madsen

      “Our Lord’s chosen band”? Thanks Kevin, I haven’t laughed so hard in quite a while… I think we can safely credit the Beatles themselves for their massive success – with a little help from their friends.

  3. Dave Golding

    I was the Manager/Drum Repairer at Drum City throughout this period and was actually involved in the whole business of supplying the kit, fitting the Spurs and the Rogers ‘Swivomatic’ Tom tom fitting (at a later date with Mel Evans) and arranging for Eddie Stokes to paint the ‘Beatles’ logo on the head, and to selling Ringo’s now Second Hand kit in store.

  4. stuartgardner

    I’ve always admired the use of the logo in the Anthology openings. The notion of The Beatles dwarfing the four men into virtual insignificance beneath an incomprehensible weight threatening to crush them is as neat a thumbnail of their epic as we could have, and the beautifully smooth animation communicates that idea perfectly.
    Thanks for an interesting read.

  5. Julien Clapperton

    Wow !!! Dave Golding on here. that is very good..
    your business card is still tucked inside one of Ringos toms, discovered during the peace and love exhibition of Ringos Ed Sullivan kit.
    Is Eddie Stokes still alive ?

Leave a reply