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 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 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.
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.
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.