’64 “Ringo/Beatles” Ludwig Black Oyster 20,12,14, “Ringo Spec”(almost) 5.5×14 Plus Cavern Club, Liverpool, Blackwells, HISTORY!! $24,995.00, $11,995.00
’64 “Ringo/Beatles” Ludwig Black Oyster 20,12,14. Cavern Club, Liverpool, Blackwells, London. HISTORY!! $24,995.00, $11,995.00.
This set has a pretty fascinating history! This Ludwig Black Oyster pearl “Downbeat” set was purchased in England by Roy Little in early 1964, just as The Beatles were exploding into worldwide stardom. Little was the drummer in The Blackwells, a popular Liverpool band working Merseyside clubs like The Cavern and The Peppermint Lounge that The Beatles would eventually make world famous. It’s not unlikely that the two bands would have crossed paths as they navigated the jumping Liverpool club scene.
The Blackwells achieved a hit record with their song “Why Don’t You Love Me” on Columbia Records. In 1965 they were featured in the film “Ferry Cross The Mercy”. They perform their hit song, but the real star of the film is Little’s Black Oyster Ludwig set. His drums are featured in a scene set in the window of a Merseyside music store, in front of Gerry Marsden of Gerry and The Pacemakers.
Roy Little and The Blackwells rode the Merseyside wave through the late 1960s. At that point Blackwell packed his beloved Black Oysters into their cases where they remained undisturbed until just a few years ago, discovered by his daughter. It’s clear that Little cherished his prize Ludwigs. They’re in extraordinary condition, showing only the slightest signs of 5 years of traversing the stages of The Cavern Club and every other Merseyside venue.
Every piece of the set, just as Little played it, remains. In addition to the Black Oyster Ludwigs, there’s a pre-serial # Ludwig 5×14 Supersensitive snare, a complete set of Zyn cymbals, a complete set of Ludwig and Premier hardware as well as the complete set of cases that so faithfully protected this set for 6 decades.
Also available is a matching 5.5″x 14″ “Ringo Spec” (almost) Jazz Festival snare. The snare meets all the criteria of the uber-rare “Ringo-Spec” snare with a red felt baseball bat muffler, pre-serial # keystone badge, and a P-83 throw off-on, on left to right consecutive panels with a June 11, 1963 date stamp. The drum originally came with a Classic model throw-off. It was converted to a P-83 using a no-drill, low-profile adapter. Add this snare for an additional $11,995.00.
Ringo Starr’s influence on Little can be seen in the two drummer’s nearly identical drum sets. The similarities go far beyond the identical 20″, 12″ and 14″ Ludwig Black Oyster shells. Both drummers chose a snare drum other than the 4×14″ Downbeat model that would have come stock with their Downbeat sets. Ringo opted for his now legendary matching Jazz Festival model, while Little embraced a 5×14″ Supersensitive model. Both drummers used a combination of Ludwig and Premier hardware. Little played a complete set of Zyn cymbals while Ringo played at least one Zyn cymbal for most of his Beatle days.
These two sets paint a pretty clear picture of the drum gear that was available to English drummers in the early 1960s. English made Premier drums were the most popular and readily available, while American made Ludwigs, with limited English distribution, were extremely rare highly coveted. The now legendary story of Ringo purchasing his Black Oyster Ludwigs at London’s Drum City drum shop is well documented. Based on the similarities in date, size, brands and color, plus the fact that Drum City was the top drum shop in England, it’s not unreasonable that both sets could have been purchased at Drum City.
The set is in excellent condition, with the only notable damage being some cigarette burns under the T rods of the bass drum, slight snare rash visible on one section of the 12″ tom and some visible pitting on the Super Sensitive snare drum. The photos depict the condition of the set accurately.
Ludwig Drums, original Ludwig heads top and bottom.
20×14″ bass, serial #26206
14×14″ floor tom, serial #26349
12×18″ tom, serial #26212
14×5″ snare, No serial #.
(I have 2 original 1960s Black Oyster Jazz festival snares available separately)
14″ hi-hat pair, 16″, 18″
2x cymbal stands, snare stand, throne.
Speed King bass pedal
Model 1123 hi-hat stand
Complete set of cases.
Also included is Roy Little’s collection of Merseyside music scene relics including his original Cavern Club pin, a Peppermint Lounge business card and a couple 1960s English beer coasters, one of which he had ingeniously taped to his bass drum as a makeshift impact pad. The set includes a letter of authenticity signed by Roy Littles daughter.