Drum kit used to record Beatles’ 1st U.S. single to be auctioned

– The Ludwig drum kit used for the recording of the Beatles’ first American single “Love Me Do,” will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on June 30. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online, Art Daily said.

Andy White, known as the “Fifth Beatle,” replaced Ringo Starr on drums during the recording of the Beatles’ first single “Love Me Do” for their first album, “Please Please Me.” The album was released on March 22, 1963. Ron Richards, an assistant to British record producer George Martin, who continued to work with the Beatles for decades, asked White to re-record the song with Ringo Starr shifting over to the tambourine.

“Love Me Do,” with White on the drums being auctioned, was the #1 song in the United States when it was released and prompted the Beatles into superstardom. The album “Please Please Me” gave the Beatles a national audience in the United Kingdom that launched Beatlemania.

Three renditions of “Love Me Do” were recorded at EMI in London in 1962. Each rendition featured a different drummer. The first rendition on June 6, 1962 featured Pete Best on drums; it is featured on the 1995 Beatles album “Anthology 1.” The second version was recorded on September 4, 1962 and featured Ringo Starr on drums. The Starr single was released in the United Kingdom on October 5, 1962. The third version was recorded September 11, 1962 and featured studio session drummer Andy White, with Starr playing tambourine. The Andy White version was included on the Beatles’ first UK album “Please Please Me,” and was also the first United States single release in April 1964. White’s Ludwig drums were also used on “P.S. I Love You,” which is featured on the B-side of the British single and on the “Please Please Me” album.

White reflected on the recording session during a 2012 interview with the BBC, “”From the drum sound I can tell that I was on [Please Please Me] because it was a vastly different sound to Ringo’s drum set at that time. This was before he got the Ludwig kit. Each drummer gets an individual sound, first of all by the way they tune the drums and then by the way they play the drums.”

Starr was so impressed with the Ludwig drum set that he purchased a set for himself. The American drum company became a worldwide name after the Beatles performed to 73 million viewers on the Ed Sullivan show. Starr’s drums featuring the Ludwig logo were prominently featured on the show.

White also used the drum kit being auctioned to record with Billy Fury for his first album “The Sound of Fury,” which was recorded in 1960. It is considered by many to be Britain’s first rock and roll album.

White died on November 9, 2015 in Caldwell, New Jersey at the age of 85.

The drum set consists of a 14” x 22” bass drum, 16” x 16” floor tom, 9” x 13” tom-tom (which is date-stamped 1956 inside) and 5.5” x 14” snare. The drumhead is new. The original Black Diamond Pearl wrapping is present and matches the photo of White playing the drum kit. It comes from the personal collection of Clive Edwards, who studied drumming with Reg Weller. Andy White was a close friend of Weller, who obtained the drum kit for Edwards. The Beatles drum set includes a letter of authenticity from White’s widow Thea White.

Bidding for the drum kit begins at $150,000.