From the May 2016 issue of DRUM! | By Don Bennett
For drummers of my generation who grew up listening to The Beatles, Ringo Starr was the drummer who most likely inspired them to first pick up a pair of drumsticks. I don’t need to get into the massive impact Starr and The Beatles made on the world — that’s been documented countless times over the past few decades.
In the world of drum collecting, Ringo Starr related items are extremely rare and in very high demand. The drummer’s first Ludwig Beatles drum set recently sold at auction for over $2 million! Some of his used sticks sold in the same auction for over $7,000 per pair.
I got this framed pair of sticks from Starr’s longtime drum tech Jeff Chonis. He wanted to create a beautiful display, worthy of their prized contents, which could be sold to help raise funds for Starr’s Lotus Foundation charity.
He designed two versions, each featuring a photo and finish sample of either Starr’s White Abalone or Black Crystal drum kit. Chonis collected the sticks from used rejects Ringo played on a recent Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band tour. The sticks, photo, and finish sample are all professionally framed and mounted, and each matte is hand signed by Starr. A total of 72 of each design is available. I have #42 of the abalone version.
The sticks in the display are a customized Promark Ringo Starr Signature Model made exclusively for the famous drummer. They’re about a quarter inch shorter than the standard commercial model, and printed in blue ink, while the standard model is printed in red. The shorter size and blue printing are a sure way to verify the sticks’ authenticity, as these shorter, blue printed versions were never made available to the public.
It sure feels nice to score one of the most prized objects in the drumming world and contribute to a worthy charity at the same time!