How the Beatles got their famous logo

How the Beatles got their famous logo

Basically, for the band’s first few years, there was no Beatles logo. It was never featured in any of the band’s original albums recorded in the U.K.

The logo started its life on the bass drum of Starr’s Ludwig drum kit in April 1963, three years after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Starr got together in Liverpool and formed the most influential music group of all time.

Starr got this Ludwig set from a shop, Drum City, on Shaftesbury Avenue in London. Founded by a guy called Ivor Arbiter in 1929, the shop was a popular destination for jazz drummers. Arbiter later recalled the encounter with a certain “Ringo, Schmingo, whatever his name was, at that time I certainly hadn’t heard of The Beatles.”

But when Starr entered the shop alongside the band’s manager, Brian Epstein, The Beatles were already quite popular, having released their debut studio album–Please Please Me–the month before. They weren’t known around the world yet, but the single that gave the album its name became No. 1 on the U.K. charts, and the album itself was No. 1 for 30 weeks, which was unprecedented at the time.

Perhaps that’s why, despite Arbiter’s later claims, he agreed to give Starr his last £238 Ludwig Downbeat kit in oyster black pearl finish for free as requested by Epstein, with the condition that the band keep the Ludwig brand on the front. Apparently, Arbiter had an exclusive distribution deal with the brand, and he wanted to give it some publicity.

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