The Beatles Fab Gear

So I was thinking how cool would it be to post a story about the original instruments that The Beatles used in 1964 during their first American tour and appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

After a little research I found some awesome websites like thebeatlesgear.com that features guitars like the group used…here’s a little snippet of their fab gear…

John Lennon’s 1958 Rickenbacker 325 Capri guitar was extensively modified from the original model, and featured a black finish (to match the group’s black suits from that early period) and a Vintage Bigsby vibrato.

George Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar, a model of which was endorsed by Chet Atkins whom Harrison admired.

Paul McCartney’s 1962/63 Hofner 500/1 left-handed bass guitar that he used throughout the sixties during The Beatles performances, and still plays it today!

The Beatles used Vox amps for their February 1964 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and their first U.S. concert at the Washington Colisseum.  These were the first 100 and 50 watt heads produced by Jennings Musical Industries in late 1963, and featured a 2×15″ enclosure on the AC-100 bass head, and two 12″ Celestion G12 Alnico speakers and a Goodmans Midax horn on the AC-50 guitar amps.  Previously most British groups were using the Vox AC-30 watt amp, but it wasn’t enough volume to keep up with the screaming fans!

As for drums I found two sources, the official Ludwig Drum Company and another labor-of-love site ringosbeatlekits.com

Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drumkit featured a 14”X22” Bass Drum, 16”X16” Floor Tom, 9”X13” Ride Tom and a 5”X14” Snare Drum, with 3-ply Maple/Poplar shells in a Black Oyster Pearl finish.  Ludwig revamped it and offered the “Liverpool 4” drumkit during their 100th Anniversary.

The cymbals Ringo used are a bit of a controversy, but Gary Astridge at ringosbeatlekits.com hits the stick on the head with his quote…

By far, the most popular question is wanting to know details on the hi hat cymbals Ringo used early on to get his unique wash sound.  Jeff Chonis, Ringo’s drum technician for 25 years has the answer.  “Ringo said that he used the same 14-inch Zildjian A hi hats on all Beatle recordings.”

There’s more 50th Beatles anniversary fab gear celebration at Facebook.com/TheBeatlesGear

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
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Posted in Classic Rock, Guitars


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