Ringo Starr Auction Features 'Can't Buy Me Love' Drums - Rolling Stone
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Ringo Starr Auction Features ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ Drums, John Lennon’s Guitar

Lennon’s Rickenbacker and Starr’s drum kit from 1963 among more than 1,200 items going up for auction

Ringo StarrRingo Starr

Ringo Starr, 1964

Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr and his wife, actress Barbara Bach, have collected over 1,200 items from their residencies in London, Beverly Hills and Monaco for a Julien’s Live auction that will take place on December 4th and 5th. The auction will feature drums and guitars from throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s career, from the Beatles to the All-Starr band as well as memorabilia from the Fab Four era and “custom-made eclectic furnishings, fine art and personal items.”

One of the most interesting items is Starr’s 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece drum kit, which was used for the Beatles’ live performances from May 1963 to February 1964. The drum kit was used in the recording of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You” and other classics from that era, and was later utilized by Paul McCartney during the recording of his 1970 solo LP McCartney. The drum kit – which has not been seen by the public in over 50 years – comes with a $300,000 to $500,000 estimate.

A handful of other Starr kits – including one used in the “Hello Goodbye” video – will hit the auction block as well as guitars given to the Beatle by his bandmates. A Gretsch guitar gifted to Starr from Harrison boasts an $100,000 – $200,000 asking price, while Lennon’s 325FG Rose-Morris model Rickenbacker with a fire-glo sunburst finish – which Lennon used during the band’s Christmas shows in 1964 and 1965 – has an estimate of $600,000 – $800,000. 

Many of Starr’s own bass, acoustic and electric guitars are all on the block. T. Rex’s Marc Bolan also gave his friend Starr a Gibson Les Paul guitar that is expected to sell for roughly $40,000. Starr didn’t just receive instruments from his musical friends: An Omega watch that the Who’s Keith Moon gifted to Starr will also be offered at auction.

Other Starr ephemera include the drummer’s shooting script from the Help! production, his copy of the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today compilation (with its infamous “Butcher cover”), an original Nikas Safronov portrait of Starr and the Beatle’s sapphire pinky ring are also up for the highest bidder.

On the more luxurious side of the auction, a 2000 Mercedes Coupe that has only had two owners – Harrison and Starr – is also on the block. Other items include an antique Louis XV wall mirror, a bronze and parcel gilt statue of Ganesh, a Gothic Revival mahogany bookcase and other home items from his estates.


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