In a conference room at the Beverly Hilton, Ringo Starr prepares for an upcoming auction with proceeds going to his non–profit Lotus Foundation. Gary Astridge, The Beatles' drum archivist and gear curator, stands by to answer any obscure questions about Ringo's drum memorabilia on the auction block.
A photo shoot ensues, with a confident yet modest Ringo standing in front of his first Ludwig kit, missing his favorite snare. This would be the last time Ringo would ever see his iconic set.
Someone suggests that Astridge take a photo with Ringo. Ringo cheerfully agrees. Each with one arm around the other, Ringo and Astridge both flash a peace sign with their fingers. Astridge is in this element among his two passions: his favorite drummer and his favorite drummer’s drums.
In some ways, Astridge knows Ringo's drums better than Ringo does. Astridge has been a huge Beatles fan for a long time and has spent decades — and over six figures — researching and investing in Beatles–era drum kits and gear.
When his obsession became a sought–out expertise by way of Ringo Starr himself, Astridge was finally able to solve a mystery that had been eating away at him since just about childhood: What’s the full story behind Ringo's favorite snare?
By: Julie Simmons