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Keith Moon’s Drumkits: Early Kits

Auction news: Keith Moon’s second kit, a Ludwig Black Oyster Super Classic, to be auctioned by Bonhams in December 2014 in London.

Source: Dolphin Music

Keith Moon’s Second Drumkit To Be Auctioned in December

If you got the cash, you could own a piece of rock’n’roll history this Christmas! The second drumkit ever owned by The Who’s Keith Moon, who we recently named second best ever drummer on our Greatest Drummers Top 10 list, will be up for auction at Bonham’s in London, on a specialist Entertainment Memorabilia auction on 10th December.

Keith Moon’s 2nd ever drumkit, to be auctioned at Bonhams on 10th December (Source: Dolphin Music)

The sale is being organised by Chris Sherwin, on behalf of the kit’s current owner, who lives near Liverpool and has been using the kit for over 40 years! Chris Sherwin is a drummer himself, and has been involved in the music industry for decades: he used to co-own a popular music shop on Denmark Street in London, and was Jim Marshall’s first ever employee (and was even asked to speak at his funeral). In fact, Sherwin was also the drummer in Pete Townshend’s first school band, and later managed Jim Marshall’s drum-shop in the early sixties, when Keith Moon became a regular customer.

Dolphin Music got in touch with Chris Sherwin, who provided us with some more details about Keith Moon’s drumkit:

The drumkit to be auctioned is Keith Moon’s second kit, a Ludwig Black Oyster Super Classic, pictured above. The snare drum has gone missing in the intervening years so the kit is just 2 toms and bass drum.

The reserve price cannot be disclosed at the moment, but is expected to fetch astronomical figures. Another kit previously owned by Keith Moon (a Premier kit he used between 1968–1970) is listed on the Guiness Book of World Records as the Most Expensive Drumkit Ever Sold — it cost the private US bidder £139,650 at a Christie’s auction in London, ten years ago. Given the historical value of Keith Moon’s second kit now up for auction, it may reach similar figures, come December!

See Bonhams

1961 – First kit

Keith’s first kit was a used Premier Outfit “55” kit (Premier used to use numeric names) in Blue Pearl finish, £75 on HP, reportedly from Paramount Music, West End of London, through his friend Gerry Evans.

Specs

Finish:
blue pearl.

Sizes (Depth x head)

Bassdrum:
14″x20″
Rack tom:
8″x 12″
Floor tom:
20″x 16″

Timeline

Last known use:
Saturday, 2 May, 1964

John (about Keith’s first gig with the Who):

“He got his little blue drum kit up and then got this huge coil of rope and tied it all together. We couldn’t understand why until he went into a drum solo, and everything started to sway backwards and forwards.”

Keith, ca. 1963 with the Beachcombers, playing Premier kit.

Keith, ca. 1963 with the Beachcombers, playing Premier Outfit 55 kit.

Click to view larger version. Premier Outfit “55” from Premier catalogue.

Click to view larger version. Premier Outfit “55” kit from Premier catalogue.

1964–1965 – Ludwig Super Classic kit

Drum kit 1965
Ca 1964, Ludwig kit in oyster black pearl

Same kit used on the UK TV programme Ready Steady Go, though Moon added an 14 floor tom.

Specs

Drums:

Ludwig Super Classic kit in blue or black Oyster Pearl

  1. One 22 bass drum
  2. One 16 floor tom
  3. One 13 mounted tom
  4. 14 metal 400 snare drum

Cymbals:

Avedis Zildjian

  1. 20 ride
  2. 18 crash
  3. 14 hi-hats

Timeline

First known date of use:
22 July, 1964, Scene Club
Last known date of use:
23 May, 1965, “Thanks Your Lucky Stars” concert.
Ca 1964, Ludwig kit

Ca. 1964, photo session with Ludwig oyster black pearl kit.

Ca. April 1965, Ludwig kit with arrow logo bass drum skin.

16 April 1965, at the Goldhawk, Ludwig oyster black pearl kit with arrow logo bass drum skin.

1965, Ludwig oyster kit with arrow logo bass drum skin.

1965, Ludwig oyster black pearl kit with arrow logo bass drum skin.

At the Marquee, 1965, Ludwig oyster black pearl kit with arrow logo bass drum skin.

At the Marquee, 1965, Ludwig oyster black pearl kit with arrow logo bass drum skin.

Click to view larger version. Ca. July 1965, Ludwig oyster black pearl kit.

Click to view larger version. Ca. July 1965, “Player of the Month,” with Keith and Ludwig oyster black pearl kit.

Click to view larger version. Ca. July 1965, Ludwig oyster black pearl kit.

Click to view larger version. Ca. July 1965, with Keith and Ludwig oyster black pearl kit. (Same photo as previous “Player of the Month,” but with wider perspective.)

22 July, 1964, at the Scene Club with Ludwig kit.

22 July, 1964, at the Scene Club with Ludwig oyster black pearl kit.

Ca. 1964, at the Scene Club with Ludwig kit.

Ca. 1964, at the Railway Tavern, with Ludwig oyster black pearl kit.

1965 – Ludwig Super Classic kit

Ludwig Super Classic kit, as above, in silver sparkle, with one additional floor tom. Cymbal stands are Rogers Swiv-O-Matic.

Specs

Drums:

Ludwig Super Classic kit in silver sparkle

  1. One 22 bass drum
  2. One 16 floor tom
  3. One 14 floor tom
  4. One 13 mounted tom
  5. 14 metal 400 snare drum

Cymbals:

Avedis Zildjian

  1. 20 ride
  2. 18 crash
  3. 14 hi-hats
Stands:
Rogers Swiv-O-Matic

Timeline

First known date of use:
1 July, 1965, “Ready Steady Go!” TV show (A clip is featured in The Kids Are Alright).
Last known date of use:
3 September, 1965, “Ready Steady Go!” TV show.
1965, sparkle kit

1965, Ludwig sparkle kit. “The Who” logo has angled arrow.

August 1965, Ludwig sparkle kit, with double floor toms.

August 1965, Ludwig sparkle kit, with double floor toms. “The Who” logo has full arrow and H’s connected.

1965, Ludwig sparkle kit.

Resources and Information

Contributors:

Many thanks to the following, who have made this page possible:

Additional information:

Bibliography:

  • Drums & Drumming magazine, October/November 1989.
  • Modern Drummer, September 2003.
  • Moon, the Life and Death of a Rock Legend, by Tony Fletcher. 1999.

Manufacturers’ sites