Ivor Arbiter

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Ivor Arbiter (1929-2005) was a UK-based designer, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of drums.

In the late 1950's, Arbiter opened the legendary Drum City on Shaftesbury Avenue in the middle of London's music center. In 1962, a relatively obscure young man named Ringo Starr came to Drum City with his manager, Brian Epstein, in order to replace his well-worn set of drums. Dave Martin, a salesman at Music City, talked up the Drum City-exclsuive Ludwig Drums to Ringo. Ringo fell in love with the new Black Oyster Pearl drum finish and when he learned that it was only available on Ludwig Drums, he was sold.

There was one catch, however, as Ringo insisted that a large Ludwig logo be printed across the bass drum head. At that time Ludwig did not put logos on its drumheads. Epstein quickly countered that the band was called “The Beatles” and that the band's name should be displayed on the drumhead. Arbiter, who realized the marketing potential and wanted to save the sale, quickly came up with a compromise. He thought that a large Beatles logo could be printed across the drumhead, but room could also be left for Ringo’s requested Ludwig logo. So, Ivor scribbled a drum head on the back of a cigarette package and sketched a quick logo for the young band, which was painted by Drum City's regular sign-writer. Pleased, Ringo took possession of the new Ludwig kit and new logo on June 17, 1962.

Ivor's quickly sketched logo, done in order to save a sale, became one of the most famous in music history, and served as the basis for Shepard's rare "The Fifth Beatles Print."

The Beatles logo


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