Ringo Starr drum kit seen fetching millions at auction

Ringo Starr and his Ludwig Beatles drum kit.
Ringo Starr and his Ludwig Beatles drum kit.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - A drum kit played by Ringo Starr is seen fetching millions of dollars at auction this week as part of a sale of items belonging to the Beatle and his wife, Barbara Bach.

Starr is bidding farewell to items such as instruments, career memorabilia as well as personal items .

Among them are seven stage and studio drums played by Starr, including the first Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl drum kit used for the Beatles' early recordings, including Can't Buy Me Love and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Starr used the kit in more than 200 performances.

Last month, Julien's Auctions sold a drum head from a kit Starr played on US television show, The Ed Sullivan Show, in 1964 for US$2.1 million (S$2.9 million).

"We've conservatively estimated this (Ludwig) kit for three to five hundred thousand (dollars) but that was prior to knowing what the drum head would sell for," Darren Julien, president and chief executive of Julien's Auctions, said.

"So, today we'd probably estimate it two to four, three to five million just because we think it's such a significant piece of Beatles history."

Also for sale is a guitar used by John Lennon, which the late Beatle gave to Starr.

"(We) thought... we've got lots of furniture, we've got lots of cutlery... and I thought let's make it really crazy and special... like John's guitar," Starr said at a cocktail party on Tuesday night ahead of the auction.

"It's been played twice."

Part of the sale proceeds will go to The Lotus Foundation, which was founded by Starr and Bach and aims to fund and promote charitable projects, Julien's Auctions said.

The auction runs from Thursday until Saturday in Beverly Hills and also online via the Julien's Auctions website.