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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 18: Inductee Ringo Starr performs onstage during the 30th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall on April 18, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

In a game of word association, when someone says “Ringo Starr,” who celebrates his 78th birthday today (July 7), the first thing out of most people’s mouths would be “Beatles.”  The second most popular answer?  Of course, it should be “Ludwig.”

Starr is synonymous with the drum brand Ludwig.  In fact, a Ludwig kit he used on a number of early Beatles’ records sold at auction for a staggering $2.2 million!  And Starr’s love for the brand is evident in his recounting of his first Ludwig kit.

Starr told the story to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the video below, and he talks about how as a young kid from Liverpool, he loved anything American.  Big credit to then manager Brian Epstein for being willing to buy the kit for Starr, too.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Ringo Starr Tells the story of his First Ludwig Drum Kit

We caught up with 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Ringo Starr before the Induction Ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 18, and he told us the story of his very first Ludwig drum kit - the same one he played for years as a member of The Beatles and is now on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel.  (True story.)

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.