Hardware - Swiv-o-matic

Right from the start B&H sourced Swiv-o- Matic collets in the UK. There was a straight version and an angled version. but not the variety of angles that was available in the USA.

English collet plates are easily identifiable. USA collet plates are stamped with “Rogers”, the English version is stamped, “Swiv-o-Matic”. The reason for this may have been that B&H offered Swiv-o-Matic fittings as an option on their other ranges of drums as well as English Rogers.

Initially, in 1961/1962 the collet nose (and cymbal tilter) were blank, but eventually, some time in 1962, “Made in England” and patent information were added.

Contrary to what has often been said, UK and USA Swivo hex bars and collets are reasonably compatible, but this cannot always be counted on, in the same way that not all USA swiv-o-matic hex bar and collets can be relied upon to be totally interchangeable. Screw threads are similar, making collet noses and set screws interchangeable.

It can be found that early and late ER hex bar and collets may not be interchangeable.

   
B&H made or sourced a cymbal tilter for their disappearing cymbal holder on the bass drums but re-sold American swiv-o-matic cymal stands.

A double tom holder was available in all the catalogues but imported from the USA.

English Rogers' most famous endorsee was Dave Clark, who played a kit with two toms on the bass drum and yet no such set-up was ever offered. Rogers USA introduced "The Dave Clark Londoner" in their 1967 catalogue and it became a huge seller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mounting two tom arms in the standard collets doesn't quite cut it.

the swivo tom arm was not updated as it was in the US in 1963/64, but continued with the earlier design to the end of production.

Four screws

 
 
 
Some early bass drums have the disappearing spurs fitted at an angle. Not seen on US sets this is just another ER peculiarity.
 
 
This is an American bass drum hoop mounted tom arm with a spade type receiver.
Many drummers from the 1960s were know to use a Rogers Swiv-o-matic tom arm to mount their toms to their bass drum. Infact music stores would on occasion order a drum kit without a tom mount and fit a Swiv-o-matic if that is what the customer requested. UK players that were well known for their use of a Rogers mount included Keith Moon, John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell and of course Ringo Starr. It would not be a surprise to find that what these players were using was an English Rogers tom arm. Confirmation of this arose in 2013 when some of Ringo's drums were displayed at the Grammy Museum in LA.

One of the kits that was displayed was the one that Ringo used for the first time on The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9th February 1964.

This was Ringo's second Ludwig Down Beat Oyster Black Pearl 20",12", 14".


Ringo with his No2 Downbeat
(prior to the fitting of the swivo)

This set had a rail on it originally and sometime after Ringo went home to Britain the rail was swapped out for a Swiv-o-matic ...which it still has today.

The story goes that it was decided that Ringo would need a second OBP set due to the upcoming schedule with the filming of A Hard Days Night. It was decided that they would get the second set when they came to America and then take it back home with them. Ringo did bring his snare along and his cymbals and a freshly painted (on a Remo head) Beatles logo head. The exact details on acquiring the new set are a bit murky but it came from Manny's in NYC and one supposes that there was some contact prior to that with the store (or possibly Ludwig) to insure that they would have the proper drums in stock. At some point after the return from the US but before the filming of AHDN started the rail mount was replaced with a Rogers swivo mount for the small tom.  

 

 

 

 

Below is a close-up from the display which clearly shows an English Rogers collet plate and nose (the word "England" can just be picked out on the nose).

The tom arm would originally have been an English one but the one on display is clearly American.

 
 

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Set number 1 had a rail mount the whole time Ringo used it.

Set number 2 (the Sullivan/A Hard Day's Night set) had a rail on it originally and sometime after Ringo went home to Britain the rail was swapped out for a Swivomatic ...which it still has today.

Sets 3 and 4 (13/16/22 configurations) seem to have had the Swivo Hardware from day one. There are no pictures that show them with a rail in place. Did they come with a rail that was switched out right away or were they "virgins" until the swivo stuff was put on?...no one seems to know, although a quick look at the drums would tell the tale. Anyway from approx. mid 1964 forward Ringo was only using Swivo tom mounts on his OBP sets, at least in public.

 

The two pictures below are of the same set but taken at different times. The first was taken when they were on the second Ed Sullivan show from Miami (a week after the first show) and the second shows the set after the swivo mod. This is also the same set that is now on display in L.A.

 

As the story goes it was decided that Ringo would need a second OBP set due to the upcoming schedule with the filming of AHDN. It was decided that they would get the second set when they came to America and then take it back home with them. Ringo did bring his snare along and his cymbals, apparently not wanting to risk changing those two aspects of his "sound". He also brought a freshly painted (on a Remo head) Beatles logo head. The exact details on acquiring the new set are a bit murky but it came from Manny's in NYC and one supposes that there was some contact prior to that with the store (or possibly Ludwig) to insure that they would have the proper drums in stock. Initially a WMP set was provided for their rehearsal for the Sullivan show, either by mistake or because the OBP set wasn't ready yet, and this is where the batch of pictures of Ringo behind a WMP set originated. To me the WMP drums don't look brand new and I think it was a back-line set provided as a stop gap until the OBP set was ready. In any event Ringo did get a second 12/14/20 OBP set which he used for that first USA visit and then after returning to England it was used for the AHDN filming. At some point after the return from the US but before the filming of AHDN started the rail mount was replaced with a Rogers swivo mount for the small tom. This set (#2) turns up again in Help in the scene where Ringo falls through the studio floor but by late '64 Ringo had switched over to using a 13/16/22 set as his primary studio and tour set. Unanswered Question....did Ringo get a second Jazz Festival with set #2? If so he apparently didn't use it at the time as he seemed to stick with the same #1 snare no matter which set he was using throughout the Beatles years, including with the maple Hollywood set.