Work Life

A small plant in Monroe makes drums for Ringo Starr, Questlove and Taylor Swift’s drummer

In Monroe there’s a cluster of buildings with beige aluminum siding near railroad tracks and a chicken plant. Inside you’ll find the only place in the world that makes drums for Ringo Starr, the Beatles’ drummer, along with many other famous musicians.

Quick facts:

– Ludwig has been based in Monroe for 30 years since moving from Chicago.

– The company employs about 50 people.

– 17 craftspeople typically work on each Ludwig kit.

– Ludwig drum kits start at around $700, but major artists deal directly with the company for custom orders that can cost several thousand dollars.

– A small badge on each drum says “Ludwig Monroe NC, USA.”

Read much more about the company and the drums in this Observer article by Adam Bell.

Who plays Ludwig drums?

(1) Ringo Starr

(2) Questlove (The Roots, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

(3) The Avett Brothers’ Mike Marsh

(4) The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney

(5) Taylor Swift’s drummer Matt Billingslea

(6) Maroon 5’s Matt Flynn

(7) The White Stripes’ Meg White

(8) Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos

(9) Rascal Flatts’ Jim Riley

(10) Alex Van Halen

Photo: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer