Local Current Blog

1,000 Ringos on Harriet Island? Mick Sterling aims to break world record with gargantuan Beatles cover

Ringo Starr performs in Guildford, Surrey in 2011 (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

What do Minnesota musician Mick Sterling and a drum medley from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album have in common? Together, they may just break a world record.

Sterling, known for his soul R&B group Mick Sterling and the Stud Brothers, wants 1,000 drummers to join him on Harriet Island on Sept. 20 for his event “Let There Be Drums.” His plan is to have all drummers who are present play the drum medley “Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/The End” in unison, hopefully drumming their way to a new world record.

According to the Let There Be Drums website, the medley will be “led by the world’s most recorded drummer, Bernard Purdie, and featuring top drummers who have performed and recorded with artists such as Miles Davis, Joe Cocker, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and Jonny Lang.”

“If there are a thousand drummers playing, that’s a spectacle,” Sterling said. Not only would this event be amazing to watch, but it could also help direct attention to an issue closer to Sterling’s heart. Each drummer that participates is asked to find a sponsor for at least $150.00. The 30 Days Foundation, a charity founded by Sterling, will receive some of these proceeds.

The $150 level is the “Mick Fleetwood” sponsorship level. Drummers with bigger sponsors can attain the “Dave Grohl” ($500), “Max Weinberg” ($1,000), “John Bonham” ($2,500), “Keith Moon” ($5,000), or even “Ringo Starr” ($10,000) levels.

The 30 Days Foundation is a Twin-Cities based nonprofit that makes one-time financial grants for families in need of financial assistance. It was established in 2011, and has since helped over 30,000 families in the area.

While the drumming session may seem like a lofty goal, Sterling is optimistic and excited about the outcome. “With everything that’s going on right now,” he said, “something like this has significance.”

In addition to the event, there will be a trade show on Sept. 19 at McNally Smith College of Music from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This show offers an opportunity for meet-and-greets with participating drummers, drumming clinics run by Bernard Purdie and the chance to check out displays from top drum manufacturers.

Interested in being a part of the drum medley, know someone who could be, or just interested in attending? Find more information, including a schedule and volunteer opportunities, on the event’s website.