Joe Walsh from the Eagles buys drums from Drum Cafe

Joe Walsh and his wife Marjorie Bach with Drum Cafe founder Warren Lieberman. They met after one of his sold out concerts with The Eagles in Johannesburg. Joe Walsh bought these  amazing drums for his brother in law, Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr is a founding member of the Beatles.

We had a great conversation with Smokey Wendell, Joe Walsh’s tour manager, explaining where the drums came from.

I would like to know if you could help me out. I am Joe Walsh Tour Manager, Last April I had 5 African Drums shipped via 

Big Concerts from Cape Town to me for Joe. I need to know if you could put me in touch with the gentlemen  who made the drums.
Joe would like a bit of background on them, as he is going to be giving them as gift . (to Ringo Starr)
Anything you can do to help me work this out would be great.
Thank you & you can email me what to find out..

Smokey Wendell


 Hi there sorry to bother you but I am running out of time and need to ask if you could jump into the mix to help me.
What I need is any and all info on the drums, like how old they are, where they came from, who made them, what they are made of  etc etc along with anything  more you can think of to add to the request.
I need to put this together by this Friday 29.
So please let me know if you can help sort out what I am looking for on behalf of Joe.
TM – Joe Walsh

Hi Smokey

Here are some more details about the drums.
The Drums were brought to Johannesburg in the late 90’s by a woman from Harare by the name of Norma Chikowore.  Norma Chikowore unfortunately passed away 5 years ago, but she was a skilled art collector from Zimbabwe, who collected rare artifacts from Zimbabwe and sold them to various art galleries and collectors in South Africa.
Your particular set was kept for many years  at Maurice Fresco, who together with Todd Twala and Thembi Nyandeni first produced the African show Umoja. Your drums were played by various groups that Maurice Fresco managed including a group known as “Vuka Lova” which means – “Wake up you loafers.” I met Norma Chikowore at Maurice Fresco’s house in early 2000’s and bought here collection of drums that she was keeping there. Including the 3 drums that you now have.
At the Drum Cafe we used these drums for our shows when we performed for dignitaries like Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu. Some of Norma’s drums were used in our Show Drumstruck which toured to New York in 2005 and played at the Dodger stages for 18 months. Drumstruck now plays every year in Japan and we are currently negotiating a tour to the West End. Your particular drums have been played in Drumstruck during some of the tours.
We have used the drums for various concerts including the Live Earth concert
 and 30 seconds to mars.
The drums were also played in our orchestra (a not for profit organisation ) – which is a 100 piece orchestra using only indigenous Southern African instruments, including sets of tuned Kudu horns, Marimba’s Mbira’s etc
It has also been displayed at our drum museum since 2005.
In the picture of the museum, you can see a Venda drum in the front which is a very sacred drum, used at Tshikona competitions. It is carried by 4 people with sticks through the handles. There are some myths that say this drum is a copy of the lost arch of the bible, brought to South Africa by the Lembe people. (a lost jewish tribe)
According to Geoffrey Tracy, (former curator of ILAM (International Library of African Music), drums with similar designs are from the Batonga Tribe, an ancient people who live on the North Western side of Zimbabwe.
I have sent him a picture of your drum to see if he can pinpoint the actual village where the drums was made.
I have also sent the image of your drums to our Drum Cafe Branch in Zimbabwe to see if they can also find out which family  made the drums.
I have personally seen drums of similar designs at a small market at Victoria Falls, which is at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The estimated age of the drums are between 30 to 100 years old.
I hope this information help.
I will send more information as we get it.
If you need any other info please call, it is no bother at all.
Warren Lieberman

This is just what I needed a BIG thanks to you for sending me this information .


Information about the people in the picture

Joseph Fidler Walsh (born November 20, 1947) is an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he has been a member of three successful rock bands: James Gang, Eagles, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Walsh has also experienced success both as a solo artist and as a prolific session musician, being featured on a wide array of other artists’ recordings. In 2011, Rolling Stone placed him at the No. 54 spot on its list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Marjorie Bach is Barbara Bach’s sister and is married to Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr is an incredible drummer and has an extensive collection of fine drums. He now owns a magnificent set of Zimbabwean Tonga drums from the Drum Cafe.