Ringo

Ringo Starr – Best drummer ever?

Maybe you’ve heard the old quote attributed to John Lennon from some time ago, that Ringo was NOT the best drummer in the Beatles.  Was he suggesting that Ringo was not a great drummer?  Hmmm…

Many fans were angry when Ringo was plopped into the drum stool, replacing flashy, good looking Pete Best.  Pete was a showman, but George Martin felt that Ringo was a more steady drummer, which is what the Beatles needed.

Over the years, some people have taken pot shots at the drummer, saying he wasn’t very creative and his timing wasn’t very good.  Just as many if not more have praised his rock steady timing, and his quirky drum fills.  So which is it?

This month, we dug up an older article from The Spectator, which examines our personal fave Fab drum stool resident, and boldly suggest that he was a GENIUS (we put it in caps 😉 and that the Beatles were lucky to have him. A genius?

Beatles tape loops

Ringo in studio tracking Tomorrow Never Knows

From the article: “When Paul and John first spotted him out in Hamburg, in his suit and beard, sitting ‘drinking bourbon and seven’, they were amazed. ‘This was, like, a grown-up musician,’ thought Paul.”  Yeah, okay, he’d played with showband Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, but ‘genius’?  Let’s continue, shall we?

Another thought from the article: “…the Beatles were great only because of the greatness of four men composing and playing together. Without Starr in the mix, they would have sounded quite different, and probably not as wonderful.”

More proof of his genius: “Without him, there’d be no Beatles track like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, which ends the album Revolver. With its tape-loop screeches and Lennon’s eerie vocal, the whole is held together by Starr’s astonishing, off-the-beat control on slackened tom-toms {thanks to engineer Geoff Emerick}. His drumming makes this piece of music shamanic and, still, utterly fresh.”

Who can forget that epic mini drum solo in “The End” from Abbey Road?  Or the quirky fills at the end of “A Day In The Life”?  Or that perpetual cymbal wash on the early tracks?

Ringo has also been namechecked as an influence by drummers like Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band), Questlove (The Roots), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters / Nirvana), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Tré Cool (Green Day), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Jim Keltner (various Beatles solo records), and Abe Laboriel Jr., Paul McCartney’s current tub thumper.

The author goes on to give specific examples of his genius, what do you think?  Genius? Workmanlike? Sloppy? Creative? We always welcome thoughts and comments on our posts 🙂

Here’s the link to the complete article.

Ringo’s no joke. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him

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