Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to ...


Ringo Starr turns 70 years old today!!!

Ringo joined the Beatles in August 1962 shortly after the band signed its first recording contract.  Their producer, George Martin, insisted that the group's drummer (Pete Best) be replaced.  This was a tough situation for a new guy; John, Paul, and George had been performing together since 1958.  But as a musician and as a bandmate, Ringo was a perfect fit.

One can argue that Ringo Starr was a great drummer who joined a great band -- or that Ringo was an extremely good drummer who joined an extremely good band which combined to make a great band.  I'm inclined to prefer the later.

Each Beatles song has a distinct flavor and, to a great extent, I find Ringo's drumming the single greatest factor in creating this variety.  He never tried to duplicate a previous recording.  He was always fresh.

The quality of Ringo's percussion work can now be heard better than ever.  The remastered Beatles CDs released last year bring out the quality of the band's rhythm section.  Textures never before heard on Paul's bass and Ringo's drums are amazingly clear.  (The same can be said of the texture of John's vocals.)

Ringo was lesser known for his vocal contributions to the Beatles.  While he lacked the range of the others, his voice is quite good.  Most notable are Honey Don't, Yellow Submarine, and With A Little Help from My Friends.  He also sang on his two compositions: Don't Pass Me By (from the album the Beatles) and Octopus's Garden (Abbey Road).  Video was an important part of the Beatles.  The quality of Ringo's acting certainly surpassed his bandmates, particularly in A Hard Day's Night.

Post-Beatles, Ringo went on to a successful solo career.  His son, Zak Starkey, is also a superb drummer best known for his work with the Who.

So here's to Ringo.

And Ringo, if you are ever looking for a ghost writer for an autobiography or someone to write an authorized biography, please contact me.  I'm ready.

- Dave

1 comment:

Chris Creel said...

Well certainly, Happy Birthday to Ringo!