Happy Birthday Ringo

Peace & Love Tribute to Ringo @ 70

So a drummer who I didn’t really rate at first, because he was part of a song-based band and didn’t show off, went on to become arguably the best rock drummer at supporting the song. Given that he had Lennon and McCartney, then Harrison, to support you have to say that the quality he was given to work with was pretty amazing. But here’s the thing, he improved the songs, rounded them out, supported them, made them work as recorded songs in the studio. Here are 13 Reasons why Ringo is a great drummer, and a good Ringo biography. Lennon called him “the heart of The Beatles” George said that without him it was “like a car with three wheels” and Paul said “he’s just a loveable, interesting intelligent bloke. But I say that after a Hard Days Night, Tomorrow Never Knows. Have a great one Ringo (and the burger after the Hard Rock show). Here he is with Paul playing George’s audition piece from the fifties; Raunchy;

Rain; What would I put down as I my favourite Ringo track? Several actually and they change from time to time. The first time I noticed Ringo was in the intro to She Loves You; I just love a good drum roll in the intro. And in the great Rain (only a B-side!) he wallops those skins from the off, even louder when remastered. (Warning contains Volume!). Rain;

More great Ringo Drumming;

I Feel Fine; One of The Beatles first songs as a Rock Band rather than as a Pop Smash Hits band. Big hit all the same with a great feedback intro from John, George supplying the riff then Ringo supplies a great drum intro and a range of drum patterns throughout making a great rock single; funny video but, yep We Feel Fine;

Act Naturally; John, Paul, George and Ringo indicates the date at which each of them joined The Beatles, but in the USA it was different. Ringo was the most popular at first and he loved going to the USA so he could rebalance the fame thing. He was also the best actor in Hard Days Night, especially with a hangover, so in HELP! he was given his own song about acting. Here it is live with Ringo MCing,

Ticket to Ride; However Ringo is probably better remembered in HELP for his driving drumming on Ticket to Ride (the first heavy metal track according to some). His drumming is unusually important, driving the track rather than supporting the song; GREAT! Go Ringo, Ticket to Ride;

TNK; The Beatles got very experimental on Revolver and the recording for that album began with Mark One featuring all sorts of innovations, tape loops, backwards guitars, mistake (ding!), voices from the hills, multi-tracking and flanging. And then Ringo had to make sense of it. He did. He gave it a title and with some brilliant drumming, (obviously copied by Jaki Leibzeit in Can), we found out that Tomorrow Never Knows;

With A Little Help From My Friends; Sgt Peppers is probably best remembered for the best song that Ringo was given to sing. He does a great job and here is a video that was made by beatlesholic as a tribute to Ringo and his great performance on Sgt. Peppers, With A Little Help From My Friends;

Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite; for Ringo Sgt Pepper is the least typical Beatles album and the hardest for Ringo to come up with his trademark drum patterns that support the song. The tracks were often created from fragments and processed on the studio. Nonetheless UNCUT magazine regard Ringo’s work on Pepper as his best as he continued to make the tracks work. Here he is working with a calliope on the Edwardian sounding Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite;

Glass Onion; Ringo’s drumming was great through The White Album, one of his favourites as The Beatles were back to being a band and less a bunch of creative artist playing with the studio. Here is one of his sharper rock performances on Lennon’s Glass Onion;

Helter Skelter; However the track Ringo most often quoted as his favourite on THE BEATLES was Paul’s attempt to out do The Who. Which means Ringo reckoned he went up against Keith Moon and came out ahead. They were drinking buddies for years after this so maybe his performance here gave him te comfidence to keep up with Moon. Here he is and he’s “got blisters on me fingers” Helter Skelter;

Get Back; The future’s Bright! The future’s Orange PVC if you’re a drummer. A bunch of Dick van Dyke fans climbed over the London roof tops as though they were looking for Mary Poppins. But here is Ringo, up on the roof where he can see for miles, with a bunch of Jo Jammers, hammering out a shuffle beat to a little rock n roll ditty as the boys Get Back;

Ludwig Hollywood Drum Kit. As part of the au naturel Get Back project Ringo got a brad new natural drum kit, a maple Ludwig with calf skins, but it was the Toms Toms that he loved. Anyone familiar with the opening track to Abbey Road will know that about the first thing you here are Ringo’s Tom Tom drums. This is what Ringo would have looked like playing his part. This is what it might have sounded like to be Ringo in the studio at the time. Great vid too for this alternate take of Come Together;

Octopus’s Garden; Like George Ringo wrote songs, unlike George he didn’t get good at it until after The Beatles( well It Don’t Come Easy. Probably the best is Octopus’s Garden, which is now a genuine highlight of the Las Vegas Love show. Ringo wrote it whilst on holiday from the Beatles on Peter Seller’s yacht in the Med (as we say in England) near Sardinia. Sweet and breezy he’d like to be in an Octopus’s Garden; 

Remasters; I started this project to celebrate the Beatles Remasters in 2009 and the Ringo track that grabbed me the most on the Remasters was Boys off the first album Please Please Me.  Originally the B-side to Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (come on Ringo!) he obviously loved it as he plays it with his All-Star Band, even on TV Boys

Ringo was in a gang in his hood, until his new gang became hoodies to the world. He was just a natural collaborator. And in the end they broke up, and he released his first post-Beatles album which he discusses here;

Birthday; Well Ringo you say it is your birthday, well here’s to you, yes you’re going to a party, party for a Hard Rock Birthday;

THE END; Ringo was spot on in avoiding drum solos, he worked both sides of the song, but for their closing track as Beatles in 1969 just as endless prog rock tracks were becoming popular The Beatles finally decided to write a song in which they all had solos. Not only does Ringo supply a punchy solo but all three guitarists in the band, John Paul and George rip of solos too. How long does it last? All of 2 minutes and 19 seconds, including the fabulous coda of reminding us that the love you take is equal to the love you make. You Made It Peace & Love Ringo;


This was updated on 6th July 2019 and is part of a series with Beatle George and Paul’s Bass

3 Responses to “Happy Birthday Ringo”

  1. Marino Tarulli Says:

    Ringo was missing puzzle,and gave the band what they want, he was so natural that you could here is drumming pretty well all song.

  2. […] you liked this post you might like Happy Birthday Ringo or Paul’s Bass. On the PopPressed Radar Print Magazine's New Visual Artists Saint […]

  3. […] The Ballad of John about Lennon’s contribution to the Beatles will complete the quartet on Ringo’s Skins, Paul’s Bass and George’s Weeps. The second key post will be The Beatles in Hamburg. I […]

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