Archive for Ringo

The Beatles Let It Be 1969

Posted in Abbey Road, Beatles History, Let It Be with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by fred6368

Beatles Creativity (6) And In The End

In 1968 The Beatles peaked again recording their longest, most diverse and biggest selling White Album, and their longest and most successful single Hey Jude. The Beatles created great work when they had time to prepare, had a break and worked closely with collaborative Fifth Beatles. Starting the Get Back Sessions 6 busy weeks later as ‘lets make an album without prep because we are such geniuses’, was as pre-destined to fail as the Magical Mystery Tour. Both were saved as albums because The Beatles knew how to write and record songs and meet a deadline. Thanks to Rishikesh and Kinfauns the White Album had been their best prepared album, so missing recording to deal with Apple Business didn’t affect that plan. However as Ringo said in 1969 ‘now it is all he, where it used to be all we.” McCartney had visited the Harlem Apollo whilst living in Greenwich Village with Linda & Heather, George had recorded Indian music & jammed with The Band, Ringo was an actor and Lennon wanted to be with Yoko. Arriving at a film studio cold and early on January 2nd 1969 to create spontaneously doesn’t work for musical historians and cultural editors.

Of all the writing on Let It Be only Kenneth Womack picks up on the inordinate amount of fifties songs The Beatles played whilst ‘creating’ on the Twickenham Studios Sound Stage, and identifies it with some of the regression they displayed on the White Album, such as McCartney turning into his Dad on Honey Pie. The Beatles had completed their cycle of learning about musical creativity, applied what they knew to Apple but failed to re-imagine themselves as a musical collective. To move on they wanted to get back to where they once belonged. Some of the tension, creativity and jamming is captured in this 14 5 minute outtake from the film Let It Be;   Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Ringo

Posted in Ringo Starr with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by fred6368

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. 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 and George playing something 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 Ringo Drumming; Continue reading

Beatles Psychedelia 1966-67

Posted in Beatles History, Open Context Model of Learning with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2010 by fred6368

Beatles Creativity (4) All You Need is Heutagogy

Being settled in London The Beatles had fed their creativity in 1964 & 65 with a series of collaborations with their musical peers. They were now rooted in London’s social life with Ringo’s legendary flat at 34 Montagu Square their main hangout outside of Abbey Road studio 2. London in the early sixties was exploding with the energy of new post-war ideas that revolted out of art schools into style, fashion and design. This was exemplified by Mary Quant, miniskirts, Bazaar, photography, magazines, beatniks, Viper skiffle, rock n roll, clubs, Coke, uppers, music and working-class cool. For the very first time, in the country that had invented trade unions, the working class were being celebrated for their cool rather than their militancy. Terence Stamp, Michael Caine, Duffy, Donovan and Bailey along with Twiggy and others were democratising the cultural industries. The Beatles took the next step which was to re-invent their own cultural industry, music, through the love they made with their creative use of their studio craft, collaborations (Martin’s arrangements & Geoff’s engineering), Paul’s music hall melodies, John’s performance art decision-making, Ringo’s rhythmic support, George’s ego-less experiments and new songs; psychedelia. Starting with a “song” so iconic even Dan Draper (Mad Men) listens to it. Tomorrow Never Knows  of course! There is a continuous YouTube Playlist of this post here. Continue reading

Beatles Singles 1962-64

Posted in Beatles History, Open Context Model of Learning with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by fred6368

Beatles Creativity Phase Two; Singles Men

Trevor Horn, who in November 1963 was inspired to become a producer when he noticed the difference between the Beatles error-strewn live performance on the Royal Variety Show compared to the exuberant polish of their studio songs, observed that there is always one weak member of a group when it comes to recording; which is why he says he never recorded U2.  George Martin thought the same with Pete Best and, sadly, I think that Pete was a live rock n roll drummer and not cut out for the studio work supporting the song that Ringo delivered at Abbey Road; here are The Beatles trying to find their recording feet whilst auditioning with Pete Best on Love Me Do;   Continue reading

Got To Be Free

Posted in Abbey Road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2009 by fred6368

ABBEY ROAD

Abbey Road is a great album which still sounds great today for all sorts of reasons. However when it came out the non-touring Beatles were surrounded by loads of bands who, like them, were also “self-contained units” writing and recording their own material, but who also played live. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream and the Who had all released double albums at least as interesting as the White Album, and new groups like King Crimson, Soft Machine and Free, to name but three I saw, were blisteringly good live. No longer were The Beatles effortlessly better than their peers. Ironically 1969 was arguably the most productive year the four Beatles ever had as they worked on 2 Beatles albums, 3 singles and a film as well as their solo work (3 albums and 3 singles by Lennon, 2 albums by George, film acting by Ringo and the production of Badfinger and others by Paul). To fans like me it didn’t seem like they were working hard at the time as the “Get Back” film was put on hold. Nonetheless Come Together was immediately  recognised as a great rocker and, after the Love remastering, even George Martin likes it.  Continue reading

And Then There Were Four

Posted in White Album with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by fred6368

The White Album

Ringo had called Sgt Pepper a “great album where I learnt to play chess” but now it was time to “shake out the jams” and be a group again. In May 68 they gathered at George’s house and put together a tape with 27 songs on it, they had 35 ready, before going to George Martin. Partly influenced by Donovan (the Beatles were influenced by everybody, that was part of their genius) this started off as their Unplugged album but it became a gift from the garden in the foothills of the Himalayas to the flower children.

In fact George Martin coped with this cornucopia by setting up three studios and working on the songs in parallel, it was Paul backed by John, George and Ringo and so on. Four individual geniuses working shifts, who were now so creative and confident that they didn’t function as The Beatles any more,  bashing out an album with a bit of everything, full of great playing and loads of studio effects. No studied perfection like Eleanor Rigby or Day In The Life but loads of creativity, innovation and fun. The pleasure in the White Album isn’t in any one song but the smorgasbord of possibilities it offered to middle class students thinking of forming bands rather than working in an office. It was an early, revolutionary template for “middle youth.”

As ever the Beatles open the White Album with a zinger, the wonderful Back In The USSR, driven by Chuck Berry with harmonising courtesy of the Beach Boys, what’s not to like? Well it was banned in large parts of America for promoting Communism! Well irony in harmony doesn’t scan but it knocked the Ukraine Girls out; and me and most everyone in little old England. You don’t have to be a communist to singalong and enjoy.

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What Would You Think?

Posted in Sgt Peppers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by fred6368

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The release of Sgt Pepper’s was a huge cultural event; “The closest Western Civilization has come to unity since the Congress of Vienna in 1815“. It created the album as a coherent artform, created modern rock and set a new benchmark. Unlike, say, The Velvet Underground and Nico, it was listened to endlessly and stayed in the album charts til well after The Beatles split up three years later. It’s release on June 1st 1967 had been set up by the wonderful Liverpool dyptych of Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, a mini Sgt. Pepper’s in a single.

It was very much a conceptual album in that it had the conceit of being a release by Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, you can see them on the cover, and NOT by The Beatles; thus removing expectations of what the album should be. Even so they opened with a rock track, a rock overture, before opening with Ringo’s song, the first of many unusual moves. The film Yellow Submarine captured much of the faux-Edwardiana of the album. It should be noted that many of us were wearing faux-Edwardiana at the time so Pepper felt both surreal and contemporary. Continue reading