Thread: Ringo Starr
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:55 AM
rlyman59 rlyman59 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Default Re: Ringo Starr

I've been listening to the Beatles all my life. I have read hundreds of books, including those on drummer Pete Best. Before I go on I must say I have always thought Ringo was a pretty good drummer. I posted this on another site in response to the 13 reason to respect Ringo and 20 years ago I would have agreed with those reasons, but I since found that most of what Ringo and the other British invasion drummers were doing was simply copying the rockabilly or rock n roll drummers of the 50s. Even Ringo has said in interviews "Nothing I was doing was new. It was just me copying my idols" I don’t agree with almost all thirteen of the 13 reasons. It's nothing against Ringo, they just simply aren't true.

Number one, the drums were extremely heavy during the 1950s. I don’t know where the myth got started that they didn’t have much in the way of drums back then, but it’s all wrong. And many of the drummers from back then had a much deeper and lower and louder sound than the Beatles, and I’m talking about hundreds of songs. People need to research into 50s rock n roll a lot more. When Eddie Cochran would play, his drummer would often join him up on stage during interviews. 50s drummers weren't all in the shadows.

Number Two, many other drummers during that time used Ringo’s style of holding the sticks. He in no way was the first.

Number three, Drummers played on high risers long before the Beatles used them. If you do a little research, you’ll be able to find pictures of the Beatles with Pete Best on drums, playing up on a high rise. If anyone wants to see the pic of pete on the high rise it's...

Number four, Ringo played his first Beatles song on a Premier drum kit. He changed to Ludwig because session drummer Andy White used them on Love Me Do and Ringo was impressed with their sound. This is right from interviews with Ringo and Andy White.

Number five, again you need to go back, and I of course mean the original recordings, and listen to the 1950s rock n roll especially the rockabilly style of the late 50s. Youtube has a 1000+ examples. Check out the original SUSIE Q by Dale Hawkins, 1958. The drums on that song are as loud anything the Beatles ever recorded. I’m sure even Ringo would agree- but really it’s not the fault of anyone who thinks otherwise. They never play most 50s rock n roll on the radio. The AM channels cherry pick out the soft stuff and play it to death, maybe throw in a little Chuck Berry or so. They pulled the lions teeth and took out its claws, and play this 300 song watered down version of 50s rock.

Number six, I keep hearing this perfect tempo thing but it sounds like hype. If you can’t keep a beat you can’t play in the studio. That was allegedly the main complaint about Ringo and Pete. Martin said that neither could keep a beat in time with the Bass player. Ringo recorded on 9/4/62, and Martin said he was out of time and he put Andy White on the next version of Love Me Do in 9/10/62. McCartney said in a 1989 interview that Martin had never Produced for a rock n roll band and he expected the drums to sound like the drums he was used to on the Cozy Cole and Frank Sinatra records he’d heard. When Best and Starr played the Club style of rock n roll it was completely alien to him. The Beatles didn’t know this at the time, and Pete got axed (Though some of it was jealousy over popularity) to satisfy Martin. The popularity issue was definitely a factor in the Best firing. When Best would do the singing at venues where there was no high rise, the other Beatles had to sit down on the stage so the crowd could see Pete. They never did that for Ringo. They found out after hiring Starr (Took them ten weeks to hire a new drummer, they asked 6 other guys before they got to Starr, one of them Bobby Graham, who would later become a legendary sessions drummer) that the problem was Martin and not Best, but the change had already been made. Interestingly, though, when the Beatles came into the studio on 9/4/62 the producers and engineers had no idea that the Beatles were changing drummers. They had only told the Beatles that they weren't satisfied with his drums, and had not told them to replace him. On that day no sessions drummer was present. Best would have played that day. They had changed the arrangement of Love me Do over the last 10 weeks and Best would have pretty much played the same version as Ringo. Here's the link showing the Beatles sitting on the stage while Pete sings and plays drums...

Number seven, no comment

Number eight, no comment .

Number nine, I think his style gave them a signature sound but it hardly pushed drumming into new frontiers.

Number ten, more hype and says the same thing as eight. Of course he was a very good drummer and very professional. He wasn’t a world shaker or the best there ever was, and he would have been better if Abby Road’s studios weren’t so primitive. The Beatles often commented that the American Studios were always six years ahead of them. Abby Road was using equipment that the American rockers used in 1958. They didn’t get 8 track recording equipment until halfway through the White Album, something American studios had back in 64. I suppose it was because they were stuck in an EMI contract that said they had to record in England. The Stones managed to escape it and come to the states to record in 1964.

Number eleven, again, they didn’t run to Ringo as soon as Martin expressed his dissatisfaction with Pete, and as I said, they didn’t quite understand why he didn’t like Pete. Martin approached them after the 6/5/62 recording session and said he didn’t like the arrangement of the song Love Me Do. The Beatles were trying to play it in the Style of Bruce Channels hit "Hey Baby," a favorite of theirs at the time, (if you listen to Hey Baby on youtube you kind of get the feel of what they were trying to do on this early version of Love Me Do) and after that session Martin expressed to Paul Mccartny off to the side that the drummer wasn’t keeping perfect time with the Bass, something none of the club bands did, not with the frenzied punk beat of the music played in those venues. Paul said in the 1989 interview in the Book Beatles Recording Sessions that they were pretty much four in floor with as heavy bass as possible, commenting, "We used to break stages with it." McCartney said in that same interview that we're happy with his drumming. He's played great for the past two years. (700 live performances as their drummer, at a average 5 hours on stage a day) Martin said, "He's not accurate enough for the studio, and that was as far as the conversation went. He would say the same thing about Ringo after the 9/4/62 session. Somehow Martin learned what the rock drummers were trying to do and let Ringo play (He later said "I felt he wasn't a great drummer but for our purposes he would do fine.", plus it was cheaper than hiring a session drummer which they hadn't done for the 9/4/62 session. After the 6/5/62 session John, Paul, and George spent the next 10 weeks looking for another drummer behind Pete’s back. The first guy they asked was Bobby Graham, the Drummer for Joe Brown and The Bruvvers, a band that had a number one hit song called "A Picture of You." Graham refused to quit the Bruvvers because he said they had a hit song already and the Beatles did not. You can google this. Graham would go on become one the Best session drummer in Rock history, play on all the Hermans Hermits, Kinks, Animals, Petula Clark, etc, etc,, he probably ended up on more hits than Ringo, but of course the sessions guys never got their names on the records, all on the QT. As the summer of 62 worn on, after asking several other drummers and gossip getting back to Pete at one point, the Beatles decided they couldn’t turn back and called Ringo, who had sat in for them twice, once in March when Pete had the flue and again in May when Pete had a funeral because of a death in his family, both lunch times slots at the Cavern. So, Starr, did become and excellent drummer for them but he wasn't their first choice. Most people ignore the 10 week lag time in how Ringo came to the Beatles. Starr would later say in interviews that he played with the Beatles every two week for several month up until Pete's sacking but evidence later surfaced, because of the meticulous records kept of their live shows by Pete and Neil Aspinal (Not sure if the last name spelling is right) that Pete only missed 4 gigs during the two years, and Ringo had only sat in on those two. Neil of course stayed with the Beatles for their entire career and was a good friend of the Beatles, so he is a neutral source. He confirms that Pete missed only 4 gigs during the two years.

I have to agree with 12 for the most part. I think there a might a couple of other songs that maybe McCartney played on but Ringo was their primary drummer. McCartney was an excellent drummer, though. He played all the instruments on the "band on the run" album and those drums on that LP are pretty good. Before Ringo joined the band, Pete would come to the front of the stage and take the mic to sing Peppermint Twist. Best would actually dance the twist while singing this song, while McCartney took over on drums. There are pictures of this on the internet. This made Pete a pretty big hit when he came to the forefront, hence more reason for jealousy.

13, well, who else were they gonna get but Ringo. He’s played with them for 8 years and did a great job, and they were buddy’s. I’m a big Beatles fan and over the last 15 years, thanks to searching out the original artists from the Beatles BBC recordings and overwhelming amount of 50s rock n roll that has hit Youtube, I have become a big fan of the music the Beatles grew up with. If it wasn’t for the Beatles at the BBC, I would still be listening to classic rock radio. Since I went backward, before the Beatles, 70s and 80s music has never sounded as good as it used too. It’s the biggest influence the Beatles have had on me.

Last edited by rlyman59; 04-26-2013 at 11:26 AM. Reason: typos
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