Re: Ringo Starr
I'm a Ringo fan. I was defending Ringo before I ever thought of becoming a drummer, because if you actually listen to the Beatles (as I did, over and over, growing up due to my hippie parents) you will probably find that even though the drum beats are technically pretty simple, they're generally a very strong part of the song. One of my favorites is "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey". Whacky beat, played impeccably.
Two things I need to refute: first, the nonsense that Purdie played 'all of' Ringo's drum tracks. I have a copy of The Beatles Anthology, where Ringo very frankly talks about how he became a member of the group, and the songs he did and did not play. Except for Andy White playing drums on 'Love Me Do' (which Ringo is rather pissed about to this day, since it's a trivial drum beat) and Paul/John trying to play drums on songs like "Back in the USSR" due to tension within the group, Ringo played them all. The article linked above does a very solid job of discrediting Purdie's statements about playing in Ringo's stead, so the only reason I could see for anyone actually furthering this nonsense is because they just don't like Ringo.
Second, all this crap about The Beatles picking Ringo because Pete Best was supposedly too good or too hot or whatever - just drop it. The Beatles replaced Pete Best because he wasn't a good enough drummer, he didn't practice, and he didn't show up for gigs. From The Beatles Anthology:
Paul McCartney: "George Martin ... was not very pleased with Pete Best. George Martin was very used to drummers being very 'in time'. George took us to one side and said 'I'm really unhappy with the drummer. Would you consider changing him?' We said, 'No, we can't!' It was one of those terrible things you go through as kids. Can we betray him? No. But our career was on the line."
John Lennon: "This myth built up over the years that he was great and Paul was jealous of him because he was pretty and all that crap. They didn't get on that much together, but it was partly because Pete was a bit slow. He was a harmless guy, but he was not quick. The reason he got into the group in the first place was because we had to have a drummer to get to Hamburg. We were always going to dump him when we could find a decent drummer, but by the time we were back from Germany we'd trained him to keep a stick going up and down (four-in-the-bar, he couldn't do much else) and he looked nice and the girls liked him, so it was all right."
George Harrison: "To me it was apparent: Pete kept being sick and not showing up for gigs so we would get Ringo to sit in with the band instead, and every time Ringo sat in, it seemed like 'this is it'. Eventually we realised, 'We should get Ringo in the band full time.' I was quite responsible for stirring things up. I conspired to get Ringo in for good."
Paul McCartney: "Pete Best was good, but a bit limited. You can hear the difference on the Anthology tapes. When Ringo joins us we get a bit more kick, a few more imaginative breaks, and the band settles."
So in the end you either like him or dislike him because of how he drums, not because of some BS story about him replacing a better drummer who was prettier, or being a shell pretending to play what Purdie really played.
Ringo was obviously very capable, if not a great technical drummer (something he freely admits to - as my sig used to say, he believes that drumming should be solid rather than busy).
If you want to bag on a drummer, why not Meg from the White Stripes? There's a really, really limited drummer. And the best part is that if you criticize her, Jack calls you a misogynist. What a world.