Originally Posted by Narada
What is really reprehensible when the question of Ringo's drumming dexterity rears its ugly head is that Paul, John and George never did the right thing when they unceremoniously dumped Pete Best from the group in the first place.
Considering that the type of live drumming required by Rock & Roll percussionist in the early 1960's was not what it was by the late 1960's, Best was as good as, or better than, Ringo. John, Paul and George never complained about Best's competency for the year he played in clubs with them. In fact, it seems Best was the real draw for the chics who came to see these Liverpudlians.
It is obvious that when the Beatles were about to turn the corner, they had pangs of insecurity and even resentment about their current drummer, who was better looking and who might upstage their lyrics and melodies.
Would Billy Cobham or Ginger Baker have fit into the Beatles scheme better than Ringo? Of course not. Ringo was the perfect non-threatening musician who was counted on to compliment the stylized George Martin studio sound and who would not Wow! listeners with riffs that might diminish the other three's capabilities.
But it is interesting when the group (John, Paul, George) pursued individual careers, they all employed drummers whom they did not inhibit from a more productive and energetic rhythm than Ringo demonstrated on the Beatles 13 albums.
Had Ringo been Herman's Hermit's drummer would anyone know his name today? No. But Ringo was smart enough to know a good thing when he saw it (heard it?) and he rode the Beatles phenomenon for all it was worth.
I could NOT imagine The Beatles without Ringo, it is that simple. There is a symbiotic relationship that can not be denied. Really, I think it is illogical to start saying that one drummer is better than another. Maybe if you had 2 drummers having to play the same piece of music and then be judged you could say one was "more technical" or the other had "better feel" but you would still have 2 drummers. I'm not sure if that is a very good analogy but perhaps the gist is understood. Great points made Bernard and yourself, it definitely leans to my way of thinking.