Re: Ringo Starr
Another late-comer to this party. This is my second post, so it's appropriate that it's about the drummer who first peaked my interest in drumming and has had more influence on my drumming than any other:
Sometime between 8-10 yrs of age I started getting into the very early Beatles stuff. Then someone gave me 'Revolver' (mid 70s). Wow! Keep in mind that by this stage I only owned a best of the Shadows, Beach Boys and the first couple of Beatles albums. The track that is responsible for my fascination with drumming is "Tomorrow Never Knows". Not a difficult drum track, but I just couldn't get enough of the off-beat tom accents Ringo played. I got some sticks (not drum sticks, but shortened garden stakes) and practiced on pots and pans until I could get that right (much to the exasperation of my mother who patiently listened to the Beatles accompanied by an assortment of her cookware for hours on end). That's where it all started for me!
The other thing that we need to remember about Ringo is that he played in a band that was rewriting the rule book. There were so many things they did that noone else had done and they covered so much ground musically. Imagine the creativity, intuition and feel for music that was needed to develop drum parts for all of this?
One of the many songs (for me at least) that demonstrate Ringo's skill is Helter Skelter. Again, not a difficult drum track, but look at how he made his kit sound - especially the cymbals! Overdrive all the way, without peppering the music with drum fills and acrobatics. Amazing!
The other drummer who really influenced me is Brian Bennett (Shadows drummer for most of the 60s). No doubt my mother still cringes whenever she hears "Rise and fall of Flingel Bunt" - another song that got my pre-pubescent kettle & pan treatment. For an excellent example of Brian's ability to pay melodic drum parts, listen to "Slaughter on 10th Street". Great stuff!