06-25-2010, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Re: Ringo Starr
He's the greatest: Drummers praise Ringo
Bubbly Beatle coming to Bethel
By Steve Israel
Published: 2:00 AM - 06/25/10
You know Ringo.
Lovable Ringo. Drummer for the Beatles. Singer of "Yellow Submarine," "With a Little Help From My Friends" and "Octopus's Garden."
Always flashing the peace sign. Always ready with the funny quip, like the time he was asked whether he liked topless bathing suits and he replied, "We've been wearing them for years."
Ringo will be playing those Beatles songs — and his own hits, including "It Don't Come Easy" and "Photograph" — Saturday at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, with the latest version of his All Starr Band, featuring rockers like Rick "Hang on Sloopy" Derringer.
Sometimes it seems as if we take lovable old Ringo for granted. But those in the know don't — especially when it comes to the drumming that propelled classic tunes from "She Loves You" to "Hey Jude."
To preview his gig at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, we asked a wide array of percussionists and drummers for their take on Ringo the drummer — and got some surprising answers.
Rob Affuso on Ringo
Rob Affuso of Ulster County, former drummer for Skid Row, currently leads Soul System: "Some of the stuff he did for the Beatles was absolutely perfect. As a young drummer (who worshipped Neil Peart of Rush), I didn't think he was the best who ever lived, but he played the perfect parts for the perfect band. And when I auditioned for Bon Jovi, I learned how important it was to play right in the pocket and on the groove, and that was Ringo."
Henry 'Pucho' Brown on Ringo
Henry "Pucho" Brown, Orange County percussionist who leads Pucho and the Latin Playboys and has backed greats such as Dizzy Gillespie: "He's in the pocket. He's no fantastic drummer, but while a lot of cats are all over the place, he stays in the pocket, keeping it going. He's tasty."
Gary Kvistad on Ringo
Gary Kvistad, Ulster County percussionist who plays with Steve Reich, leads his own group, Nexu, and founded — and invented — Woodstock Chimes: "Ringo has this rap for being a real simple drummer and showman, but he did a lot that was innovative, doing things other rock 'n' roll drummers didn't. He played the match grip, which means holding both sticks the same way, not the traditional two different grips. He used brushes on rock songs and mixed it up. He wasn't a soloist, but he was a really great drummer and still is."
Thurman Barker on Ringo
Thurman Barker, Jeffersonville, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies at Bard College, who's played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Cecil Taylor: "Before joining the Beatles, he was a show band drummer. So he was always making musical adjustments from one group to another. So he brought a lot of musical experience to the band. Tempo changes, many different grooves and meter changes. Ringo could handle all of this. I believe part of the Beatles' success, as far as music and the band's sound, is because of Ringo's drumming."
Jimmy Sturr on Ringo
Jimmy Sturr, Orange County polka king, who plays drums at the end of his shows: "On what he does, he's great. I mean backing the Beatles on all those songs, he's excellent, or he wouldn't have stayed a Beatle all those years."