Thread: Ringo Starr
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:45 AM
BeatlesFan BeatlesFan is offline
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Default Re: Ringo Starr

Steve Gadd on playing with Clapton, McCartney and his new band
A conversation with a drumming icon

Joe Bosso, Mon 5 Jul 2010, 7:00 pm BST

Your discography is so vast, there's no way to list even half of the artists you've worked with. However, I do want to ask you about playing with Paul McCartney, who's no slouch on the drums himself.

"In one way or another, the job is always the same: you try to come up with parts that are supportive of the music. When I worked with Paul, he didn't give me a lot of direction per se. There were a few times, I think, when I wasn't playing as big and loud or as energetic as he wanted, so I made whatever adjustments were necessary.

"Again, I try to listen to the song. If you can listen to the song and really visualize in your head what it needs to be, you can figure out the dynamics and the backbeat and everything else.

"I remember there was a lot of emotion in the air the first time I recorded with Paul. It was not too long after John Lennon had been shot, so as you can imagine, things were…it was heavy. The emotions that everybody was feeling, coupled with the beauty of our surroundings [the island of Montserrat, where George Martin operated AIR Studios], it all came out in the music. Oh, and Ringo Starr was there, too. I had played with him on one of his solo records, so we were old friends. It was great being around him; he's so inspiring."

What kind of musical dialogue do you have with somebody like Ringo? Even though he's one of the greatest drummers in rock 'n' roll history, he's very unlike you in that he doesn't read or write music, never studied theory…

"Yeah, I know what you mean. We had a great time together. See, Ringo comes from a different kind of school, and I find that totally exciting and challenging. How he does what he does…it's so different from what other drummers do. If somebody approaches music or their instrument in a way that's unique, I want to be around that person. To me, there's something to learn there."

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