"John had the vision, Paul had the heart, George had the spirit, and Ringo had two fried eggs on toast, please."- The New Rolling Stone Album Guide
A slap-happy drummer just can't get a break.
Just ask Ringo Starr, "the least-important Beatle," known for playing the drums, writing a small smattering of songs, singing the band's two, big novelty hits about undersea living, and being an all-around nice guy.
But, as we know, nice guys finish last: the poor guy has taken it on the chin so many times, even he apparently believes the hype.
- Quoted on Wikipedia, Ringo says:
"Whenever I hear another drummer, I know I'm no good. I'm no good on the technical things. I'm your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills. The fills were funny because I'm really left-handed playing a right-handed kit. I can't roll around the drums because of that."
- The late comedian Bill Hicks blamed the drugs:
- John Lennon's (lighthearted) answer to whether Ringo is the best drummer in the world:
"Ringo's not even the best drummer in The Beatles."Weinberg backs Ringo
When I worked on the O'Brien show, I had a rare chance to make smalltalk with Springsteen/Conan drummer Max Weinberg - a great drummer in his own right - who told me that his favorite drummer is Ringo Starr.
I didn't have a chance to ask him a follow-up question - by that point, security was on me - but as a (so-so) drummer myself, I must concur with Mr. Weinberg that Ringo rules (with the exception of Keith Moon, who was the greatest rock drummer of all time - and he did it full of drugs, booze, and hamburgers).
I basically learned to play the drums by copying Ringo, and there's much to recommend: his tempo, timekeeping, power, and - most of all - the idea that drums should only complement a song, not take it over. To most drummers, that idea is a very hard sell.
To me, calling Ringo, "The least-talented Beatle" is akin to calling him, "The fourth most-popular person in the world," which ain't so bad.
And I happen to love Octopus's Garden AND Yellow Submarine!
Ringo's top-eight moments at the drums:
1. Slow down - it's all about the bass drum.
2. Long Tall Sally - the great fill during the guitar solo.
3. I Should Have Known Better - immaculate timekeeping.
4. Please Please Me - that sweet, sweet backbeat.
5. The End - can a drum solo be understated?
6. I Want to Hold Your Hand - cymbalific and shambolic!
7. Rock and Roll Music - Slap-happy!
8. Tomorrow Never Knows - the Tommy Gun attack.