Gimme Five: Beatles songs where Ringo Starr doesn’t, you know, suck

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has taken his share of knocks over the years. Some of those, in the interest of full disclosure, came from us. Then there was legendary jazz figure Buddy Rich’s blunt assessment: “Ringo Starr was adequate. No more than that.”

Still, it wasn’t like he didn’t have his moments — often curiously effective moments, but moments nonetheless. As former bandmate John Lennon told Playboy in one of his final interviews: “He’s not technically good, but I think Ringo’s drumming is underrated the same way Paul’s bass-playing is underrated.”

In keeping, we’d like to give Starr (nee Richard Starkey) his due. Something Else! presents five Beatles songs where Starr really stood out. — Nick DeRiso and S. Victor Aaron

1. “TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS” (REVOLVER, 1966): Though this song was uniquely Lennon’s, emerging from an acid-addled subconscious, Ringo made two odd-ball, though very important contributions.

The title was a malaprop that Starr was fond of using, and he also fashioned this unusual, lopsided beat that we believe was invented just for this number. Both matched the mood of the moment perfectly.

There was considerable thought put into getting just the right sound out of Ringo’s kit. His tom skins were reportedly slacked, and then the track was heavily compressed, using Fairchild 660 valve limiters and compressors according to engineer Geoff Emerick. Combine that with the exotic tack taken by Starr — something in full accord with the whole Eastern-influenced full-on psychedelia Lennon was aiming for — and “Tomorrow” gains a hypnotic character that entrances even amidst all the tape loops and other various effects tossed ad hoc into the recording.

As hard as it must have been to do at the time, Ringo read Lennon’s mind perfectly.

2. “I FEEL FINE” (single, 1964): Ringo pulls off a cymbal/tom-toms R&B shuffle with the proficiency of Joe Chambers. In fact, you could have transferred this drum track onto any number of Blue Note soul-jazz dates of that time and it would have fit right in.

This inate ability to swing was what initially earned Ringo a spot with the band.

“The drumming,” Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney said in the book “Many Years From Now,” “is basically what we used to think of as ‘What’d I Say’ drumming. There was a style of drumming on ‘What’d I Say’ which is a sort of Latin R&B that Ray Charles‘ drummer Milt Turner played on the original record and we used to love it. One of the big clinching factors about Ringo as the drummer in the band was that he could really play that so well.”

The Beatles then added a country-ish guitar riff — influenced, fellow Fab George Harrison later recalled, “by a record called ‘Watch Your Step,’ by Bobby Parker” — and a hit song was complete.

3. “RAIN” (B-side to “Paperback Writer” single, 1966): A favorite Beatles deep cut for many, but not necessarily for us — though we can’t precisely explain why.

There is, after all, a lot we like about this tune: the sparkling, jangly guitars, McCartney’s grooving bass brought up front and acting almost as a third guitar, and the drums. More to the point, Starr’s drum breaks. “I think it was the first time I used this trick of starting a break by hitting the hi-hat first instead of going directly to a drum off the hi-hat,” Starr once said, calling “Rain” his favorite Beatles performance.

Continuing through a period of intense studio experimentation, the Beatles reportedly recorded the original rhythm track for “Rain” at a fast tempo, then slowed the tape down to get the desired effect — “a big ominous noise,” McCartney later said.

Lennon’s drawn-out vocals, at times, threaten to drag the song down to a crawl, but Ringo’s rousing rat-a-tat keeps pulling the song out of the rut.

4. “TICKET TO RIDE” (HELP, 1965): “Ticket” is itself a fun ride, beginning with a thundering beat that, in a clever move, actually speeds up just before the fade. John liked to call it “one of the earliest heavy-metal records.”

It’s also one of those examples where Starr’s drumming would sound like an amateur taking ill-advised chances — until you consider the context. Ringo once said he plays to the vocals, and no where is that more evident.

Throughout, Starr is in almost telepathic sync with the heartbreak theme, and follows Lennon stride for stride into a more strident cadence for the bridge. The rolling fills in between the chorus and verse add some flair, too. Good musicians are good listeners, and Starr listened well on “Ticket To Ride.”

“Ringo is the leader in the education for all young drummers of style over flash,” Police drummer Stewart Copeland once said, “always playing the right things rather than a lot of things.”

In retrospect, this beat — perhaps best described as falling-down-the-stairs — was also a kind of preview of what he uncorked for “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

5. “A DAY IN THE LIFE” (SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, 1967): Arguably the first prog rock song, it continues to rack up accolades both for main composer Lennon and for its brilliant arrangement. (A new Rolling Stone list, in fact, declares “Day” the best Beatles song ever.) But this was a Starr masterpiece, too.

Listen closely to his drums and how he works the timbres and shadings. “The drum fills on ‘A Day In The Life’ are very complex things,” Genesis drummer Phil Collins said in a 1992 interview. “You could take a great drummer today and say, ‘I want it like that.’ They wouldn’t know what to do.”

The distant thunder effect Ringo gets from them, especially in the final verses, complements Lennon’s heavily reverbed voice to perfection. Starr manipulates the tonality of his kit with the finesse of a tympani player.

On that one day in 1967, Ringo Starr was a better drummer than Ginger Baker.

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ALSO CONSIDERED: “I’m Down,” where the Beatles risked skidding out of control, if not for Starr’s steady hand; “Glass Onion,” as Ringo gallops along merrily; “In My Life” for the nifty, gentle hi-hat/snare funk rhythm; “Something,” a subtle delight; “Sgt. Pepper Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise), which descends with a titanic opening beat; “She Said, She Said,” a terrific example of his straight-ahead rock style; “She Loves You,” with its signature high-hat sizzle; and “Come Together,” where Starr deftly blends his drums with both the vocals (“shoo” …) and McCartney’s bass. No one has ever been quite able to replicate that.

NOT CONSIDERED: Starr’s very rudimentary 17-second solo on “The End” from 1969’s Abbey Road; and both “Back in the U.S.S.R” and “Ballad of John and Yoko,” which actually feature McCartney on drums — and make utterly clear the ridiculousness of Lennon’s oft-quoted one-off comment that Ringo was the second-best drummer in the band.

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • Josh

    "Come Together" is one that came to mind for me but these are very good choices.

  • Nick Deriso

    I was sitting here thinking about Ringo's terrific work on Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" record, too.

    • bgrass13

      I was thinking the same thing – most of Ringo’s work on “Plastic Ono Band” is outstanding in it’s drive and simplicity. Truly memorable.

  • Paul

    So how do you compare Ringo and his son as drummers. I'm not sure if Ringo could play with The Who..

    • John

      Not sure that Ringo would want to play with the Who! Hell, Peyton Manning wouldn’t want to play with the Panthers, would he?

  • Nick Deriso

    Along with his ongoing tenure with the Who, Zak Starkey has also appeared with the reformed Spencer Davis Group, Oasis, Denny Laine of Wings, Paul Weller and Johnny Marr. I think this speaks to his versatility, and professionalism. (He's often praised for not trying to sound like Keith Moon, a sort of back-handed compliment, if you ask me.) In direct comparison, I don't find Zak anywhere near as distinctive as his old man, but he's far better at the every-day craft.

  • Manuel

    My list:

    - Savoy truffle
    - Don´t let me down
    - Oh darling´
    - Magical mistery tour
    - I don't want to spoil the party

    Bonus (not beatles songs)
    - Roll over Beethoven (live)
    - Long tall Sally (live)
    - Shout (terrific song, with a very fast shuffle and fast triplets between ride, snare and bass drum)

    Many drummers think they are better than Ringo, and this is technically correct.

    But you can´t deny that Ringo was a very imaginative and talented amateur. More imaginative and talented than MANY drummers.

    I don´t understand why when someone say "Ringo have good drumming on some tunes" then other someone say "no, keith moon, bonham, lalalala". They was very good, but they aren´t the only good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxqQRMq0D74

    • John

      “But you can´t deny that Ringo was a very imaginative and talented amateur.”

      Are you nuts? An amateur? He’s Ringo freaking Starr and you are posting on the Internet! Uhhh… who is the amateur here?!?

      Do us all a favor… upload either a drum part, a bass part, a lead part or a rhythm part of any Beatles song with you playing any part (though drums would be preferred!), and I might say ok. Otherwise, please access your favorite newspaper or sports team site and share your expertise with them.

      Ringo is not a drum virtuoso. Didn’t have to be. He was a freaking Beatle, and his contribution to the band was equal (in one way or another) to the rest. That’s all he needs, and good enough for me. If not good enough for you, enjoy… and as Ringo would say, Peace and Love.

  • david hollowell

    Beatles Rock Band does a lot to bring attention to Paul and Ringo, who are frequently doing more interesting things than George or John are doing on guitar. You can't help noticing how Paul blows everyone else out of the room as far as musical chops go, but Ringo has plenty of great moments too. Based on BRB, here are my picks:

    1. I Me Mine – The contrasting mellow 3/4 and frenzied 4/4 sections make this my favorite song for drums in BRB.
    2. Come Together – Certainly his most stylish moment.
    3. Get Back – A simple, solid groove with great fills, the epitome of Ringo.
    4. Here Comes the Sun – Features the Beatles' weirdest rhythmic pattern which Ringo handles like it was no big deal.
    5. I Want You / She's So Heavy – The incredibly long ending is basically a drums & bass double solo, which you sadly can't hear very well in most recordings.

  • Charlie

    My favorite Ringo drums parts are on “Hey Jude,” “Strawberry Fields,” and “A Day In The Life.” On those songs I believe he was outstanding. However, there were times when I thought his drumming was entirely inappropriate. On “In My Life” what he played just didn’t fit well with the mood of the song. In fact the song would have been better without any drums at all. I always found Ringo to be a major annoyance on this song. On the opening track to Anthology One, “Free as a Bird,” Ringo just banged out a stiff, plodding beat and it’s his work like this that creates his criticism.

    • Nick DeRiso

      Charlie, to be fair, the rhythm track on “Free As A Bird” was already there, since Lennon used a metronome on the rough demo that provided the basis for that mid-1990s Three-tles reunion. There was no way to erase the old rhythm signature, plodding though it no doubt was, without losing parts of John’s vocal on this one-track cassette tape, so Starr simply recorded his own beat over the existing one. Of course, Ringo’s efforts weren’t helped by Jeff Lynne’s too-shiny overproduction, but that’s a conversation for a different day, I suppose.

    • Joel

      Sometimes all you need is a strong back beat. WIth style. Somebody mentioned MIke Portnoy. HE has said one of his GREATEST influences is Ringo. Good enough for me.

  • Kathleen

    Come on…Ringo latched onto a good thing…definitely the least talented of the Beatles. When assessing an artist, one should not have to look for “5 songs.” They should be outstanding on all!

    • Alan

      No one is “outstanding on all”
      Pink Floyd had clunkers, Mozart wrote some uninspired stuff, The King put out lots of pablum, Michael Jackson was self indulgent at times, on and on. All still great.

  • Jon Esque

    Hi Nick.

    FIrst, you need to put things in context/perspective: He sucks next to ? Also, are you taking into account the music/era?

    Judging a drummer by his technical skills is like judging a book by its cover. It’s actually deeper and subtler than that.

    Ringo’s a time-keeper with a beautiful and unique feel, never equaled by any drummer (including Mike Portnoy with all his machine-like precision) who ever attempted a beatles cover.

    I can see where Buddy Rich was coming from when he said that Ringo was adequate; even though they’re both drummers, their roles were not the same.

    Before this turns into a technique vs. feel thing, let me just say that Buddy (along with Kruppa) paved the way for some self-centered drummers who think they’re more important than the rest of their band. That’s why they have to solo every other bar and throw in everything but the kitchen sink to stand out.

    Then there’s the other school of thinking which makes drummers just another piece of the puzzle, so they make songs their priority (instead of rotating drum risers and fireworks) and think grooves. That where the Ringos and The Charlie Wattses of the world fit in.

    In the end it’s all a matter of preference, but that does not entitle you to imply he sucks.

  • jsilva

    Been in the business for 40 years. (successful too). Not a week goes by when we don’t wish we had a Ringo in the drum booth. He was(is) one of the best.

  • bigdowner

    Consider:

    1) Ringo’s innovation in that these things were done with no barometer to guage by. The ideas were his and his alone.

    2) His ancillary percussion tracks especially mastery of the tambourine – a main staple in rock and pop music during the 60’s.

    3) That said – listen again to “Paperback Writer” – here is a youtube link (lousy compressed audio)
    featuring intro with only Ringo’s drums and Paul’s
    bass leading to backing track without vocals before first verse.

  • Rondo Hatton

    Only non-musicians would consider Ringo a bad drummer. As a songwriter, I can say without hesitation that he is one of the BEST “song” drummers who has ever laid down a beat. When you listen to those Beatles songs Ringo did not play on, the truth of his greatness is revealed. He knows exactly where to play and when to play without being a cliche. Plus, he comes up with some coolest fills ever. Ringo listens, which is more than can be said for many drummers.

    As for Buddy Rich, he was genius when it came to Buddy Rich style big band jazz. Ringo can’t do what Buddy did, just as Buddy could not do what Ringo did. Buddy would have been gawdawful as a Beatle.

    When all is said and done, I’m sure Ringo couldn’t give a hoot as to what anyone thinks of his drumming. History and all those Beatles songs he played on, have proven his genius!

  • Joe Cogan

    Two observations: 1) I’d take Ringo in my band any time. He’s truly one of the most underrated drummers in history. 2) John didn’t say that Ringo was “the second-best drummer in The Beatles”. What he did say, in response to “is Ringo the best drummer in the world?” was “he’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles”. That’s not actually a put-down, it’s a pun. The question was asked early on in their career, and John was playing on the name of the drummer Ringo had recently replaced, Pete BEST.

    • Joel

      EXACTLY.

    • Michael K

      Mark Lewisohn, the Beatles biographer, established recently that Lennon never said “he’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles”. In fact, it was an eighties UK comedian, Jasper Carrot, who made a joke in his popular weekly TV programme, in reference to reports about Paul sending Ringo a postcard after he’d temporarily left the band in 1968. The postcard had read ‘You’re the best drummer in the world. Really’.

      McCartney can have anybody as drummer so he should know. As for how this comedian’s joke becoming a John Lennon quote, I’d say it’s the general uselessness of music journalists that’s to blame. All opinion and no research.

  • Joel

    Buddy Rich was the biggest egomaniac going. ‘Adequate’ ? Laughable.

    And the title of this whole thing is offensive. Five songs where Ringo doesn’t “y’know, SUCK’???? Ringo does not suck.

  • http://www.theclickbeetles.com Dan Pavelich

    Listen to Ringo’s early work on tunes like “Please Please Me.” Nobody was playing like that at the time. Everyone else was playing in a very laid-back, tappy, Charlie-Watts style. Nobody else was sockin’ the hats like Ringo or playing as aggressively, except Keith Moon. Ringo always plays exactly what the songs need. Anyone who says Ringo sucks isn’t a musician. Buddy Rich could’ve soloed circles around him, but Buddy never could’ve invented those tasteful parts out of thin air like Ringo did.

    • Alan

      This is true of the Beatles in general. I hear some kids today say (GOD am I that old?) the Beatles weren’t that great/overrated. it’s all context. it sounds pedestrian to you because almost everything you hear today CAME FROM THE BEATLES. They made this. They took the style of music at the time, did it better than anyone else, then added new ideas to it, then took it someplace no one had ever been before and basically invented modern popular music.
      It’s the same reason someone might overlook Citizen Kane or cooked food.

  • Gord Thompson

    Ringo’s drumming was perfect for the Beatles. Not flashy but I would take him over Keith Moon any day. Moon was always going crazy but half the time his drumming had nothing to do with the song the rest of THE WHO were playing

  • Ed Lawrence

    John said of Ringo: He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles! Not the 2nd best.

  • Noam Sane

    People who criticize Ringo (I also hear it from time to time about Charlie Watts) don’t have a clue what they are talking about. He was an excellent drummer who knew how to play a song, as opposed to play over it.

    “The Word” was his finest hour.

  • Gary E

    Sorry – I must respectively disagree. True – Ringo may have only been an “adequate” drummer (who am I do disagree with Mssr. Rich?) but let’s face it – John was an adequate rhythm guitarist, and George “Honey Don’t” Harrison was a barely adequate lead guitarist who could barely manage to play the opening riff to I Feel Fine live. Only Paul was a master of his domain, bringing distinctive, melodic bass lines to popular music

    No – it wasn’t The Beatles musicianship that made them the iconic band of the 20th century – it was their style. And in those terms, Ringo was the perfect drummer for the group. While I have many other songs for your consideration, let me ask you: what other drummer could have ADAPTED with distinctive, stylistic fills for each of the songs you have named? What other drummer has a sound, or rhythm (da-da—-DA—da-da) that is such a distinct signature?

    My candidate for Ringo drumming? What You’re Doing. Or I Feel Fine. Day In The Life for sure. Or the sublime No Reply.

    Or maybe that little riff that starts She Loves You.

    Yeah yeah yeah. Don’t confuse flash over creative substance.

  • Gary E

    One More Thing: Listen to Buddy Rich. Alot of his drumming now sounds – dare I say – anachronistic.

    Ringo Starr is classic. Sublime. Timeless.

  • Xavier Baudet

    This Ringo bashing is just rubbish, the guy practically invented rockdrumming. I don’t care **** for Buddy Rich. That type of drumming is totally inadequate for rockmusic. Anyone with a musical ear (Ringo-fans and -critics alike) will have to admit that the drums define The Beatles’ style as much as the vocals and the guitars do. Most Beatles’ songs are instantly recognizable even if you only play the drums and mute the other instruments. Try that with The Who, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Queen. Most drummers stick to the boring basics because when they start doing technical stuff they get in the way of the singer. Ringo never did. He always knew exactly where to do what. And what he came up with was usually brilliant. Very few drummers have that quality, perhaps only Bonham, Copeland and Larry Mullen Jr do. There are those that would rather have some middle of the road drummer replace Ringo, thinking that somehow the Beatles would have sold more millions with a different beat. Those people are just sheep parroting. Ringo didn’t just ‘have his moments’, he’s the very reason we still discuss rockdrumming. Period.

  • Dale haskell

    Ringo was the reason I became a drummer. Only someone who has never been behind a kit would underestimate him.

    • S. Victor Aaron

      Yeah, you right! I mean, who is this Buddy Rich guy, anyway?

      ;-)

  • Joe Cogan

    Ringo is probably the most underrated drummer in Rock history. He’s not usually a flashy player, but he found the *perfect* drum part for every song. Substituting any other drummer for him (including Buddy Rich) would just not have worked as well.

  • Larry Walters

    The Beatles always emphasized playing as a band, that is not upstaging each other. This is part of why Ringo played the way he did. Remember he supplied the “beat” to the Beatles. He’s that important. Their songs have a distinctive sound that he is intrigal in creating. A few more reasons he was GREAT: 1) A human metronome, as always played the takes the same and when Martin later spliced them the tempo was the same. 2) Whatever genre they came up with he immediately adapted to, and they threw alot at thim. 3) He was one of the first to hold the drumsticks like all rock drummers now do. 4) He miked the drums separately from the vocals so they had a new unique sound. 5) Drummers who know will tell you that they cannot dupicate some of his fills. 6) The simplicity of his style made the Beatles playful sound work. 7) The other 3 choose him so that must count for something. There are other more praising quotes by the others that I don’t have access to, which have not been quoted here. But I do remember when George went solo he said he always felt best knowing that Ringo was there behind him.

    There’s a site somewhere what give 13 reasons for his greatness, some of which I have included. Bad title, as Ringo Starr NEVER actually “SUCKED”. If another, more stylistic drummer played the song you think he sucked on, that song would not sound like The Beatles. Rich’s comment is more reflective of his ego than about rock history. Lastly, I just saw Ringo last year, and at 70 he still rocks on! Peace and Love.

    • Nick DeRiso

      Imagine if we had criticized Ringo!

  • http://bloggerhythms.blogspot.com Charlie

    I always thought that Keith Moon was a selfish drummer. He always tried to be louder and more brazen than the rest of the band. That was his claim to fame. Talented but over-rated. There is a reason that Animal form The Muppet Show was modeled after him.

  • JB

    Ringo was, and still is, a great drummer. Imagine The Beatles with a different drummer, say Buddy Rich. It would have been awful.

  • Kenneth Lockerbie

    Ringo doesn’t suck at all. He’s one of rock’s greatest drummers and nobody plays like him.

  • C.Goldstein

    Ringo’s drumming, eh? For starters I recommend ‘Long Tall Sally. Here one can hear how he was one of the best rockers of all time. A true master of time and space at once able to blend the ‘eighth note into the shuffle’ like few others.
    His entire body of work is truly incomparable.

  • http://culturefusionreviews.wordpress.com Eric Benac

    Ringo was a great drummer. Nuff said.

  • raise a glass to the fiest

    Spare brilliance. Funk …when you needed it.A jazzer’s instinct /willingness to explore .Took off for regions uncharted -“Strawberry Fields Forever “.

  • brenda

    Strawberry fields for christ’s sake

  • Gary Parker

    regarding the following comment:

    >>Sorry – I must respectively disagree. True – Ringo may have >>only been an “adequate” drummer (who am I do disagree with >>Mssr. Rich?) but let’s face it – John was an adequate rhythm >>guitarist, and George “Honey Don’t” Harrison was a barely >>adequate lead guitarist who could barely manage to play the >>opening riff to I Feel Fine live.

    First of all, you need to get your facts straight. Lennon plays the opening riff to I Feel Fine, not Harrison. And Harrison barely adequate? Disagree, and off the following as evidence: leads on ‘Til There was You,’ Hard Days Night, Something, And your bird can sing” (along with Macca), great fills in Dr. Robert, I’m a Loser, oh jeez…I’ll stop, there’s simply too many. And anyone who thinks Ringo can’t drum, needs to listen to his kick drum during the first 2 bars of Paperback Writer, the way cool snare to kick drum thing he does just before McCartney’s opening line, and if you can track it down, check “I’m going to sit right done and cry over you” on the BBC album. Amazing work. And there’s no doubt that McCartney/Starr were one of rock’s great rhythm sections.

  • Mike Dancy

    While it’s true that Ringo wasn’t in the same league as a Carl Palmer or Bill Bruford can you also say that George Harrison wasn’t in the same league as Jimi Hendrix or Steve Howe as far as virtousity is concerned? The Beatles were and will foreverbe the best damn rock group there is or will ever be and each member contributed to the chemistry that made the band what they were. NO OTHER musicians could produce what they did. They all must have been pretty good in there own way. Look how many other bands they influenced over the years!

  • Uncle Albert

    I am a little surprised that no one has said anything (at least not that I read), and even more surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the original writings, but “Ticket to Ride”, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, and “I Feel Fine” were all PAUL drum beats. Granted Ringo played them, but Paul could never get enough of all that tom tom and snare. You can hear Ringo’s original beat for “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the anthology. Then think about all of Paul’s solo stuff where he played drums (sometimes when not), there’s so much of the same kind of stuff. *cough* Band on the Run *cough*

  • Avanne34

    Many of the early 60’s Beatles recordings required a drummer playing high energy with a lot of feeling, e.g., “I Wanna Be Your Man”. Ringo delivered and I suspect that’s one reason he was chosen. You can see and hear the energy in many of their their videos. As far as his technique, listen to the cymbal on the studio version of “I Feel Fine” and try playing it with one hand.

  • Magic Kenny

    Here’s some of the drummers who’ve claimed Ringo as an influence, called him their idol, acknowledged his ground-breaking drumming and are proud to call him “friend:” Phil Collins, Steve Gadd, Kenny Aranoff, Max Weinberg, Jim Keltner, Alex Van Halen, Andy Sturmer, Dino Danelli, Stuart Copeland – Christ, the list is endless. By the way – “She Said She Said” is a testament to Ringo’s touch, creativity, pocket playing and sense of time. I’d kill to have him (or a guy who plays like him) in my band.

  • Dave

    Ringo is THE MAN.

  • http://euripidestrousers.blogspot.com Ken

    If you have any doubts about Ringo as a drummer, lay hold of a copy of the bootleg Beatles Live at the Star Club Hamburg 1962. It was one of those “someone threw a Wollensak on the table at a show and let it run” deals, but it happened that Pete Best was down sick for the show in question, and Ringo sat in. It’s a testament to what playing six nights a week (as the Beatles and whatever band Ringo was in at the time, maybe Rory Storm & the Hurricane?) will do for one’s chops.

  • melfins

    John Lennon never made the comment that Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles. It was made by a not so funny comedian named Jasper Carrot in 1983 impersonating John.

  • Nicholas Mackay

    I’d take Ringo over Ginger Baker any day, cant believe you make a passing comment over ‘She Said She Said’ quite clearly amazing inventive drumming and in a really weird time signature and not just ‘straight-ahead rock style’.

    Also where is the bubbling triplets at the end of ‘Long Tall Sally’ something even Keith Moon said inspired him for the end of ‘My Generation’ I dont understand how ‘Back in the USSR and Ballad of John and Yoko gets a mention in the not considered, when Maccartney plays them when you have 100s of songs with Ringo on them. AND John Lennon never said that quote, Jasper Carrot did. Do some research.