HAPPY BIRTHDAY RINGO STARR!!!

 

The birthday boy performing at Shea Stadium in 1965

The birthday boy performing at Shea Stadium in 1965

 

As most Beatles fans know, today is the 74th birthday of Richard Starkey – or as the world knows him, Ringo Starr, the ring-sporting drummer of The Beatles! Happy birthday, Ringo – I hope you have a fabulous day! I am currently wearing my Yellow Submarine t-shirt (as I said I would) and listening to the iTunes-exclusive Beatles compilation album Tomorrow Never Knows to celebrate.

One thing that amazes me about Ringo is that he is left-handed, yet he played a right-handed drum kit – incredibly well, too! People may tease drummers, but – trust me – they are really hard to play, with lots of coordination needed and all that. But the fact that Ringo could play a kit not set up to suit the hand he preferred shows how good he is! Oh, and not that this is related to anything, but his rings are cool – ever since I watched a certain film about a certain ring that Ringo was sent by a ‘fan’ that landed The Beatles into a lot of strife (you know what I mean), I always laugh to myself when I see a ring with a giant red gem perched on top…

Unlike the other Beatles’ solo careers, I am ashamed to say I only know two of Ringo’s songs – ‘You’re Sixteen’ and ‘Photograph’ (actually, I heard ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ played at a George Harrison tribute I went to in March, but that doesn’t really count, considering I don’t know his version). Sorry, Ringo! So for his birthday, I will post the three above songs (‘cos I’ve just decided I’ll pause ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ and YouTube ‘It Don’t Come Easy’…), plus my four favourite examples of his drum-work within The Fab Four. Enjoy!

 

‘It Don’t Come Easy’ – wow, I can’t believe that I didn’t listen to this earlier! I reckon that is my favourite Ringo song (though I only know three, so you be the judge of whether I can really make that statement…)! Anyway, I officially love this song. It’s also quite obvious that George helped to write it – it almost sounds like it could come straight off All Things Must Pass (which I just YoutTubed, and am finally listening to it in full – sure Ringo won’t mind!)

 

‘Photograph’ – another Harrison/Starkey composition! I don’t like it as much as the above, but it’s still a nice song, so give it a listen.

 

I’ve only heard Ringo’s cover of ‘You’re Sixteen’ once (on the radio), but my recollections of it are very positive – must give it some ear-time after ATMP has finished!

 

‘Tell Me Why’ – I love this song! John’s voice in it is absolutely gorgeous (never is it not, though 🙂 ), but I’m not here today to gush over my favourite Beatle – another reason I love this song (other than John) is that Ringo’s drumming is really, really, really fabulous! Just check out those fills – they prove just how musically accomplished the Fabs were (even in their early years), and how good Ringo was/is a drummer. This song (like a lot of The Beatles’ catalogue) is criminally underrated – if only more people knew it… Oh, and that clip is from the concert scene at the end of A Hard Day’s Night.

 

‘What You’re Doing’ – boom, b-boom, boom, b-boom… wow – those drums at the beginning of this song make for a killer intro! This is one of my favourite Paul songs (that I forgot to put on his birthday post…), but (as with ‘Tell Me Why’) I love it just as much for its rolling drum line. This is one of the few Beatles songs with a drummed introduction – and does Ringo do it well!

 

‘A Day In The Life’ – yeah, yeah, yeah (pun intended) – I hear you saying, “Oh, tangerinetrees99 – ‘A Day In The Life’ is such in obvious choice!” But there’s a reason behind why so many people love Ringo’s drum-manship (just made up that word – calling on the Oxford Dictionary!) in this masterpiece only fit for the finale spot on the most influential rock album of all time (you know what sergeant and his lonely-hearts club band I’m talking about…). At the moment (over the top of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’, which I should also mention is  a gorgeous tune), I can hear John’s acoustic guitar, heightened by those booming bass drums that Ringo plays in John’s sections of the song. Ringo really is a great drummer – I don’t think The Beatles would be quite as accomplished if Pete Best had been kept as the drummer (no offence, Pete)…

 

‘The End’ – you didn’t really think I’d leave the sort-of-finale of Abbey Road (‘Her Majesty’ is a hidden track, that was almost never on the album – and Paul never wanted it on there, anyway) off this list, did you 🙂 ? Two words – DRUM SOLO! In fact, this is the only Beatles song to involve such a thing – apparently, Ringo absolutely hated them, but John, Paul and George convinced him into adding one to this tune.  I love the guitar solos in ‘The End’, too – I often play a little game with myself whenever I listen to it, in which one has to work out who’s playing what (clue: John plays the gutsy, overdrived bits, which are – you guessed it – my favourites), and I’m quite good at it (if I say so myself!). It’s quite fitting, really – this was the last song The Beatles ever recorded together as a foursome ( 😦 ), so it quite literally is ‘the end’. I’ve got the Anthology 3 version on my iPad (it came on Tomorrow Never Knows), which has an elongated E piano chord at the end, a lot like the infamous ending of ‘A Day In The Life’ – looks like I’m on an ‘A Day In The Life’ theme, here…

 

So, there you go – some Ringo-solo songs, and my favourite examples of his drumming! Ringo in a kind of nutshell, if you like…

Lastly, I’d like to wish Ringo a happy birthday, again, so happy birthday, Ringo! Us Beatlemaniacs have been thinking of you all day 🙂 !

I’ll leave you with another picture of Ringo, but after that, I’m going to finish listening to All Things Must Pass, so good day sunshine! 🙂

 

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