Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > “Do You Think Ringo Is The Best Drummer In The World?”

“Do You Think Ringo Is The Best Drummer In The World?”
Thread Tools
ghporter
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2024, 09:36 AM
 
An interviewer once asked John “Do you think Ringo is the best drummer in the world?” and he replied “Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles”. It seems that all of the boys could play drums, and I think Paul was playing drums during their Cavern days - he certainly played them on a few of the later pieces (“The Ballad of John and Yoko” is one). But somehow people have gotten the idea that Ringo wasn’t a very good drummer. This somehow ignores why the most popular, innovative, and frankly powerful musical act in the world might keep a poor musician in the band. They surely wouldn’t have.

And yet there’s “A Day in the Life,” where he created something extraordinary with the drums. In Paul’s section the drums are sort of in their “support the tempo and shine things up a bit” role, though certainly not where pop drumming was then (or since), but in John’s segments, those drums are wonderful. Ringo did a lot more than just highlight beats, or even do a little figuring around the tempo. His work was just a bit bizarre when he comes in, and gets more and more avant-garde through the first segment, and when the last segment starts, he amps it up, but sort of subtly (if anything in this song is subtle).

Ringo’s been noted to have something like “perfect tempo”, a drummer’s version of perfect pitch. He could find what a song needed to have behind it, then bring more than just that to the music. Sort of like how a painter might put extra details in part of the background of a painting. This stuff didn’t stand on its own, but it wasn’t supposed to. It brought out the magic in the music.

Finally, I’ve read where people wondered how, “back in the day” the Beatles managed to do so many takes that could be intercut with each other without the currently ever-present click track. It was because Ringo WAS their click track, and he could keep each take at the same tempo with his drumming.

Humans have an intrinsic sense of rhythm to a greater or lesser extent, but this almost always is seen in how we join with others in clapping, walking, etc. It’s something that makes marching bands maintain a steady tempo, and groups of people marching stay both in step and at a constant pace. But in almost everyone it’s more a receptive sense…we synchronize with others, and together we establish whatever tempo we’re going to hold as a group activity. It’s related to how birds and fish move in groups, I think; something down in the very primitive parts of the brain.

But Ringo Starr had this as an expressive capability, and since just keeping the beat was trivial for him, he could go so far beyond what rock drummers did then, or do even now. I think calling him “the best drummer in the world” is a slight, because his work wasn’t just drumming, it was far more than that.

What does everyone think about this?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ShortcutToMoncton
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2024, 01:07 PM
 
Ringo was never at any point close to being the best drummer in the world.

But he was a great musician and the perfect drummer for the Beatles (one of the greatest music groups of all time) and some other great music he helped make.

The end
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Thorzdad
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2024, 03:16 PM
 
Ringo was a whole lot better than people give him credit for. There are a couple of YT videos where actual drummers break-down what Ringo’s doing in various songs, and it’s surprisingly deft, detailed stuff.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 10, 2024, 05:14 PM
 
John was the soul of the Beatles.
Paul was the heart of the Beatles.
George was the mind of the Beatles.
Ringo was the drummer.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 11, 2024, 04:31 AM
 
I always thought Ringo was the glue that kept the band together. McCartney and Lennon had a contentious relationship with lots of ups and downs, and I reckon Ringo played a crucial role mediating.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 11, 2024, 09:29 AM
 
Even though the comment I repeated was crafted to shit on Ringo, I think it unintentionally speaks to that.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 11, 2024, 03:06 PM
 
Yeah, isn’t the common lore that the drummer gets the leftovers (accolades, groupies, etc.). Exceptions exist (Phil Collins comes to mind).

I don’t have any insight into the Beatles, obviously, but I know a few people where I ask myself “What are they contributing to this collaboration?!?” Yet, really good people keep on working with them, that can’t be a coincidence.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Laminar
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 18, 2024, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
An interviewer once asked John “Do you think Ringo is the best drummer in the world?” and he replied “Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles”.
Nope.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-Be...er-in-the-band
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 19, 2024, 02:34 AM
 
@Laminar
Thanks for the link, I wasn't aware that Ringo was the favorite Beatle in the US. I obviously wasn't alive at the time, and it is interesting how my perception was shaped by the solo careers of Lennon and McCartney.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
ghporter  (op)
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2024, 07:26 PM
 
I stand corrected on the veracity of my opening sentence. It sure sounds like what John might have said, and of the four of them, I feel that John was the most likely to kid about the others.

But if it hadn’t been clear, I was really simply gushing about how wonderfully Ringo’s drumming brought out the depth of the Beatles’ music, at least to me.

Side note: drumming is a branch of music that is far more mysterious to me than most of the rest of it. I understand “paradiddle” and that’s about it. But I don’t need to know the details to hear the impact of a single musician on a group’s music.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:11 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,