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The Ringo Starr Collection


Today, July 7, is Ringo Starr”s 75th birthday, which gives me a good reason to put up an entirely unscheduled collection of non-Beatles tracks starring Ringo.

If you want to really annoy an expert on drumming, repeat the old John Lennon quip that Ringo wasn”t even the best drummer in The Beatles, and pronounce it as some sort of fact. Those who know about such things will point out that Ringo was an innovative drummer in the Beatles with perfect timing, pointing to songs such as A Day In The Life, All You Need Is Love, Rain, Ticket To Ride and Here Comes The Sun (the time changes in the latter drive strumming guitarists to madness). If it all sounds ordinary now, it”s because other drummers followed Ringo”s lead.

Even the supposedly better drummer in The Beatles calls Ringo his favourite drummer. George Harrison recalled that Ringo was the final piece in the Beatles jigsaw puzzle “” without him the Beatles couldn”t have been The Beatles. So what did John Lennon mean with his assumed put-down of Ringo? Presumably that Paul”s technique was better than Ringo”s. But when he recorded his first proper solo album, Lennon had Ringo backing him on every song.

Great drummers such as Jim Keltner, whose career I chronicled lately over two volumes and who became Lennon”s favoured drummer, point to the influence Ringo had on them. Keltner says that he learned from observing Ringo, whom he describes as his “idol”. This is not an apprentice admiring the elder master; Ringo is only two years older than Jim, whose recording career began around the time The Beatles fitst came yo the US. Max Weinberg, the E-Street Band”s drummer, said in 1984 that Ringo”s “influence in rock drumming was as important and wide spread as Gene Krupa’s had been in jazz”.

Ringo Starr in 1962

Ringo Starr in 1962

Ringo is credited with changing the way drummers hold their sticks. He didn”t invent the matched grip (in which both hands hold the stick the same way, as opposed to the traditional grip, where the left hands holds the stick as you would hold a chopstick), but as the first rock drummer to appear prominently on US television, usually on as raised platform, his preferred method caught on and became the default technique in rock.

What Ringo lacks in technique he makes up in application, perfect timing and innovation, much as in soccer most of the great goalscorers don”t necessarily have the technique of keepy-uppy champions (that analogy, I suppose, makes Gene Krupa Pelé and Hal Blaine Lionel Messi).

As a person, Ringo has had a reputation of being the easy-going, fun guy we knew from The Beatles. Occasionally he has shown a petulant side, but few people seem to have bad things to say about the man. As a driving force behind the anti-apartheid Sun City record, as a co-initiator and musically “” drumming with his son Zac on the record “” his political heart must be in the right place.

Ringo clearly is also not an egomaniac. Many times he is happy to drum alongside another drummer, often Jim Keltner (who in turn doesn”t really like co-drumming). On this mix, he plays alongside Keltner on the tracks by Manhattan Transfer and Keith Moon (on which Ringo also raps). On B.B. King”s Ghetto Woman, Ringo drums with Jim Gordon, subject of two collections in this series (see Vol. 1 and Vol. 2). Also worth noting is Harry Nilsson”s Daydream, on which Ringo”s drumming is supplemented by the work of George Harrison “” on cowbells. Harrison also plays alongside Ringo on Leon Russell”s Delta Lady, and wrote the track by Ringo that opens this collection.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a CD-R and includes home-backbeat covers.

1. Ringo Starr – Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond) (1973)
2. Peter Frampton – Alright (1972)
3. Attitudes – Good News (1977)
4. Leon Russell – Delta Lady (1970)
5. B.B. King – Ghetto Woman (1971)
6. John Lennon – Well Well Well (1970)
7. The Band – I Shall Be Released (1978)
8. Carly Simon – More & More (1975)
9. Bobby Hatfield – Oo Wee Baby, I Love You (1972)
10. T. Rex & Elton John – Children Of The Revolution (1972)
11. Keith Moon – Together (1975)
12. Harry Nilsson – Daybreak (1972)
13. George Harrison – When We Was Fab (1987)
14. Paul McCartney – Not Such A Bad Boy (1984)
15. Manhattan Transfer – Zindy Lou (1976)
16. Ian McLagan – Hold On (1979)
17. Tom Petty – Hard To Find A Friend (1993)
18. Guthrie Thomas – Captain Jack (1990)
19. The Alpha Band – Born In Captivity (1977)
20. Artists United Against Apartheid – Sun City (1985)


Previous Session Musicians:
The Roy Bittan Collection
The Larry Carlton Collection
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Joe Osborne Collection
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2

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  1. halfhearteddude
    July 7th, 2015 at 07:10 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Snif
    July 7th, 2015 at 12:17 | #2

    Apparently that “not the best drummer in the Beatles” crack was originated in the early 1980s by Birmingham comic Jasper Carrott, a few year after John Lennon’s death.

  3. dogbreath
    July 7th, 2015 at 18:16 | #3

    Nice one! Many thanks and let’s play “Birthday” from the White album for Ringo.

  4. halfhearteddude
    July 7th, 2015 at 20:03 | #4

    Jasper “not even the best comedian in his family” Carrot?

  5. Lordy
    July 8th, 2015 at 00:26 | #5

    You’ve outdone yourself! Wonderful. Thanks.

  6. Jakob Skjernaa Hansen
    July 8th, 2015 at 13:46 | #6

    Seems I need an access code to outpack the zip files?

  7. GarthJeff
    July 8th, 2015 at 14:53 | #7

    A wonderful collection AMD!! MANY THANKS for sharing and brightening up my day :)

  8. halfhearteddude
    July 8th, 2015 at 17:09 | #8

    Yes, Jacob, on top of the comments. It’s amdwhah (for all files you DL here).

  9. Rhod
    July 11th, 2015 at 04:57 | #9

    Thank Amd

    Great work in putting these and other collections in place



  10. Dave B
    July 20th, 2015 at 05:46 | #10

    This is so well done. The writeup is great. Thanks for this fascinating series!

  11. rat-a-tat-tat
    January 30th, 2024 at 02:18 | #11

    Love this re-up! Thanks much for your time and effort.

  12. MJA
    May 2nd, 2024 at 22:00 | #12

    Love your collections! I know you already know this (it was pointed out above) but here’s the story behind that alleged Lennon comment about Ringo. He never said it.


    Here’s what John DID say in his famous Rolling Stone interview:

    “Why do you get along with Ringo?

    Because in spite of all the things, the Beatles could really play music together when they weren’t uptight, and if I get a thing going, Ringo knows where to go, just like that, and he does well. We’ve played together so long, that it fits. “

  13. amdwhah
    May 3rd, 2024 at 22:04 | #13

    Indeed. I can never understand the stupidity of those who say that Ringo wasn’t a great drummer.

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