Ringo's Importance To The Beatles
As Their Drummer



"I was lucky enough to be surrounded by three frustrated drummers and each of them thought I was an octopus. They forgot I only had two hands and two feet. I remember John once coming and playing a record and saying, "Oh, Ringo, I just love you to play this." I said, "But, John, there's two drummers on that!" "Oh, no, you can do it." So then I would have to do whatever I could to get close." -- Ringo Starr in Musician Magazine (June 1991)

"Playing without Ringo is like driving a car on three wheels." -- George Harrison (1964).

"Ringo Starr is still an underrated drummer. To begin with, he keeps flawless time, never giving in to the tendency to rush or slow down -- an essential element of driving Rock 'n' Roll. ... His role in the band is impossible to discount. Each track has its own drum sound, its own specific patterns, and he gives each song a special feel by adjusting his rhythms to suit the musical tone. His partnership with Paul's increasingly active bass playing is still a lesson in how variously the bottom can support the top." -- Tim Riley, Tell Me Why(1988).

"Ringo has a tremendous feel for a song and he always helped us hit the right tempo first time. He was rock solid and this made the recording of all the Beatles' songs so much easier" -- George Martin, in The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn (1988)

"People who think that (Ringo could be replaced) are ignorant. His personality and style of drumming helped make the band. ... You take any one member from that group, and you won't have the Beatles." --- Discoveries magazine (1993)

"In the strangest way, he complemented his three fellow Beatles like only Ringo could. As a musician, a drummer, he's been ridiculed countless times in the past; it's only now that he's beginning to be viewed in another light. His drumming, as simple and basic as it was, turned out to be the perfect drum style for all the Lennon and McCartney tunes." -- Robert Santelli in Goldmine magazine(1985)

"Ringo did the job absolutely correctly. ... They were just great songs, and he played them in the only way they could be played. What he did was absolutely right." -- Brian Bennett in Speaking Words of Wisdom by Spencer Leigh (1991)

"(In the song, I'm Down), the band veers breathlessly close to the edge of hysteria, and it's to Ringo's credit that things don't fall apart. The hardest assignment for any drummer is to let the others cut loose to the extreme while providing a steady beat for them to fall back on. Lesser bands would easily come unglued with a groove so addled and punctured; Ringo maintains a sure but unconfining back beat for the madness, the strongest glue of all." -- Tim Riley, Tell Me Why by Tim Riley (1988).

"During his tenure with The Beatles, until the group's demise, he did his job admirably, adding only what was deemed necessary to complement The Beatles material. Ringo succeeded, simply because what he played was perfect for the music." -- Great Rock Drummers of the 60s by Bob Cianci (1989)

"As a drummer he was a natural, purely intuitive, remarkably tasteful, spirited, but always basic, a proponent of the less-is-more school of minimal drumming. With a sense of endearing modesty, Ringo has often disparaged his drumming over the years; but the fact of the matter was that his willingness to lay back and take direction and feed the others -- a quality which seemed intrinsically rooted in his background and character -- was what allowed The Beatles sound to take such powerful flight. He was, in essence, the perfect team player, a character musician whose ingenuity grew directly out of a sublime ability to make his deficiencies and flaws as a musician work to accentuate and liberate rather hold back their music. -- Martin Torgoff in The Compleat Beatles (1985).

"George became fascinated with the intricacies of Indian music. ... Paul sat increasingly more behind the piano, his knowledge of song writing and pop sensibility expanding as horizontally as the keyboard itself; and John conceptualized and figured artistic directions, always called for more experimentation; Ringo drummed resolutely on, seemingly able to keep up with each one effortlessly." -- Lenny Kaye in The Compleat Beatles (1985)

"Lennon got into abstract lyrics and his acid rock guitar style, McCartney expanded and refined his pop-writing craft, and Harrison got very involved in authentic Indian music and Indian instruments. Ringo, meanwhile, had the challenge of adapting to everyone's style. He always played what was called for. If he had been a rigid drummer, set in his ways, The Beatles would have been in trouble. He played the songwriter's version of the song, not his, like an egoless drummer. ... He always had a gift for being very musical with The Beatles music." -- Kenny Aronoff in Modern Drummer magazine (Nov. 1987)

"He had a style that was simple and basic, and it fitted the style and the time. He was a low-profile drummer which was absolutely right for The Beatles. He was an extremely good accompanist. ... He had great empathy with what The Beatles were doing. He was very modest in his approach to drumming." -- Rowan Atkinson in Speaking Words of Wisdom by Spencer Leigh (1991)

"I think Ringo star was a lot more than adequate and he was the unsung hero of The Beatles. He was one of the best. ... He was a straight-four player, a four-four player, and a very solid drummer. It must have been very hard for the Beatles to play with all those kids screaming, there weren't good monitors in those days, and Ringo held those concerts together. They were following him, he wasn't following them." -- Richard Thompson in Speaking Words of Wisdom by Spencer Leigh (1991).


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