| Ringo's Importance
As A Person
"I've never not been a brother. I've always felt close to each one, though, like brothers, we've had terrific rows.
"All the things you read in the press, like Paul suing us all and us fighting, went on; but it never stopped the love between us all." -- Ringo, from interview with Barbara Walters (1981)
"Ringo," said Hunter Davies in his official biography of The Beatles was, "the sweetest of them all really," and that's probably his raison d'etre: Ringo, the nice guy. It's both unnecessary and facile to observe that The Beatles could not have been the force they were without each member taking a distinct part that fit perfectly into the whole. Therefore, Ringo's contribution to the group was as essential as anyone else's." -- Jeremy Pascall, editor, The Beatles Story (1974).
"We were all supposed to be something different. Paul was the face, I was the smart one, George with all his mysticism, was the spirit, and Ringo was the heart. I certainly don't have any hard feelings about him, never had a reason to." -- John Lennon: Dakota Days by John Green
"The thing is, we're all really the same person. We're just four parts of the one ... We all add something different to the whole....
Ringo - he's got a great sentimental thing. He likes soul music and always has though we didn't see that scene for a long time, till he showed us. I suppose that's why we write those sort of songs for him, with sentimental things in them.
"George - he's very definite about things and dedicated when he's decided. It makes the four of us more definite about things.
"John - he's got more movement. He sees new things happening and he's away.
"Me - I'm conservative. I feel I need to check things. ... I'm the most conservative of the four of us. ... We take out of each of us what we want or need." -- Paul McCartney, The Beatles (1968) by Hunter Davies.
"The Beatles had consisted of four very different elements of roughly comparable importance, and they complemented one another perfectly. George may have been more crucial to the music than Ringo, but Starr was less dispensable to The Beatles image. John may have ignited most the innovations, but it was Paul's commercial sense (and good looks) that put these across to the multitudes. And so on. For no group, before or since, was so much a group. John's fiery, restless imagination; Paul's airy romanticism; George's quiet, dependable flow; and Ringo's down-to-earth ordinariness - all blended, enhanced, and inspired the best in one another, while keeping the weaknesses in check. The result was magic." -- Nicholas Schaffner, The Beatles Forever (1977)
If he was in the background, the drummer's presence was none the less essential to The Fabs. Both in public and, it appears, privately, Ringo's unassuming, good-natured personality provided a crucial balance between John's razor-sharp wit, Paul's stagy coyness, and George's somber posture." -- Ted Greenwald, The Beatles Companion
"John as the gang leader, everyone looks up to; Paul as the perfectionist workaholic, always urging the others back to the job; George as the younger brother, eager to be included but too proud to say so; and Ringo as the best friend whose easy-going nature is a vital, steadying influence within a swirl of mammoth egos." -- Mark Hertsgard, A Day In The Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles (1995).
"Ringo will always be my friend. -- George Harrison, Rolling Stone magazine (Oct. 1987)
"Ringo was the base of the group, the support on which the others leaned, the beat that kept them together. Uncomplaining and cheerful, even when the group deteriorated into bitter individuals, Ringo managed to stay friends with everyone. ... He contributed a quiet professionalism and an unfailing positive attitude. In a band filled with superstars, he provided the rarest element of them all -- modesty." -- Theresa Celsi, The Beatles (1993)
"There was something about him that kept them on the rails. He did have tremendous wisdom and stability of character, which quite often was very important. ... John said that in an argument all he had to do was really get Ringo on his side and that would be all right. (Ringo had ) great humor and he was just stable. He gave them a kind of center -- apart from the various occasions when he did put his hand on John's shoulder and say, "Come on. Don't worry. Let's do it." -- Philip Norman, Beatlefan magazine (1981).
"We asked Ringo to go and talk to him (Paul) because ... Ringo had not taken sides, or anything like that , and he had been straight about it, and we thought Ringo would be able to talk fairly to Paul. I mean if Ringo agreed that it was unfair, then it was unfair." -- John Lennon in Lennon Remembers.
"As Ringo's basic drum beat formed the basic back bone of the Beatles' music, his easy-going disposition provided the necessary balance in blending The Beatles personalities into a cohesive unit. His warmth and good nature was the essence of The Beatles public image, and was emphasized in The Beatles' two motion pictures in which Ringo starred." -- The Beatles A to Z (1980).
"The other three may have amazed their fans by their attitudes and experience, but so long as Ringo's there, they will always have a good anchor tethering them to reality. ... He became a Beatle at the request of the other three, and he stayed to provide the balance and keep his head when all around him were loosing theirs. ... They have good cause to be very thankful for the in-built public relations conscious with which Ringo has been blessed." -- Lewis Lister, Rave magazine, 1969.
"As The Beatles matured musically, their position in the worlds of music, fashion, and politics increased. With that growth came power, and with that came the "we can do whatever we want" activities. It was a time when The Fab Four were seen for what they really were -- mere mortals. Throughout that period, there was a rock solid Ringo that helped anchor the group's image. It was his down-to-earth common sense and stability that, in the face of these public activities, kept The Beatles from flying out of orbit in much of the public's view." -- Richard Hardy, review of Ringo Starr -- Straight Man or Joker for Good Day Sunshine magazine (1993).
"Ringo was simply the best drummer in Liverpool. Ringo also had native wit. He didn't know when he was being funny. Ringo Talked in titles. We had to follow him around with a notebook and pencil. You never know what he would say next." -- Paul McCartney, Off The Record (1988)
"Although his drumming was impressive, it was his temperament that proved invaluable to The Beatles. ... When it came to the press, Ringo could hold his own. Paul could win over any reporter with his charm. And John's sardonic wit could strike like a rapier, but Ringo's slow, sly humor never failed to raise a good-natured smile." -- Theresa Celsi, The Beatles (1993)
"Ringo makes you laugh. George is a great conversationalist. John is creative. And Paul is the salesman." -- Victor Spinetti, Beatlefest, 1994
"Ringo became the perfect drummer for The Beatles. Moreover, as he became integrated into the tightly knit fraternity, and the magic and the bedlam engulfed the globe, he emerged as a unique personality in his own right, who in addition to serving as a vehicle for his own style of music, served to counterbalance the personalities of the other Beatles, keeping the group in a state of creative equipoise." -- Martin Torgoff, The Compleat Beatles (1985)
"Ringo listened very carefully to what was happening on any song in progress. ... He was critical, in the same way that I could be critical of what the others were doing and not afraid to voice that criticism. He would suddenly say to John, "John, that's crap," whereupon John would look up over his glasses and murmur, "Oh really," and change it. Either that, or he'd make a rude remark back and then change whatever it was the Ringo had picked up on. Paul also took a great deal of notice of what Ringo said. He was a very effective guide, musically speaking; he had a good ear. Although he might not have always had that much to do, you could never forget that he was a major part of the group." -- George Martin, Summer of Love (1994)
"I like edgy stuff. ...But I do need a kind of outside injection, stimulation, and it's not there anymore. And remember the edge came from all The Beatles. If Ringo or George didn't like anything, it was out. My stuff has gotten more poppy without that outside stimulus." -- Paul McCartney, Musician Magazine (1986).
"Ringo was an important part of the overall feel and personality of The Beatles. Don Was, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1992.
"The tradition that Ringo always had a song to sing on an album was nothing to do with the others being kind to him. ... Ringo occupied a special place in the hearts of many Beatles fans. The most common adjectives you heard about him were "cute and cuddly." Having him sing something on every album was extremely good marketing -- simple as that." -- George Martin, Summer of Love (1994)
"It must have been evident, early on, that John was an exceptional person; that Paul was bright and had talents; that George had latent potential; that Ringo had humorous fortitude. ... Perhaps it was providential that The Beatles, having found ordinary Ringo, discovered the extraordinariness that made them legendary." -- Wilfred Mellers, Twilight of the Gods - Music of the Beatles (1973)
"It is inescapable that Ringo was the catalyst for the others. He certainly completed the jigsaw and The Beatles, with Ringo, became a magnet for the great camera artists of the world, a target for the jaded, lately hostile eyes of people who had hardly known that popular music existed." -- Brian Epstein, Cellar Full of Noise.
"Many people have claimed, cynically, that Ringo was the luckiest person of the decade, and certainly he received more than his share of malevolent criticism, but all that ignores the very real contribution he was able to make to the success of The Fab Four. Ringo may have been, as A Hard Day's Night suggested, the fall guy, but equally he was able to command the loyalty and deep affection of the others." -- The Beatles Story, 1974
From an interview with Phil Donahue:
Donahue:"But you came home. They wanted you home and they put flowers in your room when you came home."
Ringo:"George had the whole studio in flowers and John was sending me telegrams."
Donahue: "Well, that's a lovely thing, isn't it?"
Ringo: "That's a fabulous thing. Well, that's what brothers do."
Donahue: "And you still think of yourself as that today?"
Ringo: "Sure, I still think we're the four Musketeers."
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