Praise From Pros
&
Those Who've Met Ringo

 Editor's Note: The following are notes and observations from people who have met Ringo Starr or are working professionals whose careers were influenced by him. Please feel free to add your thoughts by dropping me a line at gshultz@airmail.net . The most recent comments are at the top.

09/28/2001
Please post this message on your website if you think it will contribute to the debate on Ringo's ability or lack of ability: It is well known that someone who is very good in his craft "makes it look easy." Well then, Ringo is so good as a drummer that so many of his critics think that "he didn't do anything"! To me, rock and rock is all about banging away at a beat. Rock will never be jazz (full of mental exercises). In fact, after Ringo, rock became even more fundamental when it evolved into "hard" rock. Which brings us to guys like Led Zepplin's drummer, John Bonhan. Everyone praised Bonham for being able to lay down a beat like a bricklayer. And as everyone knows, bricklaying ain't rocket science (but music producers absolutely love this quality in a drummer!). I liked Ringo's fills because they weren't these fancy "textured" things. Even his fills were all about banging out a beat. I especially like one fill in "Me and my Monkey", it is just two quarter notes (loud and hard) on the snare! But it rocked! And it is the perfect set up for John Lennon's guitar. (name withheld, Honolulu, Hawaii).

 

02/28/2001
I played on Paul McCartneys single No more lonely Nights and only last year played drums for Ringo himself at the Michael Jackson and friends concert in Munich.  I got to play one of the greatest drum fills ever written, on a little Help from my friends.  I had goosebumps playing it. Phil Collins comments regarding the fills on A Day in the life are spot on, they are pure genius.  It never fails to anger me when I hear people putting his playing down.  OK he wasn't a technician,  He was better than any technician could ever be when it comes to groove and sheer musicality. His playing still knocks me out thirty years on.
~ Stuart Elliott

 

10/7/2000

Firstly, I think this is a great idea to include a section like this in the website.
I've been a long-time Beatles fan as well as a long-time Ringo fan, but my focus on Ringo has influenced me beyond explanation.  The Beatles style of music and Ringo's style of drumming is what inspired me to take up the drums.  I am entirely a self-taught drummer. Ringo is my teacher.  To make a long story short, I've learned to practically every Beatle tune I could imagine and I still use these recordings as my guide.  Now that I've been playing for 15 years, playing professionally and recording on a semi-regular basis, I've obviously come into contact with many players, musical situations, and have been influenced by a variety of different musical and drumming styles.  Now that I have become a seasoned, and well-respected drummer, it is unbelieveable how close I still am to Ringo and the Beatles.  I still practice to the same Beatles albums and still listen intently to Ringo's grooves, fills, fabulous taste and musical sensitivity.  I derive so many of my own personal stylings from his drumming style, and I never tire of listeneing and learning with Ringo.  I continually break out my collection of tunes, begging friends and bandmates to listen to the songs as intently as I do.  I  am continually blown away by the music created by the Beatles and by Ringo's contribution to the music and to the drumming world.  Just listen to Ticket to Ride, In My Life, Drive my Car, She Said She Said, Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day in the Life, Get Back, and Come Together, and you'll realize that these are not just fabulous works, but they are examples of tremedously creative and expressive drumming.  Wow Ringo, you continue to just blow me away.
When I read what a warm and giving person Ringo is as well, it just reaffirms my decision to be influenced so strongly by this man.  I, as well as countless other drummers, are forever indebted to you Ringo.
Thanks for sharing your unbelieveable gift.   
~ Chris

10/6/2000

I have always been a Beatles fan and always liked Ringo the most. I was going to a Ringo and His All Starr band concert so I decided to stay at the Sheraton. I put my gear away and got dressed to work out.  I went  to the gym and there was one person in there and it was HIM -- Ringo!! I could not believe it.  He was on the treadmill so I got on the bike right by him we started talking and we talked for 30 minutes. He was a very nice guy, that was the greatest meeting of  people I have ever had.
~ Dan Gray  

8/20/2000

   I think this is a great site and I'm very glad to find it and to know that there are people out here like me who really admire Ringo,and the Beatles.

   I started playing drums when I was 6 years old and stayed in my bedroom with the door closed tight and listened to Beatles albums all day.  Learned to play by ear and never having a lesson under my belt.  Playing a song over and over till I got it right.  Then later finding I had somewhat of a voice started to sing along with John Paul and George.  I felt that I was Ringo in that room rushing home from school to plug in the Beatles and jump behind that set.  My first kit was a 80$ four peice set of St. George drums that my Mom made my dad buy for me.  She then spent 2 weeks cleaning and removing the rust from the the old rims and pedals.   I then continued playing the drums for over 20 years always relating back to Ringo.  I have not played now in over 8 years but the urge grows stronger all the time.  He really inspired me and my drumming.   As a boy, I was Ringo and in the Beatles.  He is such a great person and musician. Thank you for this web site, you're doing a great job.
Mark.

 

 

8/04/2000

Editor's Note: Roger Hopkins of Wokingam used to work for Ringo doing odd jobs and looking after his house at Weybridge Sunney Heights. Roger lived in a caravan on the property. He and  his girlfriend, Iris, whom he later married, used to socialize sometimes with Ringo and Maureen. Roger writes:
Their are many stories I could tell of my time working for Ringo. One time I remember when John, Ringo, and the wives had gone on holiday to the Bahamas and I was looking after Ringo's house. Maureen's mum, Mrs. Cox, had come down to stay to look after the place as well. As I said before, I used to stay in the caravan. It was in the winter and the central heating in the house was not working properly so I had to go and find out what was up with it. When I couldn't find the trouble, I told Mrs. Cox and the nanny to go to bed early as the house was so cold. I went round the house and turned all the thermostats up to max and then locked up and went to the caravan to go to bed myself.
When I went over to the house the next morning, Mrs. Cox and the nanny had been up all night opening windows as it was like a hot house. The central heating had come on and they did not know what to do to turn it off.
Ringo was quite a funny sort of bloke. I remember I was in the kitchen and heard him shouting out for me, so I went to see what he wanted. He asked me to go and fill the mini up as he was going out. As I did not have any money on me, I said to Ringo, "What shall I fill it up with?" After a few seconds, he said, "Milk"  I looked at him a bit puzzleed. Then he burst out laughing and gave me a tenner. 
Ringo's house was situated on the left, halfway down a very big hill. John used to come over and see Ringo quite a lot, turning up on his moped. I remember one day in the winter when John was going home on his moped and the roads were a bit icy.  John needed to rev up a lot to get up the hill. He had just gotten out of Ringo's drive when the moped skidded and John came off.  At the time, there were lots of girl fans outside Ringo's place.  They all raced over to help John get up off the ground and pick up his moped.  I went over to see if John was okay, and with a big grin he said yea.  All the fans were gob smacked at touching and talking to John Lennon.  He gave them all his autograph, then got on his moped and went home.

7/24/2000
M
y daughter, Lydia, Husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Ringo at Red Rocks, CO  June 28th thru The Make A Wish Foundation. Lydia's wish for almost 2 yrs. was to meet her lifetime inspiration-RINGO. We were very excited to hear we were going to meet him in Denver as Lydia was born there and her Father and I could not think of a better place for her to see her first concert. We had attended many concerts at Red Rocks while living in Co. but this concert topped the list. The joy Lydia got from meeting Ringo was awesome. In her own words, she said "Ringo was incredibly personable." Thank-you Ringo for taking the time to bring such happiness to Lydia and your most enjoyable concert. Lydia said she really felt like she fit in as she could sing along to the songs Ringo and his All -Starr Band performed. It may not have been the clearest night we ever witnessed at Red Rocks but clearly the "STARR'S" were shining bright that night.
~ Joni R. Starr of Columbia, PA

P.S. Incidentally, Lydia's treatment's for her brain tumor ended July7,1999---- Ringo's Birthday!

 


In 1960, I met Richard Starkey at Billy Butlins Holiday Camp in Pwllehli Wales before he became a Beatle. I sang Cliff Richards' "Living Doll" because he dared me to. We had become quite friendly during my vacation. When leaving at the end of two weeks, I had no money for the train home to Manchester. Richard bought a pair of sandles from me so I could get home. I tell people and they just don't believe me. They think I am making it up. I found him to be one of the nicest people I have ever met.
~ Arthur Harrison


For the better part of 35 years I have been playing the tubs, and most likely would not not have been interested in music if it had not been for the likes of the Beatles. When I first decided that this is what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a guitar player. But when a group of friends and I got together to form the group we picked straws to see who would get first pick of insturments to play. Long straw getting first pick and so on down the line. I ended up with the shortest straw and, since nobody else picked the drums, I ended up with the insturment. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. Besides meeting my wife. in the early years, we all had our reason for playing and mine was and always will be the music. I feel that I was very lucky to be a teenager when the Beatles became popular and changed the world, and I have always looked to Ringo for ideas. There may be other drummers in the music world who may have more chops than Ringo, but there is no other drummer who can show you how to make better music with a drum set. I think the most important thing I may have learned from listening to Ringo play for all these years is that if you have a band it will not be a good band unless you have a great musician on the drums. And, as far as drummers go, there is no better one than Ringo. Thanks for the inspiration for all these years and please do not stop showing us all how to.

~ t.fell/sqweez


I grew up listening to the Beatles because my father (Frank Malone) loved them. When I was 10 (I'm 35 now) I wanted to learn to play guitar so I could play like George and John. When I was 11 I wanted to play the drums so I could play like Ringo. I eventually learned the bass at 12 so I could be Paul. Now I record all the instruments played by me on a four track recorder, play it back and it sounds pretty close to the original recordings. The music sounds so simple until you try to play it yourself. The Beatles were extremely gifted and talented musicians to play the variety of music they did. And Ringo played some very hard beat patterns. Try playing "A Day in the Life" or "Strawberry Fields" or "I am the Walrus". It is pretty technical stuff! Anyone who says Ringo is not a talented musician never played his stuff. I now play guitar, bass and drums (Not all at the same time!) in a Catholic Church and much of my influence in playing all three come from my 4 heroes. The young man who plays drums in church that I teach now is starting to learn some 'Ringo' techniques. Ringo's influence can be felt and heard throughout the ages and throughout the musical spectrum.
 ~ Brian Malone of Chicago, IL


 

I was invited by Ringo's girlfriend Nancy Andrews  (Pre-Barbara Bach) to come up to his house and spend the evening...I was told he might drop in but not to count on it.
Nancy was a photographer and wanted to take some pic's of me for my Record...
Sure enough and hour into it Ringo showed up and I was beside myself... Ringo was quite a buff with the camera too and he and Nancy both took picture's of me hamming it up on and off all night long...Here was this guy who had had all those famous pic's taken we all know so well and he was clicking away taking my picture and i was in heaven making jokes and dressing up in differant clothes he had me try on...
What a dream evening it was,  a once in a lifetime event...To top it all off he wanted to hear the Album we had made and he put it on and blasted it and put on a pair of headphones and danced around the room singin with songs and grinning his ass off...He said he loved the music and energy it had " it was an excellant Album"
Then we settled down for a few games of Bacgammon which i had never played, so he taught me how to play and basically played himself....I was cool and didn't ask any Beatle questions, we just talked about Drums and songwriting and i teasingly called him Ringus thru out the evening and for the most part felt very at ease and relaxed with him...He is such a wonderful soul and so fun and funny....I think he liked me alot and called me a cocky little Booger, whenever i called him Ringus....He also told me i reminded him of John, which blew me away to say the least...
If i was to make up a story like this it would be a wonderful one, and believe me every word
is true and then some...I just thought someone might get a kick out of this...But by the grace of the God and all that is good in this world, I was blessed with that wonderful unforgetable evening with the one and only  Ringo Starr.............
Peace and Blessings
~ Moon Calhoun


On May 10,1997 my husband and I had the pleasure of seeing Ringo & His All-Starr Band in St. Louis,MO. We were sitting in the second row. I had brought a TY Beanie Baby that is named "Ringo". I wrote in the heart swing tag and told my husband that I was going to find a way to get it to him. My husband thought I was nuts but in my heart I knew it was going to work ! As there was a break in one of Ringo's songs (we think Yellow Submarine), Ringo seemed to be
looking our way so I held up the Beanie Baby and he saw it! I tossed it at him and he caught it ,looked at it and said something about wanting one of those and said he was keeping it . He also pretended like it was going to attack him. He then put it on his shoulder for awhile and put it in his vest pocket!! After one of his breaks he pointed at me during one of his songs. It was the
next best thing to meeting him in person and one of the greatest gifts I could have ever gotten. I never imagined that he would take the time to say something about that.My husband & I have loved him and the rest of the Fab 4 since we were 15 years old and now we're 38 & 33 ! If only Ringo knew how much that meant to us!  I almost got kicked out of the concert for that but I guess the security guard realized we weren't trying to cause trouble , just trying to thank Ringo for  "A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll" ! 
~ Diane


I had the pleasure of sitting 3 feet in front of ringo at a ny press conference when i was 15.   thirty-one years later I would have had the courage to speak,  but to see my idol up close and have him wink at me has made me love him all the more after all theses years. No one gives him credit for his talent humor and overcoming terrible struggles.
Peace,
~Stephen



Three girlfriends and I always plan a spring outing to get away from the "real" world for a week-end!  These have been so incredibly fun, we are now adventure junkies! ha!  We are trying to get to Reno/Tahoe to see Ringo and his band, as we just heard about the tour actually, and also heard he was not coming up to the Seattle area this time. (Darn the luck! ha!)
 When Ringo and his band played at the Moore Theatre in Seattle last time, my cousin Cynthia and I were lucky enough to be invited backstage before the concert.  We met  Ringo at that time and a couple of guys in his band.  My cousin Cynthia had just had her ankle tatooed with a yellow submarine and was dying to show Ringo this!  I had laughingly told her that indeed, it was a wonderful thing, but not to get her hopes up! (this is the first and only time she had done anything like a tatoo...so she was very excited! ha!)  As fates would have it, not only did she get to show him her tatoo, but we were fortunate enough to have photos taken with him.  I would e-mail these to you, but I need a new scanner! sorry!...tho if you'd like I can send them by post.)  We only got to chat a short bit, as there were many people wanting time with him also. But we did get hugs! That was the best!
 I just thought how sweet and kind a man he is.  You sense his heart from his eyes, his smile, his caring ways. I was very impressed.  There must be thousands upon thousands who want to meet him each year.  I would imagine it gets tiring for him after awhile.  He is the kind of guy you'd like to do something nice back for.  We just had time to thank him and let him know his efforts are appreciated.
 The same concert night, my girlfriend Linda was out farther in the audience, and  Ringo's beautiful wife and middle? son, wound up standing by her.  Linda didn't bother her, as she didn't want the people around her to invade their space, but she said they exchanged smiles and hello's, and settled in to watch the show.  I guess you could say we are fans of Ringo,  and his family and band, IN or OUT of the spotlights.  Who says nice guys finish last?!
It was  an over the top experience for us!
~ Deborah


On every Translator and Itchy Kitty album, there are places where a listener who knows what to look for can tell that I learned to play by mimicking Ringo, and though I think I've my own syle, there's always a bit of him in there somewhere. I also try to throw the "I Want To Hold Your Hand" lick with it's simultaneous tom and snare somewhere on every record, just for fans like me! Mostly though, I just listen to his amazing and tasteful drumming in awe--the best rock drummer ever, period. And by the way, for those who think he's not sufficiently technically proficient, check out the right hand on the tom, left hand on the snare triplets on "Tell Me Why"--and then try to do it as smoothly as Ringo....I'll bet you can't!
~ Dave Scheff, San Francisco, 1998


Ringo played in Dublin in August, 1998, and we had an absolute ball! so did Ringo and the rest of the band.
I had the great fortune to meet Ringo, and managed to say something reasonably sensible, he has now become a member of our fan club, Beatles Ireland, and we are truly honoured.
Ringo turned out to be an extremely nice, and very witty man, and I feel very lucky to have met him, when I had expected to meet a superstar, with superstar attitudes, what I actually got was a real gentleman. What a night!  Thanks Ringo.
Anytime you want to come back for a quiet visit, we can arrange it!
Love to Ringo, Barbara and all the Beatle People.,
~ Patricia Moore, Chairperson,
Beatles Ireland Fan Club,
37 Ashdale Road,
Kinsealy Court,
Swords,
Co Dublin,
Ireland.


I just wanted to add my $.02 to the legions of Ringo fans and peers who respect him so much:
I still remember the date: November 3, 1964, just two days after my 18th birthday: I saw the brand-new Ludwig Super Classics in a music storefront window in Jonesboro, Arkansas. They were advertised as the "Ringo Starr Set" but I didn't need a sign to tell me that. I bought
them immediately, and used my clarinet for a down payment. They have always been my "regulation" drum kit. I still use the same brass and monster (by today's standards) hi-hats. I have never owned cases in 35 years. I have played them on concert stage, in recording studios, and logged more miles on them than I care to recall. I have never quite heard a kit that sounds like mine (or his). The sheer endurance of this set reflects my thoughts on Ringo himself. Good old
Boy, salt-of-the-earth, keep-on-pluggin', meat-and-potatoes Ringo/Ludwig.
I have read accounts by his detractors concerning his rightful place in the overall scheme of Things Musical. They don't have a leg to stand on. Any decent drummer worth his salt can tell you that Ringo has near-perfect time, never plays over the top, and has always been one of the tastiest players in modern popular music. He redefined what drummers play, drawing heavily early on by watching stick-master Hal Blaine's novel use of tom-toms. His syncopated hi-hat work on songs like "Anna" and "All I Want To Do"  are exquisite. I could go on for hours pointing out so many little percussive details that only Ringo envisioned.
And to top it off, he's just so damned charming. Always smiling, always a giggle in his gait. Positive attitude? You'd better believe it! No Buddy Rich attitude here, folks. And I'll bet he's got as much gold in his heart as he has on his walls. I have never met the gentleman, but it
would be difficult indeed to keep from gushing forth just how much he has meant to me if I ever met him on the street. I have been fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and have spent many hours just hanging around some of our modern rock "stars", and I can tell you that most of them are really put off by this public display of adoration, but I'm giving you fair warning, Ringo....................
~ Bob Ketchum
Cedar Crest Studio


{The following is reprinted with permission of the author, Tim Love (TimLove1@aol.com)
who maintains a home page at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/3139
.}
It was the summer of 1997. My friend Jose Acosta's father was doing some landscaping
at a home in Malibu, CA. The owner came out & was about to introduce himself. Before
he could, Mr. Acosta stopped him & said "Trust me, you don't need to introduce yourself.
I know who you are". It turned out that Mr. Acosta's customer was none other than Ringo
Starr.
Mr. Acosta asked Ringo for his autograph, & after Ringo consented, realized that he
hadn't any paper to write on. He pulled out a $1.00 bill and Ringo signed it. Later on, Mr. Acosta mentioned to Ringo that he wished he had a picture of this, as his son a Beatles Fan. Ringo excused himself & brought back a nice glossy for Mr. Acosta & signed it for him.
I asked my friend Jose if I could scan both the dollar bill & the glossy. He said yes. I told
him that I would share it with the rest of the world over the internet, so click here to see it.
~ Tim Love


Hullo, I'm a missionary in Venezuela, been playing drums for 20 years, have recorded with musicians like Alex Acuña, Abe Laboriel & Justo Almario (jazz guys, but they've played with the likes of McCartney, Elvis, Streisand, Michael Jackson, etc., ad nauseum.  So - - - how is it
that virtually nobody ever notices the technical prowess Ringo exhibits on tunes like "Help!", "Ticket to Ride", or "Revolution" - I'm referring to the ambidexterity that allowed him to play the same sixteenth-note fills simultaneously with two hands.  The reason that one fill in "Ticket to Ride" slows down ever so slightly is because he was doing it to the snare with the left hand while doing it to the floor tom with the right, which explains why the sound was so massive.  Most drummers playing "Help!" would do the fill going into the "Help me if you can" bit in the perfectly acceptable left-right-left-right way, but Ringo, as the film reveals, goes at it as though he were two people.  That's very difficult to do without going out-of-sync - try it!  Time continues to
vindicate Ringo, whose impact will live on long after blowhards like (nameless) are happily forgotten.

Furthermore, Ringo's groundbreaking drum sounds, while they owe something to the work of engineers like Norm Smith and Geoff Emerick, can hardly be ignored.  That same Ludwig four-piece black oyster kit you see on the Ed Sullivan Show, and that you hear happily clattering away on tracks like "Twist and Shout" (itself a mind-blowing bit of work) is also the source of
the end-of-the-world toms on "A Day In The Life", not to mention the amazing sounds on "Strawberry Fields", "With A Little Help From My Friends", on up through "Revolution".  What's entirely Ring's doing, however, is his fiendishly clever allotment of hits, very often creating the illusion of a five-piece kit.  The way he includes the kick drum in fills, and the way he works back and forth between the snare and the two toms, is not unlike Irving Berlin's use of the piano's black keys to compose things like "God Bless America" or "White Christmas".  I rely heavily on Ringo's influence in order to extract the most from the four-piece kit I have here in Venezuela. Ringo must not have known at the time that what he was doing was impossible.  Then again, that's how ordinary people change the world!

Blake Simpson 4/16/98


what else can you say. Ringo put that feel good grove in The Beatle's music. I have been playing drums professionally for the last 19 yrs and Ringo's style and approach was something that I admire. He played what was exactly needed for the music.

I will never forget the first time I heard Hard Day's Night. The way he could really make that song cook by simply working his hi hat between the verses and the chorus by simply opening and closing, (which i call white noise). George Martin or one of the other Beatles might have come up
with that idea but it took Ringo's fine touch to accomplish it. Ringo is a great groove drummer and that's what I appreciate because the groove is the foundation. People, especially drummers, need to watch the Ed Sullivan shows; in my opinon that's some of the best commercial live drumming I've ever seen and heard especially for that time. Ringo might not have had great rudiment technique but he had a great touch technique, especially the way he swung his stick across the hi hats, and you could always count on a solid backbeat from ringo.

I collect old Ludwig drums and also play them and I have to honestly say Ringo is the reason why I play Ludwig drums. I wasn't even born yet when The Beatles played the Ed Sullivan shows but I'm thankful that I'm a Beatles fan and mainly because of Ringo's drumming. He has inspired me to really appreciate and realize how importain a drummers role is in a band and that is KEEP THE BAND COOKING WITH A SOLID GROOVE, WORK WITH AND NOT AGAINST THE OTHER PLAYES AND ONLY PLAY WHAT IS NEEDED. HORRAAY FOR LUDWIG DRUMS AND ESPECIALLY RINGO STARR

~ JIMMY WILLIS 1/1/98

 


Quite simply, Ringo saved my life! When I was 13 and in the 7th grade, I was fairly unsightly. Braces on my teeth, glasses, as well as being very shy put quite a dampner on my social standing at school.I was never athletic, either!
However, I did possess a natural ability for music.I had been playing guitar and drums(not really playing, but I owned a guitar and a $20.00 drumset and would pick and plunk as best I could) for about 5 years prior to this period, and since I wasn't a jock or a slide rule-wiz, I would come home and play to this recently discovered band of mine called The Beatles.It was the same year that Bee-Gees/Frampton"Sgt Pepper" movie came out and one year after the opening of Leber/Krebs BEATLEMANIA . In other words, I became a Beatle-Maniac!
I can honestly say, if it weren't for The Beatles and Ringo in particular, I never would have made it to high school. They became my friends to look forward to after a full day of hell from peers and teachers alike.By 10th grade, I got my first girlfriend(and "finger-pie") and my self esteem greatly improved, but I never lost that love for my best friends.
In 1988, I was hired by several Beatle-tribute bands in L.A., Calif. to play drums and, yes, play Ringo and a long awaited dream was finally realized!!! It is now 1997, and I am drumming for a band called The Conditionz. My drums are a 1965 Ludwig Super-Classic 4-pc. in Black Oyster finish.We have just completed a new album, which we are currently "shopping-around" and the future looks good!
In short, pleasetell Ringo I love him! Sincerely,
Stephen Arti.
-


I have been a drummer for 30 years. I am glad to see Ringo finally getting the respect he deserves. There are no drummers in the rock or jazz field who have not been influenced by Ringo. Many of them don't even know it because the ideas they use may have come to them 2nd or 3d hand.
All of the loose and free drum fills that over the years began to be popular in rock drumming (Keltner in "Fire and Rain", all of the stuff in the various Elton John recordings, and thousands of other seminal recordings by other groups as well), came from Ringo. There is nothing simple about those fills -- try to write them out and see what I mean.
Miles Davis used to talk about judging players by the way they played"the space" in music. Ringo is a master of playing the space.

~ Dave



My name is Mike, and I'm a drummer. I'm one of the millions of kids who were glued to their B&W tv sets back in 1964 when the Beatle's knocked the entire country on it's butt. I was 11 at the time, and seeing Ringo behind his Ludwig drumkit began a life-long bond. That night made such a strong impression on me that I began drum lessons a week later, and after 22 months of begging, pleading, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, and keeping my room much neater than a 12-yr-oldshould have to, I was the proud owner of the very same drum kit myself. It became a career, and for twenty plus years, I was lucky to be employed having the time of my life!
You almost have to be a musician to really appreciate Ringo as a drummer, his style being so subtle. I never thought of Beatle music being difficult, and it isn't, that is until you try to capture that sound yourself. Ringo was awesome in his simplicity, saying more by NOT playing something than by just cluttering up the chart to hear himself play.
I did real well in my career by following his vocation, and his example. If I'd wanted to be a star, I would have bought a guitar, and a drummer's job is to drive the band, support everyone's creativity, and I tell you, the drummer who makes everyone else's work shine is the one who gets the call to work, not the guy who can solo a la Buddy Rich. You can teach a monkey to solo, but you can't teach feel or soul. Ringo has both.
As a role model and inspiration I have to thank him for his huge contribution. Thanks for the last twenty-five wonderful years, Ringo. God bless you and yours, and best wishes for all you may do in the future. YOU ARE THE GREATEST!!!!!!
~ MIKR SALO


 

Ringo Day In Boston

In 1995, I was a member of the Boston City Council. I got a resolution passed by the Council declaring the day of Ringo's stop in Boston "RINGO STARR DAY"
(Picture of John Nucci and Ringo at right)
Of course, I contacted Ringo's promoter's office and told her that I would like to present it backstage. Amazingly, she said 'yes' right away and arranged for me and a photographer to go backstage minutes before the show.
Ringo came out of his trailer and was great! He thanked me for my resolution and asked me that since it was RINGO STARR DAY, "..does anybody get a holiday?" (Of course they don't) we both had a laugh.
I gave him a copy of my "Sentimental Journey" LP to sign. He wrote "WOW!! Ringo '95" across the cover. He also signed a copy of the resolution and a program for me.
I told him I collected Beatle memorabilia from the '60's and have a pretty big collection. He was real interested in what I had and said he wishes he had "some of that stuff". He said, "Ohh, if we only knew, eh?" about the crazy prices being asked these days.
We shook hands, took a few pictures and off he went.
I also met Preston and got Entwhistle's signature. Great evening!!
~ JOHN A. NUCCI


 

Ringo's Influence

I can't think of where to begin when considering Ringo to be a major influence on my drumming but here goes.
Ringo for one thing has kept my interest in the Beatles music as well as his own solo work even when I delved into forays such as hard core and heavy metal. He influenced my playing in the sense of less is more and the fact that you don't have to play ten-thousand fills in a song to make the groove work.
There are also some songs that (even though I've played along with countless amounts of times) I still cannot get. A perfect example of this would be the live recorded version "Long Tall Sally" where Paul's doing the line "have some fun tonight" where Ringo (and trust me I'm at complete loss as to how he does this) does this swing type/tom fill thing (I can't quite describe it, no matter how hard I try) that I've tried to get every drummer I know (pro and semi-pro) that haven't a clue either.
He has also influenced the way I set up my drums with his whole 4-piece Ludwig kit (until Let It Be) set-up. His use of the matched grip was probably the biggest influence he's had on me and definitely other drummers around the world (no matter what style of music).
Thank you Gary for such a fab web-page and keep up the great work. And cheers to you Ringo (if you happen to read this) for the fab work that you've done and will continue to do until you pack it in.
~ Jeff Kahl


 

Worked With Ringo and Harry

I have worked with Ringo, Harry Nilsson, Zappa, to name a few. ... Ringo is a very down-to-earth, sweet man; just like you see him on TV, that's him!
I recorded 25 new and old tunes with Harry in my Studio. Since he passed away, his estate has all the masters. Ringo recorded five children's stories that Harry and I were to put to music. Since Harry died, the project is on the shelf!
(Picture at right: Hanging out in Andy Cahan's Livingroom, Ringo and Harry Nilsson take a break from recording some childrens stories back in August 1993". For more photos and info: click here)
~ Andy Cahan


 

Praise From A Pro

I've been playing drums professionally since 1974. Seeing Ringo on Ed Sullivan in February 1964 made me want to be a drummer. I spent MANY hours with headphones on & learning every Beatles track & drumfill. When every one else was trying to get a "digital" thud from their sanre, I was looking for that "barking" snare sound on HELP & RUBBER SOUL LPs.
I've incorporated many of Ringo's fills & sounds (riding on my "18 thin crash ala the tracks HELP,TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS, the chorus of I"M A LOSER & so on.buzz rolls on my rack tom ala HELP,WAIT, TICKET TO RIDE,DAY TRIPPER).
I get many compliments & job offers and when people ask me where came up with "my sound," I tell them I got it from Ringo, & MANY times I get the reply: Ringo wasn't very good or he was in the right place at the right time. I've made many decisions on who to work for, their understanding of music, & many times what a jerk they are depending on their opinion of Ringo & his drumming (it's very reliable).
Your page should be required reading for newcomers & plenty of oldtimers in the biz.
~ R. C. Hill
Pipe Creek, TX


 

A Bit of History

Here's a little Ringo trivia for you.
In the mid seventies Ringo was in L.A. making his ROTOGRAVURE album. A woman who was connected with his management company, Tina Firestone, happened to be at a party where she saw a mind-blowing gadget which had (then) recently been invented by myself and a friend of mine called the METAPHASER. She told Ringo about it so enthusiastically that he said he wanted to buy one sight unseen. Tina contacted us and we were invited to go to Ringo's rented house in the Hollywood Hills to meet him. Paul and Linda happened to be there at the time. Ringo especially was extremely cordial and friendly. My wife Jill still gets a bit weak in the knees remembering the sharing the METAPHASER experience with Ringo.
I should tell you a little about the thing... it is an electro-optical device which provides two people with a vibrant, dynamic image of their facial features combined into a being you could only call "us". The effect is quite startling, and has the added benefit of providing a different experience with each new person it is done with.
Anyway, he loved it, and surprised us by captioning his photo inside the album cover with our slogan, "I've been through the METAPHASER". We thought at the time that he did it as a sort of "cosmic wink" to a time in the future when METAPHASERS would be well known, but he was among the first to dig it. (We got distracted into other endeavors, so there are still only a handful of METAPHASERS in the world.)
Tina later told us he was at one time contemplating giving it as a birthday gift to Harry Nillson, so I don't know if he still has it, gave it to Harry, or whatever. Wonder if there's any way to find out?
Thanks for the nice pages.
--- Regards,
Foster


 

A Ringo Encounter !!!

Just wanted to let you know that my greatest endeavor was finally fulfilled on July 21, 1995. I MET RINGO! It was presented to me by my uncle who knows that I am a big RINGO STARR fan. I was able to see a great show in Atlantic City and also have the opportunity to go backstage and be able to say something to my favorite musician. It was a thrill of a lifetime and needless to say it was such an emotional high.
RINGO was cordial, witty and very cooperative as he stopped to give me and my lads a few moments of his time..We chatted briefly: he signed the silver-framed White Album solo shot of himself that I carried around with me for quite some time and allowed us to have a picture with him. He posed us as he realized how jumbly we were: which was a really neat twist.
The nice thing about it was it really wasn't necessary to drool all over him like you think would happen. He seemed so down to earth that just a few words and a shake of the hand, accompanied by my jitters, was simply the best way to be able to interact. In fact, I almost felt a little guilty taking up such a short amount of his time.
I found out first hand that it's true what they say: Ringo is in fact a nice, caring and accomodating person!
To think that someone cared enough about me to set up my going backstage and getting the opportunity means alot to me. It also means that now I can stop trying to figure out how in the world I was ever going to be able to have a chance to meet Ringo...whenever, wherever and however! I had a feeling it would happen someday though!

--- Joey

Also read On The Road With Ringo. By Denise McCann Beck.

Return to The Ringo Home Page.

 

 

Page updated May 24, 1998