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I've written blogs about reconsiderations or just further considerations of Paul McCartney and George Harrison (and the group as a whole), and I'd been thinking of doing the same for Ringo. Heard on The Beatles Channel on SIrius/XM (which continues to fuel reconsiderations) an interview with Ringo where he said his favorite Beatles song was Come Together. Sent that onto theatre colleague and fellow Beatles fanatic Dave Wassilak, and he sent back a video appreciation of Ringo's drumming illustrated by a young female drummer names Sina. (Video below.) This video only expands one's appreciation for the contributions he made to the groups legendary output.

I'd always thought of Ringo as a full-fledged Beatle, an equal partner in their endeavors and achievements. And became aware later that many people dismissed him as just a substitute for Pete Best, inferior musically, not even the best drummer in The Beatles.

And it's only been in the last few years that my original perception of Ringo has been confirmed and broadened. (And, as usual, it's been The Beatles Channel that has helped fuel this.) It's been the music - especially the remixed versions of their music which clarifiy the great playing, the great drumming and the masterful choices they made in finishing their music. Then it's been the exposure to Ringo's solo music, which he continues to produce. His music has continued to grow, and, though this might seem like sacrilege to fervent fans of the Fab Four, his solo music ranks very closely to his bandmates solo efforts in its quality and variety.

And of course, his regular touring with his All Starr band continues to sell out and to delight audiences of all ages. I've seen a couple of these concerts, and they highlight classic tunes from his all star bandmates as well as Ringo favorites. Always a good time.

There's one Ringo musical moment that will always underline his talent. It's easily seen in the Concert For Bangla Desh video. Ringo was one of two drummers for Harrison's big band sound. There's a shot during one of Harrison's numbers that focuses on the drummers. The song had just finished a chorus, and the drummers' job was to do a roll and send the band onto the next verse. The other drummer was Jim Keltner - one of the best session drummers of all time. He did an expert roll and then did a single shot with his drumstick. Right next to him, Ringo kind of struggled to do the roll, certainly not as smoothly as Keltner did it. But then when Ringo next hit the single drumbeat, his arm came up and down like a blacksmith, he didn't just hit it, he blasted it, and you could see the entire band driven forward several inches to continue the song with a whole new blast of energy. That shot illustrated what Ringo did for The Beatles, musically.

His personal contributions to the band must have been just as meaningful. He seemed to be the one that remained close to all of the other Beatles. Whenever they mention him, there seems to be a smile and a warm thought in store for him. His personality, his strength, his good will were vital elements in the complex mixture of people that made up the greatest band of all time. And though Ring is getting up there (he turned 80 this year, a bit before Dylan did), he continues to work, to produce new music, new books, and new joy for his fans. Perhaps it's his dedication to his health - “blueberries every morning and broccoli with everything.” Or it could be his mantra - “Peace. And Love.” That's Ringo.

And here, Sina and her seminar on Ringo's drumming.

YouTube video


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Revised: October, 2007
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