But, this question lead me to pay some thought to Ringo and his solo work…did I like it or not? Honestly, when I think of Ringo the first thing that comes to mind these days is the movie Caveman; certainly not the highlight of his career but there isn’t much that Ringo has done that has really made me really pay homage to this ex-Beatle.
Yes, Ringo did contribute It Don’t Come Easy, With a Little Help From My Friends and Octopus’ Garden, and they are timeless classics in their own right, but what has he released in the last 10 albums? For the past decade or so Ringo has toured with his “All-Star band”, which honestly are more “all-has-been’s” rather than “All-Stars”. For instance, when was the last time you heard Rick Derringer (his big hit - 1974′s Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo) or Edgar Winter (his hits - 1975′s Frankenstein and Free Ride)? Neither have rocked the charts for nearly 40 years, so “All-Stars” I think not. Perhaps Ringo Starr and the 70′s One Hit Wonders might be a more appropriate don’t you think?
I know that this entry will receive a plethora of hate mail and well, that is the risk that I am taking trouncing a former Beatle. But in retrospect there is not much you can really say that Ringo has contributed past those few songs. I like Ringo, I really do, but there is a part of me that just rolls my eyes that people consider him worthy of spending $85 – $110 to see,him and his band, yikes! Unlike George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and of course, John Lennon Ringo’s contributions to music fare in comparision.
Perhaps it’s the simple fact that he was a Beatle with a cool name that appeals to people to spend the money; I really don’t know. As a drummer Ringo was mediocre at best, even Lennon was asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world he replied jokingly ”he’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles”. It must be mentioned that Lennon later did point out that Ringo’s ability was far underated as was Paul’s bass playing. So , clearly whether you consider him the luckiest drummer in the world or a virtuoso in percussion one thing remains…he was a Beatle and there’s no point in arguing that fact.
I still wrestle with the fact that Ringo has been able to survive all these years, touring and making albums that really no one buys and no one really seems to take the time to listen in earnest. Clearly Ringo is also the luckiest musician in the world and perhaps just being a former Beatle is justification enough to keep going and milking the legacy. With the performers that Ringo surrounds himself they are clearly a draw for a much older generation of listeners; and listeners who are eager to see Winter and Derringer believe it or not, ugh.
If you see a Ringo show please let us know what you think and whether it was the price of the ticket, here at HiFi Central we are very curious.
Happy 70th Birthday Ringo!