Ringo Starr or Ringo “Space Cadet”?

I was talking to a friend the other day and he asked me if I was going to make the trip to see Ringo Starr on tour this summer at Radio City Music Hall in NYC and the answer would be a flat “no”!  

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!


13 Responses to “Ringo Starr or Ringo “Space Cadet”?”

  1. 1 ericstraus
    July 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Yeah, seeing Ringo perform Don’t Pass Me By for $80 is quite unappealing. I totally agree about his mediocrity – he was certainly a competent pop drummer, no doubt. But for anyone to suggest he was underrated is just as silly as his song lyrics. I cracked up when I saw Rick Derringer’s name…I guess it’s good he’s still doing something and not an alcoholic on the streets, but no, he and Edgar Winter do not command high ticket prices, even if Ringo is with them.

  2. July 8, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    I wouldn’t pay that kind of money to see his All Star band. I disagree, however, that he wasn’t an important member of the Beatles. It’s true that there were much more technically gifted drummers, but I would assert that Ringos beat was extrememly wide. He had a great feel, didn’t overplay, and I don’t think that his groove can be discounted. There is something to be said for rhythm sections that play well together and the Beatles certainly agreed on where the time should be. Ringo was no small factor in this respoect. The Stones are another band with a great drummer that didn’t play too much. The Who is the opposite — a busy drummer who didn’t groove — he may have been the right guy for that band, though.

    • 3 jacobull
      July 8, 2010 at 10:55 PM

      I agree Keith, but please note that I did not say that Ring wasn’t an important member of The Beatles. His contributions to the music they created is undeniable, he totally complemented their sound at the time. My point is that he isn’t really a very good drummer in general..something he even freely admits.

  3. 4 LHS
    October 21, 2010 at 5:04 AM

    Silence! All of you! Justice will be served to all haters of Ringo Starr! First, Ringo was important to the Beatles because they didn’t tour or make any hit songs until he joined. Look it up. Second, John Lennon said:”Ringo makes a great Beatle”. You can look that up too. Third- whoever Jacobull is- I’d like to see you drum better. Fourth, I just saw Ringo at Mohegan Sun last June and it was AMAZING. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand. I’m just presenting another side to the arguments and HORRIFIC INSULTS hurled at Ringo.

    • 5 jacobull
      October 21, 2010 at 4:15 PM

      Kudos to you wise Ringo sage! If you would like to see me drum better I will be performing at the corner of East 6th and Avenue A wailing away on plastic buckets as a grovel for change.

      Although you are entitled to your opinion and we honestly do apprecaite you taking the time to comment, clearly you have nothing better to do with your money that night.

      Did Liberace and Vanilla Ice accompany him that night as part of his All-Star band?

  4. November 20, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    Ringo also sang “Yellow Submarine” and “With A Little Help from My Friends” you idiot. He also wrote “What Goes On” “Octopuses Garden” and oh yeah.. the classic “Don’t Pass me By” Learn your facts before posting some stupid blog in your endless free time. This is the only time I have ever responded to a blog while looking up something on Google. I am disappointed that this site was even a part of the search engine. Dummy.

  5. 8 jacobull
    November 20, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    Gee, thanks for the kind words! Clearly you have been spending your “endless free time” searching for things about “Ringo” on Google eh?

    I believe I did give him credit “Octopus’ Garden”, or did you simply overlook that in your angst to slam the entry? We believe that our blog is simply a forum for opinion, sorry that ours is not to your liking, but we don’t really care.

    Have a great day and hey, thanks for visiting!

  6. November 20, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    Jaco already mentioned that Ringo sang With a Little Help From My Friends. HE’s not that great of a composer or singer so I don’t understand the vitriol of your rant. He was a very good, if not great drummer that was in the perfect band for him

  7. 10 Connie Capone
    January 5, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    We are certainly all entitled to our opinions but I have heard many other drummers say that Ringo’s style of drumming was an inspiration to them and he certainly fit in the with Beatles and NO ONE can deny their tremendous success! I personally LOVE Ringo and so does my 15 year old daughter. He was a very cool person and most of the time the peacemaker in the band. He was adorable and sexy and is definitely one of the best looking 70 year olds that I have ever seen. I don’t like to hear people talk bad about him but as I said we are all entitled to ours and if people don’t want to see him in concert then they aren’t forced to buy the tickets! Don’t forget, he had the first #1 single of all the Beatles! That says something!

  8. 11 jacobull
    January 5, 2011 at 8:47 PM


    We here at HiFi Central want to thank you first of all for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment, and secondly for keeping it classy. We get many comments that are not worth approving to publish when people disagree with us; you my dear make us feel proud to continue to write, many thanks!

  9. 12 kcole
    July 5, 2011 at 1:18 AM


    • 13 jacobull
      July 6, 2011 at 6:49 PM

      We agree, the guy has had some catchy tunes no doubt. Paying for a ticket to see him? Well, that’s just plain dumb.

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