Whilst the UK was reeling in the after-shock of Malcolm McLaren and Punk, I was discovering the far safer sounds of The Beatles. The closest thing they had to an anarchist was John Lennon, but it would be many years before I would have some understanding about why and what motivated Lennon’s acidic and sardonic outbursts. For now, I was only interested in one member of that band and he sat behind an object of desire that I wouldn’t own until I was over 30 – a Ludwig drum kit.
The beauty of Ringo’s contribution to the work of the Beatles lies in its simple, but well thought out approach to serving the band’s music. He only ever played what was needed for the song for which, he has unfairly been the butt of many jokes over the years, by ignorant people who may themselves profess to play a musical instrument, but are happy to exist in a clueless world where esteem is measured by technical prowess. Well, just for those people out there who still believe that the measure of a musician can be found in how many 1980’s Fusion-contaminated, DCI instructional videos and muscle vests they own – I love Ringo! In fact, it was by listening to his work that I probably learnt the singularly most important lesson any musician can be taught, which is to play for the music, not yourself; and for that Mr Starkey, I thank you.
For anyone wishing to read further about my reasons for lauding the work of Ringo Starr as musician then you may be interested in this brief synopsis that I was asked to write on the subject.