Ringo Starr

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Ringo Starr : biography

7 July 1940 –

Starr influenced Phil Collins, the drummer for Genesis, who said: "Starr is vastly underrated. The drum fills on the song "A Day in the Life" are very complex things. You could take a great drummer today and say, ‘I want it like that.’ He wouldn’t know what to do.""The Making of Sgt. Pepper" (1992) In September 1980, John Lennon said this about Starr:

In his extensive survey of the Beatles’ recording sessions, Mark Lewisohn confirmed that Starr was both proficient and remarkably reliable and consistent. According to Lewisohn, there were fewer than a dozen occasions in the Beatles’ eight-year recording career where session "breakdowns" were caused by Starr making a mistake, while the vast majority of takes were stopped owing to mistakes by the other three members. Starr is considered to have influenced various modern drumming techniques, such as the matched grip, tuning the drums lower, and using muffling devices on tonal rings, as well as placing the drums on high risers for visibility as part of the band.

Many drummers acknowledge Starr as an influence, including Steve Gorman of the Black Crowes, Don Henley of the Eagles, Dave Grohl of Nirvana, Jen Ledger of Skillet, Max Weinberg of the E Street Band, Danny Carey of Tool, Liberty DeVitto of Billy Joel’s band, Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden, Eric Carr of Kiss, Phil Rudd of AC/DC, Orri Páll Dýrason of Sigur Rós, original/former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Pedro Andreu of Heroes del Silencio and others.

Singing

Starr sang lead vocals for a song on most of the Beatles’ studio albums as part of an attempt to establish the vocal personality of all four members. In many cases, Lennon or McCartney wrote the lyrics and melody especially for him, as they did for "Yellow Submarine" from Revolver and "With a Little Help from My Friends" on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. These melodies were tailored to Starr’s limited baritone vocal range. Starr’s backing vocals are heard on songs such as "Maxwell’s Silver Hammer" and "Carry That Weight". He also is the lead vocalist on his compositions "Don’t Pass Me By" and "Octopus’s Garden". In addition, he also sang lead on "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Boys", "Matchbox", "Honey Don’t", "Act Naturally", "What Goes On", for which he received a co-writer credit with Lennon and McCartney, and "Good Night" (on the White Album).;

Composition

Starr’s idiosyncratic turns of phrase, or Ringoisms as they became known, such as a hard day’s night and tomorrow never knows, were used as song titles by the Beatles, particularly John Lennon. McCartney commented: "Ringo would do these little malapropisms, he would say things slightly wrong, like people do, but his were always wonderful, very lyrical … they were sort of magic". As well as inspiring his bandmates’ creativity in this way, Starr occasionally contributed lyrics to unfinished Lennon-McCartney songs, such as the line "darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there" in "Eleanor Rigby". Frustrated at times of being the odd man out in the group in regard to songwriting, Starr commented in The Beatles Anthology that when he presented a song to the Beatles, it would often sound to the other three Beatles like a popular song of the day.

Starr is also credited as a co-writer of "What Goes On", "Flying" and "Dig It".: "Flying"; 120–121: "What Goes On"; On issued material after the break-up, Starr wrote "Taking a Trip to Carolina" from the second "bonus" CD of Let It Be… Naked, and received joint songwriting credits with the other three Beatles for "12-Bar Original", "Los Paranoias", "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", "Suzy Parker" (heard in the Let It Be film), "Jessie’s Dream" (heard in the Magical Mystery Tour film) and the Beatles’ version of "Free as a Bird".