Jul 072020

I woke up today and was reminded on public radio that it’s Ringo’s birthday, his 80th! The first thing I thought was, “Wow, just thinking about Ringo makes me feel good! He’s the perfect antidote to these times.”

Last week, his song “Photograph” came on the radio, and as happens any time that song kicks in – pre-pandemic, pandemic, and eventually post-pandemic – I teared up. There’s so much empathy in that song, in Ringo’s delivery, in the arrangement. If I’m ever required to tear up, something that isn’t too hard to get me to do, play me “Photograph” or Elton John’s “Daniel.”

I’m a John Guy with a strong Paul Sensibility lurking in the background, but I’m going to let Ringo be my co-pilot today.


  6 Responses to “Happy 80th Birthday, Ringo!”

  1. Happiness Stan

    Having dismissed him as just the drummer when I was a teenager, my respect for him has increased considerably over the years, I think I’d always have had a better time hanging out with him or George than John or Paul.

    I heard Photograph on the radio the other day and had a similar response to yours. A few weeks ago I heard
    Back off Boogaloo again, what a great record. It was also the first single I bought.

    Peace and love

  2. Those three Ringo singles with heavy Harrison input, “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” and “Photograph” are a bittersweet glimpse of a path not taken. Had Harrison not felt so oppressed by the Lennon/McCartney axis, could he and Ringo have formed a secondary songwriting partnership within the group and fleshed out and further distinguished the Ringo material?

  3. I have often raved about Ringo’s drumming, but Stan brings up another excellent point. I was struck, again and again, watching the Anthology interviews, by how sharp and incisive Ringo was, as well as simply funny. As the other Beatles said, there was never any doubt that of the four of them, he was the most likely to have been successful.

  4. Love Ringo’s drumming but am largely underwhelmed by his post-Beatles output. The Time Takes Time LP is pretty good, but the producers, songwriters and guests did all of the heavy lifting. I would have liked him to do a full Jeff Lynne LP just to see him show us what he was capable of as an artist. Or even a full LP with the guys in Jellyfish (the best tracks from Time Takes Time were with them IMO). My favorite post-Beatles drumming is Take It Away and Beautiful Night (Paul) and To Find A Friend (Tom Petty).

  5. BigSteve

    Rolling Stone published this long video interview with Ringo today:


    What a mensch. I forget who it was, but one of the musicians who joined him of a tour not too long ago, one of those tours where he puts together an odd assortment of players that he’s met, and they plays a grab bag of his hits and their hits, reported that he really enjoyed the experience. I remember him saying that Ringo is exactly who he appears to to be. You’re nervous about meeting and then playing with him, and he turns out to be just Ringo, no bullshit. He seems very disarming.

    Peace and love. (He really means it.)

  6. This Ringo video interview is great, BigSteve. Thanks!

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