With a Little Help from My Friends from the first verse and song written by John and Paul for their buddy Ringo, it's often the ongoing impression many have of Richard Starkey. Part self-made fool and Beatles manufactured court jester, Ringo is still to this day often maligned as the weak link in the best band in the world. I just heard someone on TV the other day say something about every group or family having a "Ringo." This is just old crap and time to lay to rest the tired bit about Ringo as the lovable but inferior one. To me, Ringo is such an inspiration for overcoming sickness and adversity in childhood to becoming the definitive rock and roll drummer of all time, and yes, still very lovable.
What I admire most about Ringo is his sustainability. As most rock stars fade, Ringo endures through hard work and taking care of his body and mind. At 74, he shows us to keep doing the thing that makes us happy and brings joy to ourselves and everyone around us. Ringo is that social person who gets his strength from and with, his friends. And Ringo is on a roll. He has a new album out, Postcards from Paradise, he's continually on tour with his All-Starr Band, and on Saturday he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Now this last part goes back to the rub described above. Why did it take the rock and roll establishment until 2015 to bring Ringo into the Hall of Fame as a solo artist? But from the man himself, no worries and complaining about his respect, he only needs it from the people around him! You have to love this guy for his sheer tenacity and willingness to just be a good person to everybody. I love this line by Paul about Ringo in the Rolling Stone article, Being Ringo: A Beatle's All-Starr Life, He remembers the first show the Beatles did with Ringo, in 1962, at the Cavern in Liverpool, was when they became a real band. "The first few minutes that Ringo is playing, I look to the left at George and to the right to John, and we didn't say a word, but I remember thinking, 'Shit, this is amazing.' "
As George would say, "Ringo's got the best back beat I've every heard and can play 24 hours a day." Well I can't wait to hear that beat on October 2nd at the Vina Robles Ampitheater in Paso Robles, second row middle seats baby. Ringo simply rocks and yes, can carry a tune!
Enjoy the video below of the 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and will be on HBO, Saturday, May 30th at 8pm.