Movies are Quentin Tarantino’s passion, make no doubt about it, but the filmmaker is more than just a purveyor of cinema, with his love extending to every aspect of contemporary culture, including music. Instilling a love of music into each and every one of his projects, Tarantino’s soundtracks have become as iconic as his movies over the years, providing a distinct fuel to each and every one of his stories.
Showing off a varied musical taste, the influential American filmmaker has displayed considerable love for the sounds of artists such as Bobby Womack, Chuck Berry and David Bowie throughout the soundtracks of his 30-year filmography. Meanwhile, off-screen, Tarantino has a particular fondness for Bob Dylan, even if he has never been able to worm the music of the folk musician into any of his movies.
Describing the Dylan track ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ as his “all-time favourite song,” Tarantino told Uncut, “I know this is off Blood On The Tracks, but it’s my all-time favourite song. It’s one of those songs where the lyrics are ambiguous you can actually write the song yourself. That’s a lot of fun – it’s like Dylan fooling around with the listener, playing on the way he or she interprets the lyrics”.
This appreciation for Dylan feeds into the filmmaker’s love for the 1960s, calling the period the “best decade for music” in a Q&A conducted with Empire Magazine. Clarifying his position, Tarantino makes reference to the ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ singer as well as the likes of The Beatles, the director added, “I would have to say the ’60s now…I think that’s actually legit, because you’ve got the great pop bubblegum hits on one side, you’ve got Bob Dylan on another side”.
Whilst Tarantino has previously revealed that the Beatles were not his favourite band of the era, he does hold a special place for the iconic British band who transformed rock music in the late 20th century. Visiting Liverpool, the hometown of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, during the press tour for his 2007 Grindhouse double-bill, the filmmaker spoke to The Liverpool Echo, revealing the Beatles band member he thought had the best stage presence.
“I’d pick Elvis over the Beatles any day of the week,” Tarantino explained, before adding, but there’s always something special about Ringo. I’ve always thought he had the best stage presence in the band”.
Often the most underappreciated member of the world-famous band, Starr was the drummer for the Beatles and only twice lent his hand to songwriting, namely with the tracks ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ and ‘Octopus’s Garden’.
Following his success with the band, Starr also enjoyed a healthy film career, appearing in the films of Carl Gottlieb, Ken Russell, Ken Hughes and Freddie Francis. Whilst many of these films played on his star persona, Starr also voiced the narrator of the 1989 series Shining Time Station that would go on to become famous for the creation of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Take a look at the trailer for Caveman, featuring Quentin Tarantino’s favourite Beatles member, Ringo Starr, below.