So often the ‘forgotten’ Beatle, Ringo Starr remained the backbone of the band that kept the rest in tow. With the least writing credits to his name, it seemingly became a common lazy joke in reference to Ringo’s impact—or lack thereof—on the success of The Beatles.
However, Ringo’s unorthodox drumming style has given the band some of their most memorable moments in their songs. Take, for instance, the John Lennon-written bluesy classic ‘Come Together’. Starr’s drums on this single are noticeable from the first few bars which sits perfectly alongside McCartney’s chilled bass line. Starr once explained how he “plays with his shoulder” which leads to some off-beat instances that make some of his songs hard to repeat with the same results.
Starr explained how he was “left handed and playing a right handed kit” which became a contributing factor to the interesting introduction to ‘Come Together’—a result down to the fact he is rolling the drums backwards, giving the tune its unique sound. Ringo, detailing further, explains some of his other great drums beats in the below clip.
The song ‘She Said She Said’, a track penned by Lennon for the 1966 album Revolver, was once described as “an ‘acidy’ song” by Lennon with lyrics inspired by actor Peter Fonda’s comments during an LSD trip in August 1965. Opening lines “She said, she said, I know what it’s like to be dead,” these striking lyrics were attributed by Lennon after the trip took place with members of the Beatles and The Byrds.
The song, which itself doesn’t feature McCartney due to an argument over the music arrangement leading to him storming out the studio, showcases Ringo Starr’s unique drumming at its best. A sequence of interesting fills that he attributes to his unique style of drumming.
Listen below to the isolated drums in full.