Drum stars talk Ringo

5th Feb 2014 | 12:00

Drum stars talk Ringo
Drum stars talk Ringo
Top drummers discuss how they first discovered the Beatles' sticksman

As the man who put the beat in The Beatles, Ringo is arguably the most influential drummer of all time.

An innovative musician with an instantly recognisable sound, he was the last member to join The Beatles, and the rhythmical glue that held the group together. John Lennon might have famously commented that Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in The Beatles, but there are plenty of famous drummers who'd disagree.

We chatted to some of the biggest sticksmen around to talk influence and Beatlemania behind the kit...

Drum stars talk Ringo
Clem Burke

“My dad was a drummer, and I still remember going up into the attic to pull out his old set of big band drums from the ’40s.

"I really wish I still had those. My main inspiration was probably seeing Ringo with The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, which was the same for many people my age.”

Drum stars talk Ringo
Keith LeBlanc
Sugarhill Gang

“The doctors wanted to give me [anti-hyperactive drug] Ritalin, but instead I got a snare drum and some drum lessons. When I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show it was all over for me, ha ha! I made a drumset and started playing along with records.”

Drum stars talk Ringo
Vinnie Colauita
Session legend

“It was the first time that I’d really seen drums on TV and, after watching Ringo, I was desperate to get my own kit.”

Drum stars talk Ringo
Peter Erskine
Weather Report

“We had The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, their 1964 appearances and the song I Want To Hold Your Hand helping to lift America out of its post-Kennedy assassination funk. There’s some magic for you.”

Drum stars talk Ringo
Mark Schulman

“I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan when I was three. I saw Ringo and all of those screaming girls and I was like, 'I’m in! That’s it!'”

Drum stars talk Ringo
Gregg Bissonette
Ringo Starr's All Starr Band

“When I was seven my dad took me and my brother to see The Beatles. I remember it vividly. My dad was playing at a hotel in Detroit and he saw all these screaming girls, so he asked the manager what was going on. The Beatles were staying.

"‘My kids love The Beatles,’ he said. And dad, being an outgoing guy, said, ‘Any chance of getting me six tickets?’ It had been sold out for six months, but the manager said come back later. So after his gig the manager comes up with six tickets for 36 dollars! Unbelievable!”

Drum stars talk Ringo
Jeff Campitelli
Joe Satriani

“My brother and sister had a lot of rock’n’roll records. The first one that sticks out is Meet The Beatles.

"All My Loving to this day sticks out. I think it had to do with the shuffle. I love swing and shuffles. I think I was drawn to that really early. The way Ringo did this wonderful swing thing just grabbed me.”

Drum stars talk Ringo
John Tempesta
The Cult

“When I was a kid I saw A Hard Day’s Night on TV and I was struck by Ringo - ‘That guy is so cool, I want to be that guy!’”

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