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Ringo Starr Said Drummers Aren’t ‘Treated Like Human Beings’

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TL;DR:

  • Ringo Starr said drummers could be replaced with gorillas and nobody would care.
  • He said people treat drummers like second-class citizens.
  • He wanted attention so much he was fine with negative reviews that at least mentioned him.
Ringo Starr | John Pratt / Stringer

Ringo Starr said people didn’t view drummers as fully human. He said a gorilla could have replaced him and other drummers. Subsequently, he made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and several other drummers revealed their views of him.

Ringo Starr felt drummers are underappreciated and that John Lennon and Paul McCartney overshadowed him

According to the 2015 book Ringo: With a Little Help, John Lennon and Paul McCartney spoke their minds in the studio during The Beatles’ early days. They would make it clear what they wanted their songs to sound like even when they were recording tracks written by other people. On the other hand, George Harrison and Ringo tended to be quiet and antisocial.

Ringo felt other members of the Fab Four overshadowed him. He felt he was an afterthought and an unnecessary fourth wheel. “The focus was always on John and Paul; they were the songwriters,” Ringo said. “As for the drummer, there could have been a gorilla up there.”

He felt this reflected how listeners reacted to drummers. “Drummers aren’t really treated like human beings,” he added. “We’re a bit like second-rate citizens.”

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Ringo Starr was fine with negative reviews because he wanted critics to mention his name

The drummer worked hard even though the world ignored him. “I was doing my best and I was doing some good s***,” he said. “But I felt as if I was being passed over. I wanted to be considered a member of the band like everyone else.”

He wished critics mentioned him more in more music reviews. “In reviews of the records and stories about the music we were playing, very few writers happened to note whether I was playing good or bad,” he recalled. “I wouldn’t have minded if they said I was crap, as long as they mentioned my name in those days.”

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RELATED: Paul McCartney Revealed How Ringo Starr Inspired The Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

Other drummers showed love for the former Beatle in a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame presentation

While Ringo felt critics did not care about him, that changed. The Beatles entered into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2015, Ringo entered into the hall as a solo artist.

The hall produced a video for the ceremony that features testimonials by Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, Tré Cool of Green Day, Max Weinberg of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Questlove of the Roots, and others discussing Ringo’s talent.

While Ringo felt ignored near the beginning of his career, he would eventually get a whole lot of attention.

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Source: Cheat Sheet

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