Why Hate Ringo?

Despite his success with arguably the most popular band in music history, Ringo has been criticized as being a bad drummer. I must attempt to change some minds on this opinion. Simple? Yes. Ordinary? For his time, probably. Boring? I guess he’s not the highlight of most Beatles songs. BAD? Songs like Love Me Do, I Want To Hold Your Hand, and Help are popular because they are all around good songs. They fit into the definition of what a pop hit was in the 60s – catchy melodies, relatable lyrical content, pleasant chord progressions, danceable grooves, and appeal to the female market (yes, sex sold then too). Put the branding elements of the performers behind all of that and you have pop hits. No surprise they were able to do it again and again. I could rave about the strengths of these songs forever, but the point as it relates to drumming is that Ringo didn’t need to go above and beyond to hang with a band like The Beatles. Less is more and Ringo proved that. Is the argument that he wasn’t technical enough? Did people want to hear Bonham-like power on Beatles songs? The opinion that he is a bad drummer is one that anyone is entitled to, but it must be formed with the realization that his drumming didn’t need to be out front. Why would anyone want him to do more? That could have cost The Beatles a few number 1 hits. If his groove frequently interfered with those glorious harmonies then yes, I would be a little irritated, but they worked. They fit. I would just like to hear how a “good drummer” would have improved things for The Beatles…  Seems to me they did a few things right. Ringo might not be as technical as the Dave Weckls of the world or as talented as the Bill Brufords of the world, but his contribution to that band should be assessed with their results. History speaks for itself on that one.

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