Best was Better

th3P9JR3N6    The Beatles invited Pete Best (superb drummer) to join the band on August 12, 1960.  Pete played with John, Paul and George for two years, but then it was determined he was “too flashy” and “too good-looking” for the group.  So Richard Starkey (Ringo) was brought in and the rest is history.

Ringo, though lovable, was not even close to being the drummer Pete Best was.  But he had a steady, non-flamboyant style that fit in well.  You rarely heard him take a solo and, when he did, it was so uninspired as to be non-existent.  I remember one 16 bar drum solo toward the end of the Abbey Road album (yawn) and another solo in the song I’m featuring here – “Birthday”.  Ringo just keeps a solid rock beat going for 8 bars – nothing fancy and…well…boring.

“Birthday” was written and recorded in one night in the studio – and it shows.  John Lennon called it “a piece of garbage”, but I kinda like it because it’s a throwback to just straight-up rock’n’roll.  And it beats the hell out of singing that goofy little “Happy Birthday” to some hapless soul on a gig…


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