NASA just saluted the coolest drummer ever
In the galaxy, it’s unlikely there’s a drummer as influential as Ringo Starr.
Many of the world’s top drummers — Dave Grohl, Questlove, Max Weinberg, and beyond — undoubtedly agree.
Indeed, a bright star was born 81 years ago, on July 7, 1940, when Ringo (aka Sir Richard Starkey) entered the world. Recognizing this, NASA wished Ringo “a happy 81st orbit around the Sun” via Twitter on Wednesday.
The Beatles’ drummer provided the rich backbeat that allowed the legendary band’s diverse songs, ranging from energetic rock ‘n’ roll to psychedelia, to thrive.
“He’s got the pocket, he’s got the swing, he’s got the feel.”
“So many drummers that I talk to started playing drums because of Ringo,” said drummer Gregg Bissonette, who now plays drums in Ringo’s supergroup, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. “He’s got the pocket, he’s got the swing, he’s got the feel.”
For a hint of Ringo’s NASA-approved greatness, check out the following Beatles’ tracks:
“Come Together”: Ringo kicks off the album Abbey Road with stellar creativity.
“Ticket to Ride”: In The Beatles’ early days, Ringo lays down a syncopated, tom-heavy rock groove. “Really cool. Very innovative,” noted Max Weinberg (of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, among others).
“A Day in the Life”: On The Beatles’ artistic triumph, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Ringo plays some of the most iconic, yet tasteful, rock fills ever put to tape.
“I Feel Fine”: Ringo lays down an R&B and Latin-influenced groove that drummers today still try to master.
“The End”: A lesson in how to play a drum solo that’s a melodic, compositional part of a song.
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Happy Birthday, Ringo, a bonafide blessing to the cosmos: A drummer with an ineffable swing, and almost undefinable groove.
“It is the coolest thing ever,” according to Abraham Laboriel Jr., who plays drums for a fellow named Paul McCartney.