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Let Ringo In!
Dear Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Committee,
I'd like to suggest and support Ringo Starr, as a solo artist, for induction into the Hall.

Obviously, Ringo was one-quarter of the greatest musical and cultural phenomena of our times, The Beatles. He was justly recognized for that when The Beatles were honored in the first induction ceremony in 1988. Since then, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison have been inducted into the Hall as solo artists. It's time to induct Ringo Starr as a solo artist, in consideration of his impressive, post-Beatles achievements.

ringostarr.jpg

By 1973, Ringo was the most commercially successful of the four ex-Beatles with hits that included: Photograph (a #1 hit), It Don't Come Easy (a #4 hit), Back Off Boogaloo (a top-10 hit), Oh My My (a top-5 hit). All these songs were co-written by Ringo as well. Then, there's You're Sixteen (another #1 hit), The No-No Song (a #3 hit), Only You (a #6 hit) and the top-10 album, Goodnight Vienna. Speaking of Your Sixteen and Only You, how many artists can make past hits their very own? Ringo did on these two songs. George's interpretation of Got My Mind Set On You and John's Stand By Me are good, but Ringo's vocals made the aforementioned standards, hits for a second time. A rare feat.

The album Ringo went to #2 in November,1973. Many people consider this album to be the best of all the ex-Beatles albums. Each one of them participated in it and John even claims that all four appeared on his song I'm The Greatest. It's probably the closest thing we'll hear to what The Beatles would have sounded like after the break-up. Only Ringo could have gotten them all together on one project.


ringolp.jpg


Ringo played on both John and George's best post-Beatles solo albums, Plastic Ono Band and All Things Must Pass, respectively. Thus, the best albums from 3 of 4 of the former Beatles, had Ringo on the drums. Ringo also played in the groundbreaking concert, The Concert For Bangladesh in 1971 and Martin Scorcese's popular 1978 paean to The Band, The Last Waltz.

David Haber, a leading scholar on The Beatles (check out his site WhatGoesOn.com) says, "Personally, I think Ringo Starr is the best rock 'n' roll drummer ever. More than any other rock drummer, he's always 'part of the sound' rather than just setting the beat, or worse yet, following it."

Ringo influenced rock and roll in ways outside of his drumming. Mark Hudson, Ringo's close friend and longtime producer recently told me for my upcoming documentary, tentatively titled Beatles Stories, how Ringo was really the one to invent The Beatles iconic head shake that Paul and George did that drove the multitudes crazy during their live performances -- "moves" that are de riguer even today. While Mark was producing Ringo's Vertical Man album, Paul was putting down a bass line and started shaking his head, his hair flying as he played. Ringo said to Mark, "there he goes again, shaking his head!" Curious, Mark asked what Ringo meant. Ringo replied, "I invented the head shake and Paul and George stole it from me. I had nothing to do but play drums so I thought I'd shake my head a little bit, while playing. Before I knew it, Paul and George were doing it too!"

ringoheadshake.jpg

Finally, Ringo is "RINGO" -- lovable, charming, real. The world is a better place for Ringo Starr and his ongoing spirit of "peace and love" that his very being brings to the planet. The only drummer known by just one name, Ringo is the father of rock drummers. For his music - as he wrote, sang, and performed it, Ringo Starr has earned and deserves his own plaque in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, next to his brothers, John, Paul and George.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


Seth Swirsky

P.S. Tomorrow (July 7th) is Ringo's 66th birthday -- Happy Birthday, Ringo!





Comments | Post a Comment

Seth, this is a beautifully written plea for something that's long overdue! Ringo so obviously has belonged in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since his first year of eligibility, and it's a crime that his induction has been neglected for so long.He's a legend and a unique, wonderful inspiration to each generation since the Sixties. Ringo--the best and most loved drummer in history, as well as the author of the phrases "Eight Days a Week" and "a Hard Day's Night"-- more than deserves this honor, and I'll join any campaign to make it happen. Thank you for stating his cause so perfectly, Seth.--Michelle

Posted by: Michelle

Long overdue.

Posted by: doug ferris

Seth, I couldn't agree with you more! Ringo ultimately deserves this, as well as Brian Epstein. Let's hope the powers that be at the Rock Hall wake up and notice this for themselves.

Posted by: Amber

Right on Seth....We need to keep badgering the committee because Ringo deserves this honor. They screwed up and got George in too late for him to be up on that stage...Are they waiting until Ringo is gone? That would be a tragedy!
LET RINGO IN!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Cara

Ringo must be added to the rock hall asap! This is crazy that he is not. He is the greatest drummer with some of the best rock beats in the world! Ringo changed the world for drummers! Can anyone really imagine the beatles with anyone but Ringo? Who else could get away with singing "Boys" live. Who else would come up with some of the best titles for songs ... Hard Days Night. Think about Help and his great acting! Listen to the live recordings of Shea and D.C. Since the sound system stunk Ringo played loud enough for the other 3 to play, stay in time and complete those shows! Ringo was and is to this day the force for good in the Beatles! Its time for Ringo to be part of the hall. Its more than time for the world to say Ringo is the greatest rock and roll drummer that ever lived! Im sure Charlie Watts still agrees with that! Larry would not be playing with U2 if it were not for Ringo, Keith Moon and John Bonham listened and learned from Ringo. Time to get Ringo in the hall!!!! Let him in!!! as paul would say!

Posted by: Luke

Ringo has always gotten a raw deal when being compared to other drummers. Ringo's drumming on Sgt. Pepper alone is enough to warrant an entry.

Posted by: Jeff Cotner

Thank you, Seth. Well put.
Ringo's achievements with the Fabs can simply be translated "Drumming 101" - ALL bands and drummers are still benefiting whether they realize it or not. As a solo artist, Ringo put out a string of songs, especially in the early seventies, that are a soundtrack to the lives of many who were around during those times. To leave Ringo out of the Hall Of Fame any longer would not only be tragic, but would leave the Hall Of Fame incomplete and lacking in integrity.

Posted by: Keith Shauger

May I offer some perspective?

Ringo is an excellent drummer, even an underrated one. My favorite performance of his is on "Paperback Writer."
But he's not the greatest rock drummer of all time. Consider Charlie Watts or Ginger Baker or Keith Moon.
Sure, Ringo had a great first half of the 1970s....but not much to show after that, at least in the recording studio.
But give him a Lifetime Achievement Award anyway, if the rock hall has such a thing.

Posted by: Whitcomb

People are not inducted into the Rock & Roll hall of fame as individuals based on their participation in a band. In other words, Ringo's amazing drumming on Paperback Writer, Rain, the Sgt Pepper LP, Tomorrow Never Knows, etc has already been recognized when he was inducted as a member of The Beatles. Charlie Watts, Ginger Baker, and Keith Moon won't make it in as solo artists because their solo efforts were VERY limited. Ringo, on the other hand, had a very impressive solo career. This is what his induction as an individual would be based on. So any arguments here should concentrate on "It Don't Come Easy", the Ringo LP from '73, Goodnight Vienna, The All Starr Band, etc....not his tenure with The Beatles. That being said, his solo efforts do justify his induction in my opinion. His stuff from the '70's was pretty fantastic.

Posted by: John Peluso

If having a couple of hits in the TOP TEN justifies you going into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, then everyone who had more than one should be put in there. Let's call this what it is- people wanting Ringo to be put in because the other Beatles are in there- it has little to do with his actual accomplishments as a solo aritist and contributor. Lennon and Harrison are the only ones who deserve to be there from a critical standpoint- McCartney got it exclusively for his commercial appeal as a solo artist because critically, there is little substance to any of his solo work. If Ringo goes in, it is because he was a Beatle and that's about it.

Posted by: Nick Stavrogin

Ringo has had ten (10) top 40 hits as a solo artist, including seven (7) in the top 10, two (2) of which were #1's. I would much rather listen to Ringo's albums from the '70's than ANY of these past inductees: Gene Pitney, The Four Seasons, Frankie Lymon, The Young Rascals, Lloyd Price, Brenda Lee, Michael Jackson.
"Little substance to McCartney's solo work"? His LP's from 1970 through 1982 make up one of the greatest catalogs in rock history. Re-Visit: McCartney, Ram, Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway, Band On The Run, Venus & Mars, Speed Of Sound, Wings Over America, London Town, Back To The Egg, McCartney II, Tug Of War. McCartney was inducted in the Hall of Fame without any reservations.

Posted by: John Peluso

The title is "Hall of Fame" and Ringo is the worlds most famous drummer, yes he was in the worlds most famous band but that was well over 40 years ago. You do not stay that famous for your whole life unless you are out there now.
Ringo has promoted the Rock and roll lifestyle to the full, good and bad, but throughout he lives to make music and tour, to perform on stage, to write songs and hang out in a band. His work for charity is also high on his list of achievements.
The guy has put together 9 All Starr Bands touring the world over the last 18 years, playing with over 50 Rock legends.
He has starred at many Rock events and charity concerts, like the Concert for Bangladesh, for Kosovo and recently for George.
Ringo's drumming has been featured on well over 60 albums since he went solo, who else gets asked to help out by so many stars? He has made 20 plus solo albums, plus loads of live All starr tour albums. Nope sorry, the guy is a true Rock and Roll legend and not just because he was in "that other band".

Posted by: Richard

Put Ringo in! He was/is a great R&R drummer. He is a Rock Icon. He earned a berth a long time ago!

Posted by: benning

I know this is supposed to be about Ringo, but my jaw dropped when I read this about McCartney: "His LP's from 1970 through 1982 make up one of the greatest catalogs in rock history."
Maybe one of the most disappointing. Of 12 albums in 12 years, only three merit mention: "Band on the Run," which to this day is probably Paul's best solo album; "McCartney,'' because 1) it was the first solo album by a Beatle and 2) it works in a funky, minimalist way and has one truly great song (Maybe I'm Amazed); and "Tug of War," produced by George Martin and possessing a Beatlish sound that serves as a wistful reminder of how much better Paul McCartney was when teamed with John Lennon.
The other 9 McCartney albums in this period--mediocre work at best, dreadful at times.

Posted by: Whitcomb

Will Ringo eventually get into the RRHOF as a solo artist? Yes he will, but more for sentimental reasons than for his solo output. Starr started strong as a solo artist with three exceptional albums, the (oft-overlooked country album) "Beaucoups of Blues," "Ringo" and "Goodnight Vienna."
He essentially drank his career away after that. By the time he got sober, his window of opportunity had closed. Ringo now trots out a new All-Starr line-up every couple of years, often in support of a new studio album that only the faithful will purchase, listen to a few times and then file away with the rest of them. (Sadly, I'm beginning to wonder if this has become Mr. McCartney's fate as well.)
Ringo lucked into the gig of a lifetime - the drum stool for The Beatles. He's been exploiting that card all his life and well he should. He IS an excellent drummer, but there are plenty of drummers who are better than him, his son Zak, for one.

Posted by: Michael Hockinson

Good or bad. Great; or living of the comet's tail. Who knows? But one thing is for sure, 40 years after his name exploded on the Pop scene, the name Ringo Starr can still force a great debate, from what I can see here in this forum alone... Let's have him in his place. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!

Posted by: John Martin

I seem to also recall that in Mark Lewisohn's book about the Beatles recording sessions, he tells that in all the many takes of many songs the Beatles recorded in their 8 years in the studio, "only a handful" of takes failed due to an error in the drumming.
That alone should get him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Posted by: Jason Pittman

Again, Ringo's drumming with The Beatles has already been recognized when THE BEATLES were inducted in the Hall of Fame. Individuals are inducted based on their SOLO careers. Thus the focus here should be on Ringo's solo career, not his tenure with The Beatles. This is simply the way the Hall of Fame works.

Posted by: John Peluso

If Ringo deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a solo artist, then pretty much anyone who ever picked up a guitar should be as well.
Ringo? A great drummer for the Beatles and a good marketing tool. Present for many historic events.
Is he, as a solo artist, on a par with the other inductees? Robert Johnson? Otis Redding? James Brown? Even the Sex Pistols?

Posted by: Steve

Ringo had 7 top ten singles in a row as a so;o artist,something no other exBeatle ever did.His recent albums while not big sellers have been critically acclaimed and his AllStarr tours successful.He deserves to be in the Hall as a solo artist.

Posted by: Russell

John Lennon's quotes regarding Ringo indicate he was one his biggest fans, i.e., "He'd have been a star in his right", and "He was the heart and soul of the group".Petty tivia to 'Michelle' in Nashville; Paul claims "Eight Days a Week " phrase given to him by a chaffeur who'd driven him to John's for a writing session. However, "Tommorrow Never Knows" is definitely a Ringoism.

Posted by: Clif

Great article and Yes, Ringo should be inducted into the Hall of Fame for his solo work! A thousand times yes!!!! It is long overdue. People will probably think I'm crazy for this, but I also feel that Pete Best is long overdue to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Beatles as well. He was a great contributor to their early work and part of the reason they got signed to EMI in the first place. He's on some of their early records such as "Ain't She Sweet" which went to #19 in the US at the height of Beatlemania! So, "yes" to Ringo Starr as a solo artist and "yes" to Pete Best as a Beatle!

Posted by: Bob

Almost from the begnning, all four Beatles were instinctive musicians in their own right. It was this mutual recognition of each other's uniqueness that made the bond between them so strong, and the music they created so great. Ringo left Rory Storm and The Hurricanes not to become a Beatle per se, but because the other three were exceptional musicians that he wanted to play with. His greatest achievements 'on the stool' were realised in their live performances where he augmented Paul McCartney's fabulous bass playing, and often disguised John Lennon's poor sense of rhythm. In many ways, Ringo was always a 'solo' artist, especially when he was in The Beatles - even if some of his most inventive drumming, notably on 'Rain' and 'Come Together' were suggested by McCartney. In short, Ringo was a great 'feel' drummer even before he joined The Beatles, and he has continually proved it since. He gets my vote, certainly.

Posted by: fraser mclaren

ringo has as much right as george and john to be inducted solo into the hall of fame...please don't wait for him to die to do him justice....paul had wings and solo.......he has had 12 top 100 singles in 11 years....plus all of his allstarr tours{something the other fabs didn't do}plus he is very charitable.......look at all the charity concerts he's done.....not because he's a beatle......because he's ringo starr......he deserves the honor...gentlemen.....

Posted by: allan cook

I luv Ringo Starr!! he is my fav from the beatles keep rocking on Ringo!!! I LOVE YOU!!

Posted by: Bre

Ringo not just another "drummer" he's solo work speaks for itself. He belongs in the hall and its just wrong that they have ignored him for this long.

Posted by: mike

Here is the text of a letter I sent to the RRHOF in March 2006. I hope they will do the right thing and induct Ringo on the next ballot!

He is already represented as a member of The Beatles, but RINGO STARR is overdue for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an individual performer.

His distinctive drumming style was the rhythmic foundation for the music of THE BEATLES.
He was the lead singer on several Beatles classics such as Yellow Submarine and With A Little Help From My Friends.
He had numerous solo hit records, such as It Don't Come Easy, Photograph, Yo're Sixteen, Only You, The No No Song and others.
He has participated in numerous charity fundraising concerts, including the Concert for Bangladesh.
He continues to tour and perform with his ALL STARR BAND.
He continues to record new albums which carry on the rock and roll tradition.

When the list of previous Hall of Fame inductees is reviewed, RINGO STARR is conspicuous by his absence.

Please induct RINGO STARR into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without delay!

Posted by: Bill Thompson

Ringo Starr should be recognized by the Rock Hall of Fame because he is probably the most famous drummer of all time.He is still playing in front of appreciative audiences with a revolving cast
of talented musicians, allowing him to do what he does best.His voice is instantly recognizable for its warmth, personality, and humor.
He continues to make enjoyable new music, whether or not it still tops the charts. And he did have quite a run of classic hits in the 70's. Also, he's done many acting and cartoon projects through the years.
I'd love to see his old bandmate Paul induct him into the Hall.

Posted by: Dan Province

I have mixed feelings about Ringo in the hall as a solo artist, though I think a strong argument has been made. But before Ringo even, what about Brian Epstein? Though his managment skills have been much maligned over time, the fact remains that he successfully broke the Beatles and numerous other chart topping acts in the U.S. and around the world. The fact that he's been overlooked so long is almost criminal!

Posted by: John Fracchia

sorry, but Gringo is undeserving. An underwhelming drummer (practically a punchline, actually), with luke-warm songwriting chops, who bought the winning lottery ticket with the Beatles.

Although perhaps a sentimental favorite, his election would be analogous to Phil Rizzuto in Cooperstown -- a die-hard fan's wet dream, but someone who is not exactly worthy.

Posted by: pbl1

Ringo in the Hall of Fame

I simply could not agree more. Quite simply he is the most famous drummer in the history of rock music. Though his style was not flashy he played for the betterment song.

His albums such as "Time Takes Time" post drinking era are simply fantastic. "Vertical Man" "Ringo Rama" "Choose Love" are great!

PS I also like "Sentimental Journey" and "Beaucoups of Blues".

Put Pete Townshend In the Hall too!

Posted by: Donald Marriot

I'm in total agreement on this, for all of the reasons cited. I'd also like to agree with Donald that "Sentimental Journey" and "Beaucoups Of Blues" were both outstanding albums. I listen to "Sentimental Journey" the most often, and wasn't Ringo way ahead of the curve on this concept; Nilsson was first to follow with "A Little Touch of Schmillson in the Night", and of course the recent proliferations of such from Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and whomever else. For me, those first two, Ringo's and Nilsson's, were the best and most enjoyable.

Posted by: Rick

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