Home » Ringo Starr’s Drumming Skills Made Him ‘Paranoid,’ According to Paul McCartney

Ringo Starr’s Drumming Skills Made Him ‘Paranoid,’ According to Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney consistently admired Ringo Starr’s drumming prowess, yet McCartney sensed that Starr grappled with self-confidence. Despite McCartney’s praise, Starr faced jokes in the media, including a rumor that John Lennon once quipped that Starr wasn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles. McCartney later addressed why he believed Starr harbored a sense of paranoia about his musical abilities.

Paul McCartney observed that Ringo Starr lacked confidence in his own abilities

Over the years, The Beatles’ members and numerous drummers have lauded Ringo Starr’s drumming prowess. However, Paul McCartney believed that Starr’s own doubts stemmed from his avoidance of drum solos. “I think Ringo was always paranoid that he wasn’t a great drummer because he never used to solo,” McCartney revealed in The Beatles Anthology. “He hated those guys who went on and on, incessantly banging while the band goes off and has a cup of tea or something. Until Abbey Road, there was never a drum solo in The Beatles’ act, and consequently, other drummers would say that although they liked his style, Ringo wasn’t technically a very good drummer.”

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McCartney acknowledged that the other Beatles could have been more proactive in quashing such discussions. Despite Starr’s aversion to solos, McCartney firmly believed that it didn’t diminish his drumming prowess. “I think his feel and soul, and the way he was rock solid with his tempo, was a great attribute,” McCartney expressed. “I always say if you can leave a drummer and turn your back on him, then you’re very lucky. You could how it went and leave him — there was always this great steady tempo coming from behind you. Rock’n’roll is all about feel, really, and sound. So at that time, we had to reassure him that we did think he was great.”

Frustration Led the Drummer to Depart from The Beatles

Despite McCartney’s efforts to reassure Starr, the drummer didn’t always feel valued by his bandmates. The tensions reached a breaking point during the recording of the White Album, leading to Starr’s departure from the band.

“I left because I felt two things: I felt I wasn’t playing great, and I also felt that the other three were really happy, and I was an outsider,” Starr revealed. He went on to describe a conversation with John, stating, “‘I’m leaving the group because I’m not playing well, and I feel unloved and out of it, and you three are really close.’ And John said, ‘I thought it was you three!'” In frustration, Starr took his family on a vacation to Sardinia, seeking a break and some time to decompress.

Paul McCartney Reflects on The Beatles’ Gesture of Appreciation for Ringo Starr

As the other members of The Beatles pressed on with the album in Ringo Starr’s absence, their desire for his return was evident. In a heartfelt gesture, they dispatched a telegram conveying their sentiments of appreciation. “I received a telegram saying, ‘You’re the best rock’n’roll drummer in the world. Come on home, we love you,'” Starr recounted. “And so I came back. We all needed that little shake-up.

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McCartney admitted that while they had always valued Starr, they realized they hadn’t expressed it enough. Upon his return, they made a concerted effort to rectify this. “In life, you often forget to pause and say, ‘Hey, you know what? I think you’re great.’ You don’t always acknowledge your favorite drummer as your favorite. Ringo felt insecure and left, so we reassured him, ‘Look, man, you are the best drummer in the world for us.’ (I still believe that.) He said ‘thank you,’ and I think he was genuinely pleased to hear it. We went all out, ordering millions of flowers and throwing a big celebration to welcome him back to the studio.”

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