Ringo Starr couldnt' play a conventional drum roll..........he had to play left hand led on his rolls
and he inspired an entire generation of Los Angeles studio drummers (like Jeff Porcaro, Russ Kunkel)
and New York drummers like Steve Jordan and Steve Gadd.
His signature innovation were the types of broken up, sycopated drum fills (that NOONE was doing until he
did) that characterize the playing on Abbey Road.........the kind of fills that completely inspired the kind
of drumming in the early 70's singersongwriter boom in L. A. (think of all the Russ Kunkel fills on
James Taylor's Fire and Rain).
When asked once, how he came to invent such quirky and frequently oddly place fills he said something to the effect
that when the Beatles entered their last live music phase by playing places like Shea Stadium (with out miced drums,
by the way.........imagine that) the screaming of the girls at those shows was so loud and persistent that he could not hear his own
drumming............he said that occaionsally if the singing would die down, that he would play a fill just so he could hear it.
This of course had a ton of randomness introduced into it.
This unusual turn of events changed studio drumming for 20 years, particularly in Los Angeles.
How amazing...............and he didn't even have control over it..........with the exception that he started to play things that were fun and interesting to his ear.
I am a fan of all the shredding fusion,metal, speed metal and even the new generation of guys who have taught themselves to play like a computer in Drum and Bass and Jungle.............but sometimes all this shredding lacks subtlety..............sometimes it lacks space...........sometimes it lacks musicality.
I have to say after having been a professional studio drummer and touring drummer for 30 years now, that I'd rather hear a drummer
that a producer or songwriter is into rather than the one who technically oriented drummers are into.
Still and all.................who can say that they can see Steve Smith play or Marco Minnemem (sp?) or who is this new 12 year old monster
that I just saw recently on youtube.........and not be blown away by how healthy the state of modern drumming is today in the world.
with respect to all drummers at all levels.