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Author Topic: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?  (Read 4447 times)

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alexis

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Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« on: December 25, 2009, 10:36:13 PM »

I got to thinking ... George Martin told the Beatles Ringo wasn't good enough to play on "Love Me Do" and "P.S., I Love You", and pretty much fired him from the studio, so that these first singles were released with another drummer on them (Alan White?).

Then "Please Please Me" comes along, and everyone in the universe has commented on how absolutely fantastic Ringo's drumming is on that song (I agree with that too). From that point on he is drumming on every single recording (at least until they start fighting and breaking up at the very end).

So, after being "fired" from the studio, did Ringo go home and take some quick on-line courses in how to drum  :o ? Or maybe, was George Martin wrong, and Ringo was just fine all along?

Or maybe is there something technical about "Love Me Do" and "P.S., I Love You" that make them difficult songs to drum to (I wouldn't have thought so, but I guess it is an explanation ...)?

Or maybe Ringo was too nervous on that first recording date, and played poorly? I haven't listened to the Anthology versions where he's drumming, but from what I remember, it really didn't stand out (to this non-drummer) as being bad drumming ...

Or maybe ... ?

Are there any drummers on this forum who might have some insight into this? I'd hate to think that Yoda Martin might actually have made a mistake musically at some point in his career   ;)

Thanks in advance for anyone with insight or opinions!
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tkitna

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 02:05:05 AM »

Theres nothing difficult about either song. Being a drummer, I personally cant detect much if any difference between Ringos and Andy Whites versions. I havent studied them though with a metronome or anything. If Martin felt Ringos version was lacking,,,it probably was to some extent.

I'll tell you what, give me a few days and i'll put a metronome to Ringo's version and see if he does indeed vary in time throughout the song. As for drum sound,,,both versions are pretty identical.

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 02:30:04 AM »

I personally cant detect much if any difference between Ringos and Andy Whites versions.

,,,both versions are pretty identical.

Every so often, I play both versions back-to-back listening for differences.  They both sound pretty much the same to me too.
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alexis

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 05:01:06 PM »

Even if Ringo wasn't metronome-steady, a lot of people think (me one of them) that one of the things that made the Beatles a good band was that they subtely adjusted their tempo to the song - speed up during the chorus, slow down if the verse is sad  ... all by only a few BPM, but subliminally enhancing.

And ... even if Ringo's tempo variations were random as opposed to musical ... I think my real question is, did he all of a sudden get better in that respect by the time "Please Please Me" comes around? Or, could (GASP) George Martin have not been right for once in his career?

Anyone have "All You Need Is Ears", George Martin's book ... does he address what he thought had changed by the time he decided Ringo was good enough for "Please Please Me"?
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Jane

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 09:29:48 PM »

Alexis, we discussed this issue in Pete Best thread, when we spoke about Pete`s dismissal and touched upon Ringo`s suspension.
The fact is that George Martin didn`t want to fire either Pete or Ringo, he was just displeased with their play in the studio, as it is a different skill as compared to the play on stage. He wanted someone who was good at playing in the studio. Besides, at that time using session drummers was very popular. Pete and Ringo were used to playing live. So Martin said Pete was not up to the mark (and the guys used it as a pretext to dismiss the poor fellow, obviously, at last ), but he wasn`t against Pete in general and was surprised later when he learned that Pete had been fired! Then immediatelly Ringo was introduced, but Martin was dissatisfied with his performance as well, and thus Alan White appeared. Being a good drummer Ringo mastered the studio craft in no time, and then it was he who remained with the guys. In this very way Pete could have waited for his turn to play after Alan, but he wasn`t given a chance, cause evidently he wasn`t wanted...
Pete is considered to be the most unfortunate musician in the world ever!
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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 11:19:03 PM »

Even if Ringo wasn't metronome-steady, a lot of people think (me one of them) that one of the things that made the Beatles a good band was that they subtely adjusted their tempo to the song - speed up during the chorus, slow down if the verse is sad  ... all by only a few BPM, but subliminally enhancing.

I agree, alexis.  Rod Stewart once remarked that he wasn't happy with his performance on Young Turks because of the drum machine. 

It works both ways, I guess.  It's band dynamics.
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alexis

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2009, 12:07:51 AM »

Alexis, we discussed this issue in Pete Best thread, when we spoke about Pete`s dismissal and touched upon Ringo`s suspension.
The fact is that George Martin didn`t want to fire either Pete or Ringo, he was just displeased with their play in the studio, as it is a different skill as compared to the play on stage. He wanted someone who was good at playing in the studio. Besides, at that time using session drummers was very popular. Pete and Ringo were used to playing live. So Martin said Pete was not up to the mark (and the guys used it as a pretext to dismiss the poor fellow, obviously, at last ), but he wasn`t against Pete in general and was surprised later when he learned that Pete had been fired! Then immediatelly Ringo was introduced, but Martin was dissatisfied with his performance as well, and thus Alan White appeared. Being a good drummer Ringo mastered the studio craft in no time, and then it was he who remained with the guys. In this very way Pete could have waited for his turn to play after Alan, but he wasn`t given a chance, cause evidently he wasn`t wanted...
Pete is considered to be the most unfortunate musician in the world ever!

Ah, yes Jane, that is the key thing, and he did it all without youtube instructional videos!!  :D
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alexis

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2009, 12:10:43 AM »

I agree, alexis.  Rod Stewart once remarked that he wasn't happy with his performance on Young Turks because of the drum machine.  

It works both ways, I guess.  It's band dynamics.

Yes, it's Yin and Yang, Bhaga and Vita (don't bother youtubing ... I just made that up!).

BTW, if I remember correctly, old Rod had a lot more to be sorry about in Young Turks, even the whole decade that surrounded it, than a drum machine!
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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2009, 01:19:10 AM »

don't bother youtubing ...

I wasn't about to.  Anyway, it's Inagoddada and Vida.    ;)
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tkitna

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2009, 01:22:10 AM »

Even if Ringo wasn't metronome-steady, a lot of people think (me one of them) that one of the things that made the Beatles a good band was that they subtely adjusted their tempo to the song - speed up during the chorus, slow down if the verse is sad  ... all by only a few BPM, but subliminally enhancing.

Cool, that saves me some work.

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And ... even if Ringo's tempo variations were random as opposed to musical ... I think my real question is, did he all of a sudden get better in that respect by the time "Please Please Me" comes around? Or, could (GASP) George Martin have not been right for once in his career?

I'm not sure Ringo got better, but it probably seems that way because 'Please Please Me' is better. Lets face it, theres only so much a drummer can do with 'Love Me Do'. Its a slow, monotonous song. Petes version is a perfect example of trying to put more into it than what was needed. His version sucked big time. 'Please Please Me' is all over the place and high energy. Any drummer would sound better on that song.

alexis

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2009, 02:05:06 AM »

Cool, that saves me some work.

I'm not sure Ringo got better, but it probably seems that way because 'Please Please Me' is better. Lets face it, theres only so much a drummer can do with 'Love Me Do'. Its a slow, monotonous song. Petes version is a perfect example of trying to put more into it than what was needed. His version sucked big time. 'Please Please Me' is all over the place and high energy. Any drummer would sound better on that song.

You mean that stuff he does in the "chorus" ("Someone to love, somebody new ...")? Yeah, that was embarassingly bad. I wonder if he did it that way on stage, or was just trying too hard and was "too clever by half", if that's the right English expression.

I think you've got a good point about why Ringo sounded better on PPM. So maybe it was a combination of things that sunk Ringo on that 1st session: being presented with a song ("Love Me Do") that didn't really allow a drummer to shine, George Martin thinking he wanted to hear something different, and then when Andy White basically played the same thing he said "F* it, it's just a ho-hum single from an unknown band, how much time do I really want to spend on it?"; nerves on Ringo's part, etc. etc.

I'd sure love to hear more about this from George Martin's point of view, but I guess if we haven't yet, we probably never will ...
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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 01:53:38 PM »

Pete is considered to be the most unfortunate musician in the world ever!

Why? The guy's a millionaire and needn't to work hard for it.
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Jane

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2009, 09:19:52 PM »

Why? The guy's a millionaire and needn't to work hard for it.

Yes, this is absolutely true! In terms of money, he got what everybody is after (this is fair). But in terms of worldwide fame, the situation is different. Who knows Pete Best? Only the fans of the Beatles. Even his contemporaries do not remember him.
Pete is considered to be the most unfortunate musician in the world music history, because he was dismissed right on the eve, the very eve, of the band`s becoming the most famous band ever and ever! One little step and he would have become one of the 4 great musicians. No such luck!
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Bobber

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2009, 09:36:48 PM »

One little step and he would have become one of the 4 great musicians. No such luck!

Well, obviously that would have been 3 great musicians and a mediocre drummer.
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tkitna

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2009, 10:03:36 PM »

Well, obviously that would have been 3 great musicians and a mediocre drummer.

 ha2ha

This is true.

alexis

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2009, 01:01:26 AM »

^^

Devil's advocate here - no telling how much growth potential Pete Best had in him in June, 1962, might be as fair to label him a mediocre drummer as it would be to do the same to Ringo from the same time. Bottom line is: George Martin, canned 'em both, contemporary accounts didn't seem to scream that Pete Best was anything but good enough to be on stage with the Beatles, and listening to the Decca tapes don't really show any problems with Pete Best's drumming at all.

OK, enough pot-stirring. Here's a wiki-factoid - Did you all know that the Decca audition was 15 songs recorded in about an hour of studio time?

Seems to me that any band that could play that many songs in a row without mistakes should be good enough to sign no matter what!!

(I'm in a band that some people think is pretty good to dance and drink to, and it took us 14 hours to do record 8 songs in a studio, and it was full of mistakes. So I'm VERY impressed. Who are those boys?).
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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2009, 09:05:39 AM »

They had played the songs for hundreds of times. Shouldn't be too big a problem to do that one more time. Pete's drums on the Decca Tapes sound as if he's as bored as the other three. Paul's voice is pretty good to me, the rest is not really.
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Jane

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2009, 09:16:34 PM »

Pete's drums on the Decca Tapes sound as if he's as bored as the other three.

They all were nervous. They seem bored which actually is tight and reserved. Just didn`t give vent to.
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tkitna

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2009, 09:57:05 PM »

To be honest, I probably wouldnt have signed them either. The audition was all wrong. I think the song selection stunk and they were all tired when they did it anyways from being up all night. Theres nothing there that indicates they were going to be anything special. I have to give Dick Rowe a pass on that one.

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Re: Was G. Martin wrong, or did Ringo get better really quickly?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2009, 10:00:17 PM »

Bottom line is: George Martin, canned 'em both,

Not playing on two songs is hardly being canned. Martin later said he regretted that decision. He never said he regretted canning pete though.

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Seems to me that any band that could play that many songs in a row without mistakes should be good enough to sign no matter what!!

Even if the songs sucked?
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