Ringo Starr Was the ‘Most Approachable’ of The Beatles Since ‘He Didn’t Have Any Pretense’ Like John and Paul, 1 Musician Once Said

Many music fans would give almost anything to hang out with any of The Beatles. Thanks to his impressive drumming skills and incredible longevity, Ringo Starr has had a chance to rub shoulders with fans and fellow musicians over the years. One three-time member of Ringo’s All Starr Band was lucky enough to meet all of the Fab Four, and he said Ringo was the most approachable of the Beatles because he lacked the pretense of Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Ringo Starr (right) plays with his All Starr Band in Paris in 1992. One musician said Ringo was the most approachable Beatle because he lacked the pretense of Paul and John.
Ringo Starr (right) plays with his All Starr Band in Paris in 1992 | Rob Verhorst

Ringo Starr recruited Todd Rundgren for three of his All Starr Bands

After the Beatles broke up, Ringo created a slew of solo albums throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. By the time the 1990s approached, he had the itch to tour. Ringo assembled his first All Starr Band in 1989, and he’s collected several of his high-profile musician friends for All Starr Band tours over the years.

Todd Rundgren played in Ringo’s second All Starr Band in 1992, according to Ringo’s website, then came back for the fifth and 12th iterations of the group. Rundgren played in the band Nazz and later found solo success with songs such as “I Saw the Light” and the infectious “Bang the Drum All Day.”

Rundgren has been lucky enough to meet all the Beatles in his lifetime. Hanging out with Ringo wasn’t a let-down for Rundgren, who found the drummer to be approachable and lacking the pretense of John and Paul.

Ringo was the ‘most approachable’ Beatle, and meeting John and Paul was a let-down, according to Rundgren

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Rundgren has been able to work closely with Ringo on several occasions, and not just in the All Starr Band. Their first meeting came at a Jerry Lewis telethon. They reconnected years later when Ringo looked to tour again.

Though Rundgren had the fortune to meet all the Beatles over the years, Ringo was the most fun. Rundgren only briefly met George Harrison, but he said meeting Paul and John was a let-down compared to Ringo, reports Louder:

“Ringo was the most approachable of all of the Beatles. I have met each of the band in turn. If you grew up on ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’ and watched the Beatles’ antics, to actually meet them in person was often a let-down. For instance, Paul McCartney was an unusually dour person, and John was totally drunk and inanimate. 

“You expected cleverness and a happy-go-lucky demeanor because of the image they projected up until the point they broke up. The only one who seemed to have recovered from any of the effects of that was Ringo. He did the music for fun. He didn’t feel that there was some burden to it, he just liked to play. Any opportunity to sing was fine, but I never saw him having any pretense that he was building some giant musical legacy.”

Todd Rundgren explains why Ringo Starr is the most approachable member of the Beatles

Though he wasn’t a main songwriter in the Beatles, Ringo’s musical legacy was already intact when he started his solo career. Ringo approached his music-making with a carefree approach, which John and Paul seemed to be lacking when Rundgren crossed paths with them.

Ringo’s musical legacy is stronger than many realize

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Ringo might have been overshadowed by the other three Beatles, but his steady stickwork was instrumental in creating the band’s sound. Still, Ringo’s solo career and other artistic work outside the band is stronger than many fans might realize.

Ringo sent two singles, “Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen, to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and he had another five top-10 hits as a solo artist. His solo album Ringo was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America within weeks of its 1973 release, and it ended up going platinum. “Photograph,” “You’re Sixteen,” and “It Don’t Come Easy” were RIAA gold singles, and his Goodnight Vienna album also earned gold status.

Ringo stepped out from behind the drum kit to contribute to a classic T. Rex album. He drummed on solo releases by each of the other Beatles, and worked with other notable artists such as Tom Petty, the Velvet Underground. Peter Frampton, and B.B. King.

Todd Rundgren once said Ringo Starr was the most approachable Beatle and fun to work with. Apparently many other musicians felt the same way.

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