They had some modest success before he joined, but The Beatles didn’t truly become The Beatles until they added Ringo Starr to the mix. It took Paul McCartney just a few minutes to know Ringo was the perfect drummer for the band. His distinctive style helped The Beatles become the biggest band in the world, but his bandmates didn’t always appreciate Ringo’s musical talents. Still, Ringo sits in one hall of fame that none of the other Beatles had a shot to join, and it was well-deserved.
Ringo wasn’t always treated well by the rest of The Beatles
The Beatles sacked their first drummer and added Ringo after they played with him briefly. They knew they had something special, and his impressive drumming skills propelled the Fab Four to international acclaim. However, Paul, George Harrison, and John Lennon didn’t always treat him like an equal member of the band.
It seems unfathomable now, but Paul might have directed Ringo’s playing on “Tomorrow Never Knows,” a powerhouse of a drum song that sounded unlike anything else. That Revolver track wasn’t the last time The Beatles called out their timekeeper. Ringo walked out on The White Album sessions because of Paul’s criticisms.
Paul and John both had unkind words for Ringo’s drumming on the Abbey Road medley. John was especially harsh about Ringo’s playing on one song from the album.
The other three of the Fab Four dumped on their stick man freely, but Ringo sits in one musical hall of fame the others never had a shot to join.
Ringo Starr joined the prestigious Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2002
The Beatles entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a group in 1988. John, Paul, and George earned RNR HOF inductions as solo artists in 1994, 1999, and 2004, respectively. Ringo finally got solo entry in 2015, with Paul doing the induction honors.
He had to wait until the other Beatles got in on their own before he entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But there’s one hall of fame that welcomed Ringo and surely never considered the other Beatles — the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.
Ringo is one of the few rock drummers in the PAS Hall of Fame. Rush’s Neil Peart and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart are others.
When Ringo earned his Hall of Fame honor in 2002, he joined an exclusive company. As of 2022, there are only 136 members in the PAS HOF, including William Ludwig II (creator of Ringo’s favored Ludwig drums) and drum stick entrepreneur Vic Firth.
Ringo deserved his spot in the percussionists hall of fame
Ringo once admitted one thing he can’t do as a drummer — replicate a fill. His emotional playing style leads to him performing his breaks differently each time. Aside from that one shortcoming, Ringo proved over the years that he deserved his PAS Hall of Fame spot.
He called it one of The Beatles’ weird tracks, but “Rain” is a drumming clinic contained in a three-minute pop song. The high-hat interspersed with the snare, rolling beats that incorporate the tom-toms and floor tom, and liberal use of fills were unlike anything he’d done with the Beatles to that point.
“Come Together” wouldn’t be the same without Ringo’s creative beat. He drives the menacing closing moments of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” and Ringo puts on a memorable display in the early part of “The End.” Really, all of Abbey Road gives Ringo a chance to shine in a way he hadn’t before.
And let’s not forget that beat from “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which was so ahead of its time that British electronic duo The Chemical Brothers basically lifted it for their 1997 song “Setting Sun.”
Ringo Starr deserves his spot in the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, and none of the other Beatles will be joining that exclusive group anytime soon.
For more on the entertainment world and exclusive interviews, subscribe to Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s YouTube channel.