Why Ringo Starr Said The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ ‘Wasn’t My Movie’
In an interview, Ringo Starr said John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison had more of a role in crafting The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour than he did. However, Ringo did help create a great scene in the film. During an interview, Ringo discussed what it was like constantly being portrayed as the clown of the group.
Ringo Starr made George Harrison look like a cat for The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
During a 1981 interview with Rolling Stone, Ringo discussed the creation of Magical Mystery Tour. “Magical Mystery Tour is not my movie,” he said. “John, Paul, and George wrote more of it than I did, but I shot a lot of it.”
Ringo took responsibility for an interesting visual moment from the film. “There’s a scene with George where I put him in my living room and projected slides on him. It’s nothing new. It was done back in 1926 or so.
“But I happened to be a camera buff, and I had all these funny lenses, and I think it came out fine,” he added. “Naiveté isn’t so bad, really.” It appears Ringo was talking about the scene of the film in which George performs “Blue Jay Way.” In it, the “My Sweet Lord” star has an image of a cat projected onto his face.
While he was creative, Ringo Starr said he had a reputation of a ‘downtrodden dummy’
While Ringo was very creative, he still had an image problem. “You see, what I have to combat is the original image of me as the downtrodden dummy,” Ringo explained. “It’s still in everybody’s minds. You don’t know how hard it is to fight that tag. I’ve been caught in this trap for almost 20 years now.
“But it hasn’t ruined my life,” he added. “I know what I am, I know what I can do. But what am I going to do, take out a newspaper ad or a billboard and say, ‘I’m not really like that?'”
What Paul McCartney and John Lennon thought about ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
While it’s well-remembered today, Magical Mystery Tour does not share the stellar critical reputation of some of the other Beatles films. In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul said the main value of Magical Mystery Tour was the “I Am the Walrus” scene. He said it had “historical value” because it was the one time John sang “I Am the Walrus.” Paul praised some other musical sequences in the movie, specifically the performances of “Blue Jay Way,” “The Fool on the Hill,” and “Your Mother Should Know.”
In the same book, John is quoted as saying Magical Mystery Tour was an attempt at making a great film. He loved the movie and expected its critical reputation to grow over time. Nevertheless, John felt that the camera work on the film left something to be desired. He compared it to fish and chips without explaining the meaning of that comment.
Ringo didn’t claim ownership of Magical Mystery Tour but he helped make one of its scenes memorable.