I rarely read the Five Myths column as the statements often seem easily debunked. But my eye was captured by the teaser on the front page of the July 8 Outlook section: “Ringo is a bad drummer — and other myths about the Fab Four.”
Author Allan Kozinn flubbed the very first sentence of the second item in “Five Myths: The Beatles” when he wrote that Ringo Starr “was never a showy virtuoso like Cream’s Ginger Baker or Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.” Bonham wasn’t showy. He was thunderously solid in anchoring the beat. The better analogy would have been the Who’s Keith Moon, who, like Baker, played like a wild monkey on acid, perfectly complementing the windmilling Pete Townshend.
But, even then, the larger point failed. Showy virtuosity was never the Beatles’ forte. You can find “better” players for each Beatle. What Starr brought to the band was style. Kozinn should have noted that Starr is a left-hander playing a right-handed drum kit. His natural physical instincts led to fills that most drummers wouldn’t imagine, taking us down to Strawberry Fields in delightfully unexpected ways.
Dave Nuttycombe, Silver Spring