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Beatles Break-Up: Forty Years Later, Ringo Rules

From Huffington Post:

Jonathan Sallet

The formal dissolution of The Beatles was announced on April 10, 1970. And, with the end of the band, the story of Ringo Starr seemed set in concrete. You remember: Ringo, the last member of the band, shunted to the sidelines when the Beatles first recorded for George Martin but, in fact, an under-appreciated artist; his left-handed, backward fills and intuitive timing building the beat of modern rock music.

But there’s a lot more. For forty years now, Ringo, sometimes derided, but with the consistent rhythm of a steady backbeat, has become the living embodiment of the spirit of the Beatles.

Listen to the albums Ringo has released recently — culminating this year’s “Y Not” (the first album he has produced) and last year’s paean to his home town, “Liverpool 8.” You will hear the story of the Beatles being told, and retold. How?

First, with the playful introspection exhibited through an intricate web of references linking one song to another. As the Beatles looked increasingly to their own lives and work for inspiration, their songs created an ever-growing structure of self-reference — the lyrics of “Glass Onion,” for example, refer to five earlier Beatles songs — some of which refer, in turn, to others still. So when, in this year’s “Peace Dream” Ringo calls on us to “try to ‘Imagine'” what happens if we “Give Peace a Chance,'” he’s continuing to weave a tapestry of meaning around their legacies.

By no means has Ringo become a songwriter in the class of John, Paul or George. But as Ringo himself has told us, “It does no good for you to play a pretty song like ‘Yesterday’ ’cause that’s not what I need to say.”

What Ringo needs to say through his songs is the second important ingredient of his legacy, namely The Beatles’ message of love, cosmic harmony and the meaning of life. In “R U Ready,” he invokes Jesus, the Buddha and a blues preacher to say that there will be someone to catch each of us at life’s end. And can’t you hear more than a hint of George, the most spiritual of the four, when Ringo intones the thought that “One and one is only one until you become one with you”?

And then there’s peace and love. Ringo may be the last person on earth who regularly flashes the two-finger peace sign. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE:

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April 10, 2010 - Posted by | Lennon, Paul McCartney, Radio, Ringo, Songs, The Beatles | , ,

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