Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hey Ritchie, Happy Birthday.

I know Michael Jackson's tribute is all over the web today. After the last few weeks of fallen celebrities with troubled pasts, I want to celebrate one who is alive and well and lookin' good for a 69 year old man.

Is he the greatest drummer ever? Of course not (you could make an strong argument that Paul McCartney and even his son Zak are better drummers.) Drumming and overall musicianship is more than technique. It's about feel, it's about knowing your role in piece of music or a song. It's about what you play and don't play. It's about playing space and letting music breathe. Ringo did all that. His unique drum fill style came from the fact he is left handed and played a right handed drum kit.

Ringo Starr has always appreciated his position in life. I have never seen him in public, angry or surly. He is always positive when speaking about his past and he uses the word love more than most musicians. Yes, he was lucky to be in the Beatles, but wasn't John lucky to have Paul and vice versa? Wasn't Paul lucky to have a friend like George for John to meet? The Beatles are my favorite band and served as the gateway to music for me. The Bealtes, Motown, Stax/Volt and Miles Davis were the soundtrack my father and mother played in my youth. I am lucky that they encouraged me to become the best musician I can be.

Happy Birthday Ringo Starr, Peace and Love.