Knight Ringo?

This is the second story in a week that has people pressing to knight the greatest rock and roll drummer in the world.  It seems that people are getting the word out in hopes that Ringo will be knighted.  No one deserves it more than he does.  Send in your petitions, and let’s see that this gets done.  The only thing that may make me as happy (award-wise) would be to see Brian Epstein get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Here’s what we’ve read.

With its tabloid-fodder antics, the British royal family’s new generation has clearly realized that its primary function is to entertain. What better way to fulfill this mandate than for the Windsors to offer one of their country’s great entertainers a knighthood?

Granted, Richard Starkey may not accept such an honour — at the end of his irreverent 2003 song Elizabeth Reigns, he deadpans, “Well, there goes me knighthood.”

According to the U.K. Honours System’s Web site, a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire must have made a “pre-eminent contribution in any field, usually, but not exclusively, at national level, or in a capacity which will be recognized by peer groups as inspirational … and which demonstrates sustained commitment.” Indisputably, Ringo fits the bill — almost every pop group to emerge from Britain (and beyond) since The Beatles’ ascendance has either credited or fought against the quartet’s influence.

John Lennon may have quipped in 1968 that Starr wasn’t “even the best drummer in The Beatles,” but we all know the singer could be a bit of an ass sometimes, and he did end up sending Starr telegrams reading, “You’re the best drummer in the world” to convince him to return to the fold during the recording of the White Album. “Ringo,” he would later say, “was the heart” of the band. Sir Paul McCartney praised him for introducing the band to soul music, and one condition of Sir George Martin’s taking on The Beatles as a producer in 1962 was that they dump Pete Best; he said of Starr, “He was rock solid, and this made the recording of all the Beatles’ songs so much easier.”

Never the most technically oriented drummer, he instead excelled creatively by crafting instantly recognizable rhythms; unforgettable songs such as Come Together are defined by their drum patterns as much as anything else.

Ringo’s songwriting muse only really emerged during his solo career, which hit its zenith with 1973’s excellent Ringo and its nadir with his, er, sixth album, Ringo the 4th. Sure his work’s patchy, but let any musician with a misstep-free 40-year career cast the first stone. If we’re willing to forgive Sir Mick Jagger for the patronizing aerobics anthem Let’s Work, Sir Tom Jones for the supremely annoying Sex Bomb and even Sir Elton John for the abominable Candle in the Wind 1997, surely we can cast a deaf ear to Ringo’s misguided flirtation with disco.

In recent years, he has balanced his artistically dubious casino tours with the All-Starr band by recording surprisingly enjoyable albums such as Ringo Rama and Choose Love.

But all of this, in the end, is immaterial. Ringo Starr deserves a knighthood because he was an indispensable member of the fabbest four there ever was. After all, you can’t have The Beatles without The Beat.


Source: Canada


One Response

  1. […] It looks like Sir Paul lost out on Britain’s greatest living icon award.  I would tend to think that Paul’s trophy and awards shelf is rather full anyway.  But it would have been a great accolaide to add to the shed.  Now let’s just see if we can get Ringo knighted… […]

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