‘The Beatles turned into an awful band’: Starr

It weird to hear Ringo be so curmudgeony about his own past.  He’s usual so positive about his experiences with The Beatles, except for the time spent recording The White album.  His tales of the past are usually sugar coated affairs filled with peace and love.  It looks like that’s not the case.

It’s hard to imagine their prowess as a live entity, as musicians, dropping so significantly.  I mean, with technological advances made in recording equipment, the nature of recording changed with The Beatles.  No longer were they recording live, but orchestrating parts and writing in the studio.  They were making records as opposed to performing live on the records, for the most part.  At times that could get a little boring. 

Wasn’t it Ringo who said that he, “learned to play chess during the recording of Sgt. Pepper’s.”  That was his only major recollection of the seminal album’s creation.  I wouldn’t say that the Fabs turned into an awful band, they just ceased to have the chops of a live touring band.  Ringo, please don’t be so hard on yourself.  As the Let it Be film and record illustrates…the chops were still there.  They just needed to be dusted off.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was disgusted with the band’s musical prowess in the mid 1960s – because their screaming fans turned them into “bad musicians”.

The Fab Four star is convinced they became victims of their own phenomenal success, as the deafening roar of the crowds during their gigs drowned out the sound of their instruments – so they couldn’t hear what they were playing.


He says: “By 1965 we were turning into really bad musicians because we literally couldn’t hear ourselves over the screaming from the audience.

“I was going downhill as a musician, and so was everyone else in the band. Then, we only did 25 minutes on stage. Now thanks to Led Zeppelin and The Who, everybody has to do two hours.”

Source: IOL

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6 Responses

  1. c’mon – he’s talking about 1965 /1966! I guess he’s right. because then they ceased to perform live and musically everything turned out to be very positive from then on …

  2. I think it was increasingly demoralizing,and frustrating for them as musicians to play live under those circumstances. The novelty had long since worn off, especially in light of what they were now producing in the studio. When they stopped touring we were hearing material from Rubber Soul Sessions (Nowhere Man, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper), as well what was essentially Revolver sessions (Paperback Writer).
    I, for one, LOVE the live ’66 stuff I’ve heard (Japan & Germany), despite the everpresent wacky screaming hordes of fans and archaic sound, and recording, systems…not to mention the live ’65 material (Hollywood Bowl & Shea Stadium both spring to mind) I don’t think they deteriorated, as much as the situation deteriorated for them, as far as being able to achieve what they would have wanted to in a live context at that critical and progressive juncture in their careers . As far as the rooftop show goes, it was, and is, my favorite live show ever…such a joy indeed. Blessings!

  3. The best thing they could’ve done was given up touring. That was when they really started to produce their best music, and a lot of it couldn’t be accurately reproduced in concert anyway.

  4. I can see where Ringo is coming from. If you watch the first 1966 Budakon concert, the Beatles don’t sound that good, but compared to any other band they sound awesome, but for the Beatles is wasn’t that good.

    But, the concert the next day they got a lot of the mistakes corrected and the live version of Day Tripper sounds awesome and in general they sounded great. So, Ringo needs to go back and watch.

    But the 25 minute concert is a joke. For some reason, the Beatles were not as interested in pushing the envelope on stage and they were in the studio. They didn’t even use monitors for the ’66 tour.

  5. What a bullshit story! Its been well-known for YEARS that by a certain point they found playing live really tiresome, and as a consequence played less well.

    All Ringo has said is exactly that. There’s no big story here, no new news: its just a well known fact repeated in a slightly more florid and journalist-pleasing way.

    Its typical of tabloid and website hacks to inflate any story for maximum effect. This is just pointless tittle tattle. And besides, its repeated on an Irish website, and they still hold a grudge…

  6. dont swear on this website
    kids like me look at it and dont like to see people swearing

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