Ringo Starr – Back Off Boogaloo

Back Off Boogaloo was Ringo’s follow up to his 1971 hit It Don’t Come Easy. It was released as a single only in 1972.

Some say Ringo wrote this song about Paul McCartney to stop his snide remarks in the press about the other Beatles and also to make better music. I can see why some people saw that in:

Wake up, meat head
Don’t pretend that you are dead
Get yourself up off the cart

Get yourself together now
And give me something tasty
Everything you try to do
You know it sure sound wasted

That last line was because Paul was very fond of Cannabis at the time. Ringo has since cleared that up and said it was inspired by Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Bolan had often said the word Boogaloo and Ringo wrote the song. Later on, George helped him finish the song but didn’t want songwriting credit as was the case in It Don’t Come Easy.

The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #2 in the UK in 1972.

Chris Welch wrote in Melody Maker: “A Number One hit could easily be in store for the maestro of rock drums. There’s a touch of the Marc Bolan in this highly playable rhythmic excursion … It’s hypnotic and effective, ideal for jukeboxes and liable to send us all mad by the end of the week.”

 

Back Off Boogaloo

Back off, Boo-ga-loo, I said
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, come on
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, Boo

Back off, Boo-ga-loo
What d’yer think you’re gonna do
I got a flash right from the start

Wake up, meat head
Don’t pretend that you are dead
Get yourself up off the cart

Get yourself together now
And give me something tasty
Everything you try to do
You know it sure sound wasted

Back off, Boo-ga-loo, I said
Back off, Boo-ga-loo
You think you’re a groove
Standing there in your wallpapers shoes
And your socks that match your eyes

Back off, Boo-ga-loo, I said
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, come on
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, Boo

Ringo Starr – Photograph

One of Ringo’s best songs. This one and It Don’t Come Easy is at the top of my list of Ringo’s solo songs. The song fits Ringo perfectly. Photograph was off of what is Ringo’s best album “Ringo” that peaked at #2 in the Billboard album charts, #7 in the UK and #1 in Canada. Ringo wrote this with George Harrison. Ringo was the lead vocalist and drummer for the track, while Harrison sang harmony vocals and played 12-string guitar.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #8 in the UK in 1973. I saw a John Lennon interview where he said he used to worry about Ringo and what he would do after the Beatles. Suddenly Ringo was on top of the world and John jokingly said he telegrammed Ringo and asked Ringo would he “write me a hit?”

From Songfacts

In this song, the singer laments the loss of his girl. The pain is made more intense by a photograph he has that keeps reminding him of the good times they had.

 Ringo performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2014. Despite the affliction described in the lyric, Ringo did a very joyful rendition, turning the song into one more about nostalgia – old photos from his days with The Beatles were projected on the backdrop to complement this interpretation.

Later in the broadcast, Ringo backed Paul McCartney on drums for Paul’s song “Queenie Eye.”

Photograph

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

I thought I’d make it the day you went away
But I can’t take it ’til you come home again to stay

I can’t get used to living here
While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
I want you here to have and hold
As the years go by, and we grow old and gray

Now you’re expecting me to live without you
But that’s not something that I’m looking forward to

I can’t get used to living here
While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
I want you here to have and hold
As the years go by, and we grow old and grey

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy

Maybe Ringo’s best solo song. Ringo is the only songwriter credited on this, but he had a lot of help from George Harrison, who was very generous in giving him full writing credit. The track (less Ringo’s vocal and horn parts) was already completed when Harrison gave it to him, and it included a scratch vocal by George (youtube video at the bottom).

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada and  #4 in the UK in 1971.

Pete Ham and Tom Evans from Badfinger are on this track.

From Songfacts.

If you listen carefully during the guitar solo, the backup singers throw in a “Hare Krishna,” which was mixed way down. This is a nod to George Harrison’s 1970 hit “My Sweet Lord,” where he sings the mantra. 

This was Ringo’s first big hit as a solo artist (his cover of “Beaucoups of Blues” made #87 US a year earlier). From 1971-1975 he had a string of hits, including two #1s: “Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen.”

Peter Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger sang on the intro to this song (“It don’t come easy, ya know it don’t come easy”). Badfinger was signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records, and helped out George Harrison’s first solo album. 

This song served Ringo well throughout his career. When he assembled his first “All Starr Band” in 1989 (featuring Dr. John, Clarence Clemmons, Joe Walsh and Billy Preston), this was the opening number on their tour. Throughout several subsequent incarnations of the band, “It Don’t Come Easy” typically remained at the top of setlist when they performed live.

Ringo performed this song with his good friend, musical cohort, and brother-in-law Joe Walsh when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Here is the George Harrison version

It Don’t Come Easy

One, two,
One, two, three, four!

It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy
It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Open up your heart, let’s come together
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better

I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

“What’s my name?” Ringo!
“What’s my name?” Ringo!

“Just in case anybody forgot”

My Favorite Drummers

This is my top ten favorite drummers…I’m sure I’m going to leave some great ones out. Like guitarists, I like drummers with feel more than technique. Anyone who has read this blog knows who my number 1 is without question…

1…Keith Moon, The Who – It’s hard if not impossible to copy this man’s drumming style. He changed the Who completely and was their engine. I’m not a drummer so I really never cared like some drummers do if he played by the rules in drumming…Was he disciplined? No, but it worked well for him and for the songs. Songs like Bargain and Goin’ Mobile are great examples of Keith.

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2…John Bonham, Led Zeppelin – Without Bonham, there is no Led Zeppelin as we know them. He was the ultimate groove drummer. He was a bricklayer and had hard hands and hit the drums incredibly hard but with a light touch also.

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3…Levon Helm, The Band – Not only was he a great drummer but also a soulful singer. He brought something many drummers didn’t… a bit of the old south.

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4…Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones – Charlie and Ringo made their respective groups swing. Charlie can play blues, rock, big band, and jazz. Charlie and his rhythm section partner Bill Wyman were overlooked being in the same band with Mick and Keith. On top of his drumming skills…Charlie grounds the band much like Ringo did for the Beatles.

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5…Ringo Starr, The Beatles – He was not Moon or Bonham in flash but he played exactly what was needed…He could have gone overboard and the songs would have suffered. He played for the song. Some have called him the human metronome. I cannot imagine any other drummer for The Beatles. His tom tom work on Sgt Pepper alone is excellent.

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6…Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix Experience – Any holes left in Jimi’s music would be quickly filled in by Mitch. He was a jazz drummer who fused it into rock.

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7…Ginger Baker, Cream – If this was a list of “likable people” Ginger would not be in the top 1000 but his drumming was some of the best of the sixties and I’m sure he would say “ever”… He was as big of part of Cream’s sound as Clapton or Bruce.

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8…Bobby Elliot, Hollies – Drummer from the Hollies that other drummers have admired. He hit the drums hard and his fills were great… He is often overlooked but he is always spot on.

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9…Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Nirvana – He can play anything… He fuels those Nirvana songs…and is really great at whatever instrument he plays.

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10…Clem Burke, Blondie – An exciting drummer that was heavily influenced by number 1 on this list. He has played with Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie.

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Honorable Mention

Gene Krupa, Buddy Miles, Mick Fleetwood, Max Weinberg, “D.J.” Fontana, Benny Benjamin, Stewart Copeland, and Hal Blaine.

Yes, I know… No Neil Peart…yes he is a great drummer…just not my style of music.

 

 

 

Ringo or Robin Ltd RoR

Ringo Starr and Robin Cruikshank formed a partnership in 1969 and they were located in the Beatles Apple building on Savile Row. In 1972 relocated with Apple to 54 St James Street.

Robin had originally worked for Ringo to design a stainless steel fireplace for Ringo and his wife Maureen.  Ringo started to give Robin some suggestions and the two started to worked together on furniture and different designs for years after that. The partnership lasted until 1986 and after that Ringo let Robin use the name so Cruikshank could continue different projects.

If you ever run across anything made by RoR you probably have something very valuable.

Below was designed by RoR. I can’t imagine what it would have cost. I would take it in a second.

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I remember seeing the below item on the news. Very expensive because they didn’t use reproduction parts…they all had authentic Roll Royce grills.

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Here are some tables by RoR.

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Below is Robin’s website featuring his new designs plus much more history.

http://rorint.com/

They worked with Disney to produce some mirrors with Disney characters on them.

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Below is a video on some history of RoR

Jimmie Nicol – The Fill-In Beatle

You would think this would be a dream come true…but having sudden fame thrown on you without acclimating could be a bad thing.

In June of 1964, Ringo Starr collapsed with tonsillitis with a tour coming up. Ringo had to go to the hospital. The Beatles wanted to cancel the tour rather than go out without their drummer. Brian Epstein and George Martin did not want the momentum they help create to stop and disappoint all of the fans.

George Harrison said it would not be the Beatles without Ringo. As Brian and George Martin tried to reason with them all, George Harrison said that they would have to find two replacements because he would not go without Ringo.

Epstein and Martin pleaded with them and told them about all the fans they would disappoint. It would only be until Ringo was well again.

Someone actually brought up Pete Best’s name. John Lennon said no because that would be bad for him because he would think he was back in the band. George Martin looked up drummers and finally found Jimmie Nicol. He was the drummer for an unknown group called The Shubdubs and also did some studio work. Martin thought he was a good fit so they rang him up.

Jimmie came over to Abbeyroad for the rehearsal. He had played Beatle songs before so he knew the arrangements. The Beatles were welcoming to Jimmie knowing he was in a tough spot. A little over 20 hours later he as playing his first concert with them in Copenhagen. Denmark. He was given the Beatle haircut and he even wore Ringo’s suit. He as reportedly paid 2500 a show…which was a huge amount in 1964.

Sudden fame can be a hard thing to handle. Jimmie said that before he played with the Beatles no girls were interested in him but while he was with them that girls were everywhere. Supposedly Jimmie and John spent a night in a brothel.

Jimmie played eight shows altogether with The Beatles and thirteen days altogether with them… before arriving in Melbourne. Austrailia where Ringo was well enough to play again. During his time with The Beatles, he did help inspire a song 3 years later. Every time John and Paul asked him how he was doing he would always answer “Getting Better.” Paul thought of this in 1967 while walking his dog and ended up with John writing “Getting Better” for Sgt Pepper.

After it was over he declared bankruptcy in 1965 but he eventually joined a band that had some success called The Spotnicks and they did two world tours. He eventually moved to Mexico and then got out of music. Here are a couple of his quotes.

“The day before I was a Beatle, not one girl would look me over. The day after … they were dying just to get a touch of me. Strange and scary all at once. It’s hard to describe the feeling but I can tell you it can go to your head. I see why so many famous people kill themselves.” 

The last quote is telling of his character.

“After the money ran low, I thought of cashing-in in some way or other. But the timing wasn’t right. And I didn’t want to step on The Beatles’ toes. They had been damn good for me and to me.”

The Beatles with Jimmie

 

Two sites where I got info

https://www.beatlesbible.com/people/jimmie-nicol/2/

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/meet-jimmy-nicol-the-forgotten-beatle-standin-drummer-for-ringo/news-story/0f79dd8eda8adc579d3c35c6bfb32f1f

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I had to add this quote…

 “I thought I could drink and lay women with the best of them until I caught up with these guys.”

Beatles at the Star-Club 1962

These are the punk Beatles. Raw and relentless playing fast and furious. The Beatles before the world was paying attention to them. This was recorded on an old reel to reel recorder on the slowest speed to conserve tape. It was not meant to be an album or anything commercial. A friend named Ted “King Sized” Taylor the leader of a band called the Dominoes, put a microphone near the stage to record them. The quality is poor, to say the least.

It was released in 1977 and the record company sunk 100,000 dollars just to make the audio listenable.

The Beatles were playing to an audience of sailors, prostitutes, drunks and gangsters. They would rip through songs at such a speed that only 2 songs on this double album are over 3 minutes long.

They are a great band here. You catch them with their guard down and acting completely natural.

The Beatles were in their last club dates at Hamburg. They had already recorded Love Me Do and it was on the charts. They did not want to be back in Hamburg but they honored a previous agreement and was there. They didn’t mail the performances in but they were loose and relaxed.

It contains mostly cover songs with very few originals. The track listing is at the bottom of the post. This is close to what Brian Epstein heard when he first saw them, this is why they took over Liverpool and this is why they got signed.

Casual fans will not want this album but serious Beatles fans will love it. This is more than a low fidelity album…it is history. John Lennon always said that the world didn’t hear the best of the Beatles live…I agree.

After they became THE Beatles…they could not hear themselves play because of the long constant jet taking off screaming. On this album you hear them as they were before the screams.

I was 11 when I bought this and I didn’t get the importance to a few years later.

This is out of the book Tune In… Without a doubt the best book out on the Beatles. It’s the first of three volumes.

Their playing is adept and hyper-energetic, and the microphone catches many important moments. The tape’s value has been downplayed on the basis that the Beatles are musically sloppy and perhaps even lazy, knowing they’ve one foot out of the door, but this is to ignore its virtues. The Beatles did hate being in Hamburg this last time … but the recording shows them still cutting the mustard on stage. They’re sloppy because, here, they can be, but they’re not lazy, and they’re not playing with extra care because they’re being recorded: this is an authentic eavesdrop on their club act, not something fizzed-up for the tape machine.
At least three sets were recorded, and because the Beatles rarely repeated themselves in Hamburg, there are only five duplicates among the thirty-seven songs. The repertoire is a real surprise. The only self-written pieces are “Ask Me Why” and “I Saw Her Standing There” (twice), so there’s no “Love Me Do,” “PS I Love You,” “Please Please Me,” “One After 909” or any of several other possibilities, and there are few of the songs from the spine of their all-conquering 1962 stage sets—no “Some Other Guy,” “Soldier of Love,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Don’t Ever Change,” “A Shot of Rhythm and Blues,” “Devil in Her Heart,” “Baby It’s You,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody,” “Hey! Baby, A Picture of You,” and so on. What’s here is an idiosyncratic selection of old rock numbers all played at breakneck speed—Prellies pace. The nights of half-hour “What’d I Say” marathons are past: everything is high velocity, only three numbers tipping into three minutes.

 

 

 

Side one
  1. Introduction/”I Saw Her Standing There” (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 0:34/2:22
  2. “Roll Over Beethoven” (Chuck Berry) – 2:15
  3. “Hippy Hippy Shake” (Chan Romero) – 1:42
  4. “Sweet Little Sixteen” (Berry) – 2:45
  5. “Lend Me Your Comb” (Kay Twomey, Fred Wise, Ben Weisman) – 1:44
  6. “Your Feet’s Too Big” (Ada Benson, Fred Fisher) – 2:18
Side two
  1. “Twist and Shout” (Phil Medley, Bert Russell) – 2:03
  2. “Mr. Moonlight” (Roy Lee Johnson) – 2:06
  3. “A Taste of Honey” (Bobby Scott, Ric Marlow) – 1:45
  4. “Bésame Mucho” (Consuelo Velázquez, Sunny Skylar) – 2:36
  5. “Reminiscing” (King Curtis) – 1:41
  6. “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Richard Penniman) – 2:09
Side three
  1. “Nothin’ Shakin’ (But the Leaves on the Trees)” (Eddie Fontaine, Cirino Colacrai, Diane Lampert, John Gluck) – 1:15
  2. “To Know Her Is to Love Her” (Phil Spector) – 3:02
  3. “Little Queenie” (Berry) – 3:51
  4. “Falling in Love Again (Can’t Help It)” (Frederick Hollander, Sammy Lerner) – 1:57
  5. “Ask Me Why” (Lennon, McCartney) – 2:26
  6. “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (Gene Vincent, Bill Davis) – 2:29
    • Guest lead vocal by Fred Fascher, Star-Club waiter
  7. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” (Ray Charles) – 2:10
    • Guest lead vocal by Horst Fascher, Star-Club manager
Side four
  1. “Red Sails in the Sunset” (Jimmy Kennedy, Hugh Williams) – 2:00
  2. “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” (Carl Perkins) – 2:25
  3. “Matchbox” (Carl Perkins) – 2:35
  4. “I’m Talking About You” (Berry) – 1:48
  5. “Shimmy Like Kate” (Armand Piron, Fred Smith, Cliff Goldsmith) – 2:17
    • Based on The Olympics’ arrangement of “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate”;[32] sometimes misidentified as “Shimmy Shimmy” or “Shimmy Shake”
  6. “Long Tall Sally” (Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell, Penniman) – 1:45
  7. “I Remember You” (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) – 1:54

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live!_at_the_Star-Club_in_Hamburg,_Germany;_1962