After the passage of many years I've come to recognize the role that each of the Beatles has played in my life, my focus on one of the members of the group affecting my experience in some meaningful way, or echoing whatever it was I was busy learning. It wasn't until only recently that I finally came to see how key these four men have been, not as a group, but as individuals.
When I first saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964, I was immediately drawn to Ringo Starr. The reason is probably easy to suss out. He's a drummer and I came from a long line of professional drummers; both my brother and my dad had their drum kits set up in the house and they practiced regularly. By the time I was first introduced to the Beatles, I had already been playing my brother's drums along with his Ventures and Beach Boys albums. I grew up with rhythms and the way the drums can affect your pulse and your deepest emotions. I learned early on to appreciate the particular uniqueness that all drummers share and just how differently they experience the world; they live in one that few of us will ever know. It was only natural that I first attached myself to Ringo. Besides the musical connection, he was cute in that floppy, puppy dog way that pre-adolescent girls can't resist; of all the Beatles, he was the one you could bring home to meet your mother. He had an adorable sense of humor and he loved—really loved—music. Ringo Starr was the Beatle of my youth. He taught me about loving music with a wide-eyed wonderment of how it can move people.
|Sir Paul McCartney|
"Some are dead and some are living,
In my life, I've loved them all."