“Ringo is where it all began for me. From the day I was born, he was my introduction to drumming and music in general. Picking one Beatles album is so hard – everything from Rubber Soul forward are masterpieces – so I’m going to go with what might be a weird choice: Magical Mystery Tour.
“This wasn’t even a real Beatles album; it was just a collection of singles. But I think it was a period where Ringo and the band began their experimentation in the studio. Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, both of which are on here, were the first tracks from the Sgt. Pepper sessions. Listen to what they were doing: Strawberry Fields was all about experimentation, and Penny Lane was all about simplicity. There’s a serious yin and yang of Ringo’s drumming in those two tracks.
“There’s also great drumming on I Am The Walrus – such a fantastic backbeat and groove. And there’s some other weirder songs, too, like the title track and Flying and Blue Jay Way. It captures Ringo during a very cool, very experimental period.
“There wouldn’t be drums as we know them if Ringo Starr hadn’t done it first. It goes beyond the fact that he was the drummer in the greatest band of all time; part of their innovation stems from his drumming. The backbeat on Penny Lane, the double-tracked drums on Lady Madonna – nobody was doing the kinds of things that Ringo was doing in the ‘60s. He was the first, and everything that followed did so in his footsteps.”