Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Only You (And You Alone)

There's been a lot of Ringo about recently, what with him having a new album out and all the Liverpool City of Culture stuff.

It's always good to see him, as he's become quite a fascinating character. If you're ranking the solo Beatles musically, he's second for me after Paul and before George. He's done some cracking singles: Back Off Boogaloo, It Don't Come Easy, You're Sixteen and the magnificent Photograph. And he knew when to stop.

I saw him on Jonathan Ross the other day. No one, it seems puts Ross on edge, but Ringo almost managed it. Ross was like a silly schoolboy floundering away, wondering if he was taking his jokes too far, desperately clawing it back when Ringo cracked a smile. It was embarrassing to watch.

Ringo clearly - unlike most Liverpudlians - has not got much of a sense of humour. At least, not anymore. He comes across as hugely out of touch with reality, popular culture and general attitudes, and rather chilly. I hear he's upset Liverpool saying in so many words that it held nothing of interest for him anymore. Well, he doesn't really care what he says and if you were him neither would you.

The only thing he does seem to care about is when he's told that something he's done in his working life is not up to scratch. His oeuvre is patchy to say the least, his later solo albums being absolute tosh. The only good acting part he ever had was in That'll Be The Day. Ross pushed this and got short shrift. Ringo could not laugh about it. I bet no one's said 'no' to him for years.

As far as surviving Beatles go, he knocks spots off McCartney, who trots out the same stock answers in interviews, never gives anything away and whose music post 1980 is dull. Underneath all that is something dark and fascinating - but will we ever get to know what it is?

At least Ringo makes things interesting.


Clair said...

Matthew Wright did a very good interview with Ringo on Radio 2 last Friday night; talking about more contemporary issues and the business, and he came across really well. The problem is, post-Beatles, nothing's going to be as fab, but with their Beatle egos, they're not going to believe it. George Harrison wisely got involved with the movies, something entirely new, and appeared in the Rutles film.

I'm enjoying Ringo's new single, but I suspect that's more because Dave Stewart is involved than anything else.

Steve said...

I'm not sure interviews are Ross' strength in any case. This "Hey, I'm your bezzie mate" act is the only way he can engage in a dialogue. Witness last (?) night's appalling Film 2008 frothing over Tim Burton. Johnny Depp was in the room too, but you wouldn't have noticed.

Interesting that his radio show has taken a down-turn since the Beeb nixed MOTPs phoning in for competitions. And he's ditched Facebook. I don't think he can handle (the) reality (of the great unwashed) any more.