Ringo Starrs nya singel Here’s To The Nights är ett viktigt bidrag till Ringos hyllning av freden och kärleken. Och i precis rätt ögonblick – när det pandemiska året 2020 är på väg att ta slut.
Ringo berättar: It was a challenge to adapt to making music in the age of social distancing. Men som vi vet har han alltid varnat oss för It Don’t Come Easy!
Ringos önskan inför nyår:
New Year’s Eve, they’ll all sing along with us, we hope.
Intervju med Ringo Starr
I nedanstående intervju berättar Ringo – via Zoom – om låten Here’s to the Nights, sina dagar i The Beatles, trumspelandet, målandet, hur han försökte behålla sansen under karantäntiden, kassettens återkomst, det nya albumet med Paul McCartney och vad han lärt sig genom att spela med Levon Helm.
Hur kom den nya låten till?
Ringo: Diane Warren wrote it: “Here’s to the nights we won’t remember, with the friends we won’t forget.” So it has a beautiful sentiment. It’s about us all coming together, so it seems appropriate for today. Everybody I know, we’ve all had quite a few nights we don’t remember. And we’ve all had them with friends we won’t forget.
All these people joined in and helped me out. We got Paul McCartney, he’s on board. Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, Jenny Lewis, Chris Stapleton, Benmont Tench. Dave Grohl, and Ben Harper were the first ones up. Lenny Kravitz came on at the last minute. We got Finneas, Yola, Black Pumas. Corinne Bailey Rae sings her heart out. Everybody has a little shout-out.
Ända fram till pandemin har du turnerat non-stop i alla dessa år. Hur kommer det sig?
Ringo: I love it, that’s why. I would still be out there, but I’m afraid nobody’s out there. Everybody’s moaning like me, “We want to go out. I want to go out on the road.” The first tour was May, but we didn’t cancel until March. Who knew what this pandemic meant? We have got it on for next year, but we’ll have to wait and see.
I was disappointed that the pandemic got in the way of my two tours this year. And it gave me a couple of miserable days, because I want to play. So what happened, I made a EP. That helped — I made a record and did some painting.
Du verkar ha mer energi än 10 människor tillsammans.
Ringo: Nine. [Imitates John Lennon’s voice] “Number nine, number nine…”
The record is called Zoom In, because we’re on Zoom. Everything I do is on Zoom. I just thought it was so relevant to the days we’re living in right now. New Year’s Eve, they’ll all sing along with us, we hope. It’s a five-track EP, and I know what EPs are. I had a huge collection of EPs.
Allting verkar komma tillbaka
Ringo: I heard this incredible story that the kids are back into cassettes. I only heard it, so you must know more than me because you work for the music paper. It’s incredible. Only like 18 months ago did I finally take the cassette player out of the system! But now the cassette is back — it’s next to the vinyl player.
Allt kommer tillbaka – musiken färdas genom tiden.
Ringo: It does. It’s incredible, and I’m lucky that the band I was in keep coming back on a daily basis, because the kids, every generation, still discover The Beatles. It blows me away, in all honesty. Every generation has a listen to us, you know? Now with the streaming, we’re streaming a lot. How great is that? Soon, I do believe they’ll be planting a little chip in our heads. It’d be set to music and it would just download direct.
Är du förvånad över hur ungdomar idag upptäcker The Beatles?
Ringo: Well, I was always being liked by the kids. But I love all the Beatle remasters because now you can hear the drums. When we started, if anything had to get lost, at first it was the bass drum. It got lower, lower, lower, lower, lower. It was like I was just playing snare for some of the tracks. Then with Giles [Martin] and the remastering, people can hear the drums and they’re like, “Is that you?” “Yeah, that’s me.” So far out. Giles did a great job about that. I love him.
Det verkar som om din musik alltid handlar om att få folk att kunna vara tillsammans, stämmer det?
Ringo: That’s the job of musicians. That’s what we do. That’s why I love playing live. I want to feel that love coming at me. You know what I mean? Feel that love and give it back — it’s spiritual. I think that’s why we keep going. I remember when we were opening in England for Helen Shapiro [in 1963]. She had this band and we had three songs at the beginning. I was talking to her band and I’m saying, “How old are you? 40? And you’re still doing it?” Because at that age you think 5 years is a long time. But I’m 80 and I still want to do it.
Hur är det att spela musik på avstånd?
Ringo: Friendship is a very important thing. Doing it on Zoom is the only way right now we can come together. When we played that original “Come Together,” we were all in the same room. Now it’s like, “Okay, here’s you, here’s me.’” But it’s the only way, so it’s great musicians are making so much use of it. If this is the only way, okay, we’ll go with it.
I’ve always loved hanging out with musicians. If you play anything, I’ll play with you all night. I’ve never been able to sit there by myself. I just need you to play something and I’ll play with you.
Du spelade tillsammans i somras med så många vänner under ditt 80-årsfirande i tv-specialen.
Ringo: Yeah, we used to have a couple thousand people down in Hollywood. We’d have bands playing for my birthday and we’d have a cake.
This year, we couldn’t have any of that. But what we did do, that nobody knows — Barbara and I got in the car and we drove down to Beverly Hills. I bought a “Peace and Love” hand down there. It’s seven-foot tall, a scuplture of my hand. We went there and had our picture taken by it. But don’t tell anyone.
Allt som du har är ett fotografi
Ringo: That’s all we’ve got. Now back off, Boogaloo. But I do get a lot of help from my friends, I’ll tell you that!
Din kamrat Paul McCartney är med i din nya video. Han har sitt eget album som kommer ut – McCartney III.
Ringo: He does, yeah — he’s playing everything. This is Phase Three for him, or Series Three, and it only took him 50 years. I got up with him at Dodger Stadium here. We’re good pals. If he’s in town, he comes, and if I’m making a record, I usually keep a track for him. He’s still the most brilliant bass player in my life. There’s a lot of really good players out there, but I don’t know any that are as melodic as him, and he understands it right away. When we were in the band together, we did have to have a few little talks, like the bass player and drummer, so we wouldn’t step on each other. But if we stepped on each other twice, that was a lot.
Du har också kommit ut med en ny bok om the All-starr Band. Hur kom den till?
Ringo: It’s all about the All-Starr Band’s 30 years. I put the band together in 1989 — I thought, “You don’t have a band,” so I opened my phone book and I called people and everyone – 30 Years was saying “yes.” The first All-Starr Band, I’m on drums, but we had Levon Helm because he plays and sings. And then I was so still insecure, I had Jim Keltner on the other side of me. We had three drummers!
We’ve had so many great players in the band. I keep changing the band, but only for the songs. The trick of the All-Starrs was you have to do the hits, and I was tired of begging Todd Rundgren every night to do “Bang the Drum.” He wanted to do anything but “Bang the Drum.” “Todd, you’ve got to do it. They know ‘Bang the Drum.’” But everybody does the best they can. That’s all we can ask. I mean, sometimes I’ve missed a break.
Det verkar svårt att tänka sig att du skulle ha missat ett break
Ringo: I think two in 30 years ain’t bad. But Levon was great, because some nights you play, you’re giving your all, just something’s not working. He’d see me walk off and he’d say, “It’s all right, boss. We’ll get them tomorrow.” So I’ve kept that in mind ever since, really.
I’ve always wanted it to be a band. I can’t go out there on my own doing [sings in crooner voice] “I Did It My Way,” just with drums. It’s not going to work. So I always need to play with someone. I do love to hang out with musicians and play all night. I don’t play on my own. Never found that exciting.
With this new song, “Here’s to the Nights,” I called Dave Grohl and Ben Harper — they were the first. I said, “What are you doing Monday? Well, I’ve got this song and I want you do some vocals on it for me.” “Okay.” The doorbell rings, here they are. So I go into the other room where the drums sound great and we play. That’s what I love.
Hur är det med din andra nya bok med dina målningar?
Ringo: It’s called ’Painting Is My Madness TOO’ because I always say, “Drumming is my madness.” Painting, that’s what’s kept me alive through the pandemic — making that EP and painting.
Två böcker och en skiva – du får alla andra att verka lata!
Ringo: [Laughs heartily.] Well, get off your ass and do it!
Videon Here’s To The Nights med Ringo Starr och med text. Lyssnarna uppmanas att skrika ut texten under videon! Shout Lyrics!