Walker For Ringo

Let’s Put the Beatles Back Together Again 1970-2010

By Jeff Walker, author

Bruncher Jeff Walker reports on a few notable tunes from Ringo's ASB European tour.  Don't miss an upcoming Beatle Brunch Show Special featuring Ringo, July 10th.

 

It’s remarkable that Ringo, now in his 8th decade for heaven sakes, is not only still touring but still cranking out excellent original songs with his various co-writers. Just take his most recent CD ‘Y Not’, with a very cool looking Ringo on the cover. The entire album is a blast from start to finish. As much as I love the solo Beatles, there ain’t too many of their albums one can say that about. At first I would have exempted from my rave the track ‘Peace Dream’, co-written with George’s old pal Gary Wright. I thought, this has to be the most naive ‘peace and love’ song ever written. But after a few more listens I began to dig the tune. And then I began to think, ‘Maybe there IS a place for a naive peace song with a nice tune; how many other pop artists would even pause to try and imagine a more peaceful world? If the notion doesn’t even enter the heads of our artists, how likely is it to make the agendas of our politicians?
 
‘Choose Love’ is a classic Ringo rocker in Beatles mode, with allusions to his Beatles past for fans, but not overdoing it. It also combines Ringo themes such as surviving hard times and the desirability of placing all one’s dreams, goals and activity in the overall context of love. It’s the return of ‘All You Need is Love’ in hard-drive. Of course, that Lennon/Beatles classic has always been criticized for its naiveté, but I suspect Lennon was trying to say: ‘Make love your prime motivator and all the rest will fall into place’.
 
‘The Other Side of Liverpool’ was doubtless a response to some hot water Ringo got himself into after remarking on radio that he didn’t really miss anything about Liverpool. Liverpudlians were not amused. This song is Ringo’s explanation, not apology, for what he said. Unlike the other three Beatles, he had it VERY rough growing-up poor in the poorest part of town. The utterly unglamorous Dingle was HIS Liverpool, a Liverpool to escape some day. He reaches out in the lyrics to thank his old friends of that era for helping him get through it. It’s rather moving actually. High marks for placing honest feelings above sentimentality. By the way, I would link both Ringo’s Liverpool songs, ‘The Other Side of Liverpool’ and then ‘Liverpool 8’ to create something we could call Ringo’s ‘Liverpool Epic’.
 
As for ‘Back Off Boogaloo’, here’s a rocker that had every right to go straight to number one. I can still recall how startled I was to hear for the first time this Beatles-mode slasher of a track. It’s jet-propelled by some of George’s most wicked guitar riffs and a big back-up chorus. And you gotta love those wacky cynical Ringo lyrics, whether they’re a dig at Paul or someone else. This is not great Ringo; this is great Beatles.

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