Ringo On His “Silly Fills” with The Beatles

By chrisgrainger / February, 26, 2013 / 0 comments

I read this interview with Ringo (by Robyn Flans) from December 1981’s Modern Drummer and was quite shocked. Imagine being in The Beatles and not knowing how influential you were and also being misunderstood by your fellow bandmembers/producer. Take a listen to “Strawberry Fields” as just one example. Those drum fills are played with such imagination, feel and taste… they are tremendous!


RS: I was really brought down when he (George Martin) had this other drummer, but the record came out and made it quite well and from then on, I was on all the other records, with my silly style and silly fills. They used to call it “silly fills.”

RF: Who?

RS: Everyone used to sort of say, “Those silly fills he does.”

RF: And yet, it turned drumming around for a lot of people.

RS: But we didn’t know that then. Everyone put me down—said that I couldn’t play. They didn’t realize that was my style and I wasn’t playing like anyone else—that I couldn’t play like anyone else. So all these things made up these so-called “funny fills,” but it was the only way I could play. And then later on, after I was always put down as a drummer with “his silly fills and he can’t play,” I came to America and met Keltner and people like that who were telling me they were sick of going in the studio, because they’d only been asked to play like me. So it was very good for my ego, and it turned out that I wasn’t silly after all.


What do you think?

N.B. The reproduction of the quoted material above is used completely for the purpose of discussion and all rights remain with Modern Drummer magazine.

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