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John Lennon (1940-1980) of English rock and pop group The Beatles sits crossed legged during filming of the television musical film 'Magical Mystery Tour' in Newquay, Cornwall on 13th September 1967. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
History - Science
Psychic Connection
On The Q Interview with Tom Power, Starr highlighted his strong musical connection with Lennon, as he boasted, “When we were playing together we were the best band in the land. We knew each other. It was like psychic. I would be playing drums with my eyes closed, the headphones on, I'd know John was going to go somewhere and I'd drum in that.”
Starr’s Drumming
In Beatles lore, it’s debated if Lennon actually quipped about Starr, “Maybe Ringo Starr wasn't the best drummer in the world ... maybe he wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles.” However, Mark Lewisohn tweeted a 1981 clip of the BBC Radio show Radio Active, noting that the joke was written by Geoffrey Perkins and delivered by Philip Pope.
Critical Remarks
Lennon was proud of Starr as a solo performer because he didn't write songs while part of the Fab Four. Lennon said on The Tomorrow Show, “I'm most happy for Ringo's success because it always went round that Ringo was dumb but he ain't dumb. He just didn't have that much of a writing ability and he wasn't known for writing his own material.”
Career Advice
A Twitter post shows a postcard dated May 9, 1979 where Lennon offers advice for Starr's solo career path, including a tip to cover the jazz standard “How High the Moon,” which is probably best known for Les Paul and Mary Ford's 1951 version. Lennon also suggests in the postcard that Starr should record a disco version of the song with female vocal harmonies.
Honoring Lennon
Lennon wrote the song that became “Nobody Told Me” in 1976 and recorded a demo version for Starr, intending to offer the song to Starr for his 1981 solo album “Stop and Smell the Roses.” While Starr considered including the song on the album, he chose not to record any of Lennon's compositions after his former bandmate's untimely death.