Ringo Starr Glad to Be Heard Better on Beatles’ White Album Reissue
Ringo Starr thanked Giles Martin, son of George Martin and producer of the recently released expanded version of the Beatles' White Album, for making it possible to hear his drumming more clearly in the 1968 LP and its accompanying bonus material.
Rolling Stone reported that, with the new mixes, fans were able to better enjoy the power and energy Starr injected, singling out “Long, Long, Long,” “Yer Blues” and the 13-minute version of “Helter Skelter” as prime evidence that he was the “heartbeat” of the band.
Calling it “really far out to hear it,” Starr said "I love it because it’s remastered and you can really hear the drums.” With a comedic evil laugh he continued, “I have to pay Giles extra for that. ‘Yer Blues’ is my favorite, only because of we were in a 10-foot room, not that huge room at EMI. And we were like a band again, you know – like a little club band. But ‘Long, Long, Long,’ I was talking to Olivia [Harrison, George Harrison’s wife] about this. Before, ‘Long, Long, Long’ was actually just part of the album. But with the remaster, it is sensational. So beautiful – it’s very moving. And I didn’t think we got that a hundred years ago, when we made it.”
He noted that “singers love the way I play … I don’t play all over them,” referring to Harrison in “Long, Long, Long” and John Lennon in “Yer Blues.” “I played with the singer – that’s how I’ve always played," he said. "If he’s singing, I sort of just hold it together. But if there’s some emotional move I’ve got, it just comes out, usually though when they’re not singing. So it can stand up beautiful. And we have to thank Giles. There’s a lot of information in this package, and, you think, ‘Aaah, why don’t we just put the album out?’ But I mean, it’s the new way.”
Along with a new All Starr Band tour, Starr has just completed a new photo book, Another Day in the Life, and said he enjoyed the experience of putting it together. “We were four lads who loved to play,” he said. “And we made some good music. And it’s continuing, with the new White Album.”
In the book, he recalls in his own way how the iconic cover of Abbey Road came about: “We were sitting in the studio thinking, ‘We need a cover, let’s go to Hawaii! Let’s go to Egypt! Oh, sod it, let’s just walk across the road.’”