Ringo Thinks New Bands Deserve More Help



ringostarrFascinating little interview with Ringo Starr in Bloomberg this week. I won’t even bother with the fake indignation about a Beatle interview in a business publication. It’s always nice to hear what’s up with my big brother Ringo these days.

I suppose the highlight of the interview was his assertion that even in this digital age, it’s much tougher for Rock bands to make a go of it now than it was in the past. He was highly critical of streaming services not paying a fair share of royalties to the artists, making it clear he was not talking about the Beatles who are “doing fine, and we have the power where we can make a deal upfront.”

Ringo complained that established bands are not doing enough to help the up-and-comers. He said it makes him “crazy” that young bands have to pay in order to open for well-established acts, asking “who is giving back?” to the young bands. He claimed that he tries to get local bands to open for him whenever he can.

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He also lamented that while music clubs are the traditional training grounds for new bands, they are starting to disappear from the landscape:

It’s very hard now. It’s easier to become a celebrity on a TV show as a band for four months than work solidly. People think it just happened—we just woke up one morning and were Beatles. That’s not true. We worked very hard with the venues and put in the time.

It was also pretty interesting that Ringo still listens to vinyl and CDs at home, but that he also loves iTunes too. And when he’s in the car, he listens to the radio station from Cal State Northridge “because it’s such a mixed bag”. Amazing, an old Beatle still listening to the radio because he gets excited by hearing new and different things.

He’s also got some interesting things to say about Brexit and whether the Beatles would have still been touring in 2016. You can read the interview here.

Photo credit: By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney, Australia (Ringo Starr and all his band Uploaded by tm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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