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“Time To Play B-Sides”- “Early 1970”- Ringo Starr. This might not be at the top of any lists of greatest B-sides ever- but it is one of my favorites. “Early 1970” the B-side to Ringo’s greatest A-side “It Don’t Come Easy” is a peace offering to his brothers John, Paul and George. Ringo’s lyrics talk about the current personal lives of Paul, John and George -in that order- and speculate on the chances of them making music together again.

Of all The Beatles inter-group relationships- John and Paul, John and George, George and Paul- there were at times tension. John and Paul looked at George as a junior partner- especially in songwriting and while they were no doubt happy George in the second half of The Beatles was coming up with some songwriting gems- he was moving into their territory. George felt his songs weren’t getting the attention they deserved and resented it. There was the rivalry between John and Paul on who was coming up with the better songs- for the next single for example. Towards the end there was a lot of squabbling. The one consistent was Ringo. Ringo was usually on good terms with everyone. In the post- Beatles years all three of the others would write songs for Ringo or perform on his albums [it never happened that all four were together though at one time.} Ringo was the most ordinary Beatle- and he wasn’t a threat to the others with his songwriting. He knew what his strengths and weaknesses were.

The original title for Early 1970- was “When Four Knights Come To Town.” Note- I read that last night Ringo appeared on stage and played a couple songs with Paul at Paul’s Dodger Stadium concert.

9 responses to ““TIME TO PLAY B-SIDES”- “EARLY 1970” RINGO STARR

  1. Brilliant writing Hans and very interesting. The song is pure Ringo. I’ve read some sad stuff about Ringo–that he was disrespected, especially by Paul. Paul felt he was a better drummer that Ringo was. My daughter who is better read on The Beatles than I am says, McCartney was indeed a better drummer. I don’t buy it. Ringo was superb. He was content to be a drummer. He was a specialist. George was disrespected as well. I think he would have been a bigger presence if he was more assertive. Here Comes the Sun is so delightful and brilliant. Its exuberant thankfulness that the veil of depression has lifted is so poignant.

    • I agree with you on Ringo’s drumming. I think because Paul is a competent drummer that folks want to make that comment. He could fill in and do a competent job sure but he was no Ringo on the drums… George- I think being younger- and in the presence of two very strong personalities John and Paul- had it rough. They always looked at him as a junior partner as they did Ringo. Also with George his songwriting abilities weren’t there at the start- but certainly flourished in the second half of the group. Even George Martin has said that he didn’t give George the encouragement that he should have. ..the most notorious incident between Paul and Ringo was when John and George sent Ringo- to Paul’s house to try and get Paul to wait on releasing his first solo album as to not be at the same time as Let It Be- and Paul went ballistic on him- which really hurt Ringo. …. I just listened again to All Things Must Pass yesterday- what a brilliant batch of songs George had- I was thinking if The Beatles had stayed together what would they have done? George and 2 songs an album not going to work in the early 70s.

    • No. They would have had to collaborate respectfully with George. John, I think, could have come around to that. In fact, John was in awe of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Just think, While My Guitar…was released as the B side to Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da–possibly the worst Beatles song ever. There’s not too many bad ones but it’s a stinker, I think. And guess who wrote it?

    • I agree it was a stinker… and I have to shake my head- reading how the other Beatles were frustrated with all the time they worked on Maxwell’s Silver Hammer because Paul thought he had a great one going there… that is even worse than Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da IMO

    • Oh my gosh! How could I forget that one?…Ugh. You know what, Hans? This would make a good post…The worst Beatles songs. You’ve probably all ready did it.
      But those, sickly, surypy sweet, cutsey, tendencies of Paul, produced Hey Jude and more aptly A Day In The Life…Yeah, I know, John wrote the majority of the song, but that middle part that Paul wrote, put it over the hemisphere of good.

    • I haven’t done that post- Worst Beatles songs..that would be a great post. I think towards the end John wasn’t there all the time to curb those tendencies Paul had. Too busy with Yoko etc..

    • Yeah…Don’t get me started on that. I much more admired Paul’s personal life to John’s. Even though, sometimes, I wanted to run my finger down my throat. Especially with Wings. Why couldn’t Linda be what she was? A fantastic photographer. What’s wrong with that? No. He had to turn her into a joke, fake playing the keyboards. Embarrassing. And embarrassing that she went for it.

    • She wasn’t a musician. Like you said she was a photographer- she could have been kept busy doing that. Paul as far as his music goes- I think at times the ‘crowd pleaser’ in him took control. and Yoko was an artist she should have stuck to her art! Singing wasn’t her thing.

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