On the eve of his 69th birthday, musicians praise the oft-underrated drumming of Ringo Starr.
To this day, producers direct studio drummers to "play like Ringo." Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith sums it up thusly: "The greatest thing a drummer can contribute to a recorded song is the feel of it, and every Beatles song feels great."
Ringo "doesn't dazzle with flashy technique and pyrotechnics," says The Cars' lead guitarist, Elliot Easton. "What he does is so much more elusive and difficult: He plays songs on the drums. Anybody who has sat down behind a drum kit in the last 45 years owes him."