Ringo in Reno: 5 songs to look forward to
I'd like to be, in a front seat, at the Ringo Starr concert at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. (If you sing that to the tune of "Octopus's Garden" the first part sounds great.) Real talk, I have been a huge fan of The Beatles for many years now, but it wasn't until I played "The Beatles: Rock Band" in the fall of 2009 that I really appreciated the man behind that iconic Ludwig drum set.
Here are the five songs I am most looking (hearing?) forward to during Ringo's Reno concert on Oct. 19.
This song isn't just one of my favorite Ringo songs, it is one of my favorite songs period. Co-written by The Beatles guitarist George Harrison, the song was a featured single from Starr's 1973 album "Ringo." Harrison wasn't the only former fab four member to appear on the album, as John Lennon and Paul McCartney also contributed to the record.
The song was featured in the 2009 film "Funny People" and was covered by the film's star Adam Sandler. Both Ringo's and Sandler's versions were available on the soundtrack. While Sandler is known for playing comedy songs on his albums, his cover of "Photograph" is a fantastic tribute to what I consider to be a classic track.
It Don't Come Easy (1971)
I am warning you right now, this song will not just get stuck in your head, it will full on move into you head and claim squatter's rights when you try and kick it out. While re-listening to the song in preparation for this article, I couldn't stop at just one listen, I was averaging about 2 to 3 an hour. The song was released as a single in 1971 and made it to No. 4 on both the U.S. and U.K. singles charts.
I've always loved this song for two reasons. First, I'm a sucker for horn sections and "It Don't Come Easy" has a great jazzy ensemble that complements the rock elements of the song perfectly. Second, I'm a fool for a guitar solo, and while this one is more mellow than face melting, it fits like a perfect, groovy glove.
Yellow Submarine (1966)
While "Yellow Submarine" was a Lennon-McCartney classic from The Beatles 1966 album "Revolver," it is Ringo who steals the show on lead vocals. In a time when the band was transitioning away from the pop hits that made them big, "Yellow Submarine" showed they still had a playful side to them.
For me "Yellow Submarine" is the song people of all ages can enjoy, which makes it a great sing-a-long for every situation. I dare you to walk into a room singing the course, and you will see just how many people join in. I have also been known to sing the chorus in German, but only during nights at the pub.
Octopus's Garden (1969)
Did you guys really think I would reference this song at the top and not include it in my list? Of course you didn't. Written and sung by Ringo, "Octopus's Garden" always brings a smile to my face when it queues up during Abbey Road. While it isn't my favorite song by the Beatles (unlike Zooey Deschanel's character from "500 Days of Summer") I still believe it should get more credit than it does.
The reason I love it so much is it doesn't really sound like a Beatles song. It's got a slightly country-western feel with that slick guitar lead (and that guitar solo), but just like "Yellow Submarine" the song just makes me happy, and that is due to Ringo's catchy and fun lyrics.
Act Naturally (1965)
"Act Naturally" is a cover of the Buck Owens and the Buckaroos song of the same name, but it feels, well, a natural fit for Ringo when he performed it on the "Help!" album. The Beatles performed this song sporadically during their touring days, and Ringo has performed it during solo concerts. As a man who is a fan not only of classic country but of Ringo, The Beatles, and movies, "Act Naturally" is the sleeper song that would make this concertgoer the happiest guy in the room.
Do you have a favorite Ringo-centric song I left of my list? Leave a comment below and we can fill the thread with fantastic Ringo jams, my second favorite jams right behind raspberry.