Interview for Club Sandwich • Summer 1997

Ringo Starr interview about "Flaming Pie"

Press interview • Interview of Ringo Starr
Published by:
Club Sandwich
Interview by:
Laura Gross
Timeline More from year 1997

Album This interview has been made to promote the Flaming Pie Official album.

Master release

Songs mentioned in this interview

Beautiful Night

Officially appears on Flaming Pie

Don't Pass Me By

Officially appears on The Beatles (Mono)

Octopus's Garden

Officially appears on Abbey Road

Really Love You

Officially appears on Flaming Pie

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Tell me how you came to work with Paul again, this time round.

He had this song he wanted me to play on. And that’s what happened – I went down to his studio and we played on the track. What’s it called?

‘Beautiful Night’!

Yeah, I’m sorry! He invited me to play on ‘Beautiful Night’ and I said “Sure”. I think it’s a beautiful track, and while we did that we started jamming. He had a few ideas for a jam, playing his bass. I love to play drums when Paul’s playing bass – he’s such a fine player, still the most melodic. We were just jamming and he was shouting these words, and it turned into a song. Jeff Lynne was playing a little plunky guitar too – it was just the three of us and it turned out fine, just finding a pattern and playing it – it’s organic, it grows. It was a fun day and I like to hang out with Paul and Linda.

Do you still feel the magic?

I still feel really comfortable playing with Paul, yes. We have all that history and it comes into play when we work together. You can’t just dismiss that. You’re never going to lose the closeness of those eight years we spent together. We played some great music and we were brothers; no matter what goes on up and down, we were very close. I don’t know of any other band who got that close. And we got that close because we loved each other and the pressure that only the Beatles had. No other band has had that much pressure. So all of those factors come into play when we meet each other. We know what went on. Nobody else knows. Everybody thinks they know, and they have ideas, and they write books about it, but actually only the Beatles know how heavy that was. Paul and I used to work very hard. A lot of it fell into place, but the drummer and the bass player have a foundation to set, for everything else to be able to go on. And as I say, he is the most melodic bass player. He plays melodies within the melodies. He’s like the sea bed, or I’m the sea bed and he’s the bottom water, and everything goes up from there. Like bubbles.

Paul has drummed on most of the tracks, with the exception of the ones that you’re on.

Yeah, Paul has a style of drumming. And so does George, and so did John. They all had this style. It just happens to be a fact that I’m the drummer! (Laughs.)

‘Really Love You’ is the first time you and Paul have been credited as writing together, just the two of you.

Well, I was surprised when I spoke to Paul, because we did just make it up as we went along. He called me and said I was sharing the credit and I said, “Thank you very much”. I wasn’t expecting anything. It’s like, “you play on my albums through the years, and I’ll play on yours”. I don’t get union rate! You know, we usually have dinner and send each other flowers and that’s it.

You are also singing on ‘Beautiful Night’.

I’m singing on the return at the end, yeah. He said, “You can sing this” and I said “Okay, thanks. What notes are they?” and sang them. When we go and do his song he’s in charge. I mean, I can give him everything I’ve got, but he’s written the song and he has a programme for it. If I do something that changes it and he likes it, then we’ll do that. But he is Mr McCartney when we do his song. And I’m Mr Ringo when we do mine. We’re just musician buddies. In the Beatles and in all sorts of studio creations, it’s like, if I write the song, it goes like this. And it’s always been the writer’s direction. John would direct his, Paul directed his, George directed his, and I directed ‘Octopus’s Garden’ and ‘Don’t Pass Me By’.


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