The Beatles Apart: Ringo Starr

When the Beatles broke up in 1970, one would naturally fear for dearest Ringo Starr. The other three had established themselves as talented songwriters, but Ringo was, well, Ringo. He was a great drummer. But he was the funny one, the odd man out, the tone-deaf musician who depended upon the other three.  Stephen Colbert once proclaimed “Paul the cute one; John the smart one; George the quiet one; and Ringo the luckiest man on earth.” Sure enough, of the four musicians, Ringo was the least successful as a solo artist. But realizing this, he made up for it in other areas, adding such jobs to his resume as actor and entrepreneur. With low expectations, he recorded several huge singles, kept his name in the spotlight and over time has seemed to be the most comfortable with his status as an ex-Beatle. So what does a drummer do for a solo...

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The Beatles Apart: Paul McCartney

Perhaps no one in pop music history has been more decorated and recognized than Paul McCartney: Dozens of albums, scores of Top 40 hits, Grammy awards, an Oscar nomination, even a knighthood. Melodies seem to pour effortlessly from his head, as if they were there all along in nature, waiting to be found. Heck, he even dreamed the melody to “Yesterday.” In light of all the acclaim and fame, why has his solo career been so disappointing? Paul fought with his own ego and the ghost of John Lennon for years before realizing that (a) making a good album is hard work; (b) no one can replace Lennon as a songwriting partner. He was an album-making machine when the Beatles broke up, pouring out at least one album per year during the 1970s. But without John’s cynicism and vision reeling him in, the little Broadway tunes were even more apparent....

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The Beatles Apart: John Lennon

Resolved: That John Winston Ono Lennon, having been blessed with an extraordinary songwriting talent, a sharp wit and creative mind, has been duly canonized it such a way that the legend is bigger than reality. Be it further resolved that Mr. Lennon needed his former songwriting partner, James Paul McCartney, more than he would ever admit. All it took was one great visionary song, “Imagine,” to solidify John Lennon’s status as a solo artist. And granted, he had his share of hits during the 70s – enough to fill a greatest hits album. But a closer look at his success reveals some flaws: Was “Oh, Yoko!” anywhere close to the genius of “Strawberry Fields Forever”? Was the controversial “Mother” anywhere near the powerful “Revolution”? I’m not trying to soil John’s reputation nor deny his rightful place among songwriting legends. He was a gifted writer with a knack for poetic, powerful...

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