Producer Mark Hudson says Ringo Starr is the best drummer on the planet
After working over the years with some of the best drummers in the Worlds including Gregg Bissonette, Vinnie Colaiuta, Phil Collins and Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer, Grammy-winning Beatles fan Mark Hudson knows drummers. And he says Ringo Starr bests them all. “I’ve worked with every great drummer on the planet,” Mark Hudson tells Vintage Rock. “Ringo Starr is the greatest rock drummer that I’ve ever heard — and I can tell you why: He plays the song, and that’s what the difference is. Other guys are grooving, and paradiddling. Ringo Starr plays the song.”
Hudson, of course, spent a decade working as Ringo Starr’s producer, beginning with 1998’s Vertical Man and including 2005’s Choose Love, before they split during the sessions for 2008’s Liverpool 8. Hudson also oversaw a series of live sets. He says he never ceased to be amazed. “Ringo knows when not to do a fill, and knows when to do a fill,” Hudson adds, noting that he approaches the drums from the right, even though he’s left
handed. “That’s why it’s so dynamic,” he says. “As opposed to the right hand, he comes on with the left — and his drum fills are different than anybody else’s. I loved it. Every record that I did with him, I learned something.”
Hudson mentioned another drummer, also with Beatles connection, who shares Ringo Starr’s passion for song: Alan White. Most famous for his work with Yes, White was also a member of John Lennon’s early Plastic Ono Band lineups, playing on the first solo Lennon concert, on the hit single “Instant Karma” and on sessions for Imagine at the turn of the 1970s.
Hudson takes particular note of White’s execution on “maybe the single best drum fill in the history of drumming — the second verse of ‘Instant Karma.’ Every time I’m with him, I make him play it. He gets pissed off at me, but I do it everytime, no matter what.”