Monday Music Muse: Blame Ringo
Why Ringo Starr may not be the lovable Liverpudlian the world’s most liberal media portray him to be.
By Maria Popova
In 2007, four fantastic musicians came together in Brisbane to form an equally fantastic band. It was called Goodnight Vienna. Then they got a legal threat — from none other than Richard Starkey Jr., better known to the rest of us as Ringo Starr. Turns out, Goodnight Vienna was the name of Ringo’s fourth studio album and although he “thoroughly enjoyed the music,” he felt “obligated to dissuade any profiteering which resulted from the use of his intellectual property.”
So, naturally, the band changed its name to Blame Ringo.
Today, Blame Ringo is on a mission to seek revenge on Ringo — which, of course, is just a tongue-in-cheek front for imparting their excellent music on the unsuspecting world. And excellent it is — if Fleet Foxes, Beck, I’m From Barcelona and Guillemots went on tour together, Blame Ringo would be that tour — vocals that flow from hauntingly cloudiness to peppy sunlight, guitar solos that can put George Harrison to shame, and an occasional jazzy trumpet that’s like the dash of cinnamon on top of your cappuccino, taking it from delicious to pure delight.
And, yes, there may be a bit of that Beatlesque vibe in there, too.
But what we loved most about the band was their wonderful and clever promo for Garble Arch, the first single from their debut album Lucky Number 9 — A Day in the Life of Abbey Road, an utterly delightful stop-motion video shot on, yes, the Abbey Road.
So if you’re a Beatles aficionado, an appreciator of quirk, or just a lover of really, really good music, grab Lucky Number 9 and join the conspiracy. And take a moment to explore the band website, full of delightfully hilarious nuggets of anti-Ringo propaganda.
Published March 2, 2009