Discussion: The Beatles "Old Brown Shoe" - Paul or Ringo on drums?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by HotelYorba101, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Devilscucumber

    Devilscucumber Forum Resident

    To all those who say Ringo was away filming Magic Christian, (filmed around London), and out as far as a 45min drive (then) away in Chobham, there was nothing to stop him attending the 7pm - 10pm (scheduled) session. If the drumming appears a bit sloppy for Ringo, it might be the early starts on-set affecting him.
    Lewisohn details that George completed a new demo for OBS in the afternoon session 2.30-5pm, before the other Beatles arrived, it goes on to mention Ringo on drums, 4 takes and an over-run of time to 2.45am, all very specific, even allowing for some inaccuracy. Can't imagine Ringo wanting to stay late, all conjecture of course.
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  2. georgepearrison

    georgepearrison Forum Resident

    A couple things I was thinking about:
    1. They had access to the session tapes. It’s likely that if you listened to all of this session that it would be mentioned or inferred in the chatter between takes that it was Paul playing the drums
    2. Paul often instructed Ringo on what to play or gave him ideas for beats and drum patterns, so there is some intermingling of their styles. Not to mention Paul listened to Ringo play for 7+ years at that point and could probably pull a credible “Ringo”

    I will admit it sounds like Ringo to me, but I’m inclined to believe the book and Sam Okell
  3. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Obviously it is Bernard Purdie... c'mon man!
  4. BadJack

    BadJack Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    I just don't think that those unison triplets are within Paul's drumming ability. Paul plays with a looseness that this track (and Ringo) does not have. This song just doesn't sound like the guy who plays on "Back in the USSR" and "Jet", and it shows off drumming chops that McCartney has never displayed on any other recording before or since.
  5. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Forum Resident

    Carbondale, IL USA
    Ringo sings on this, right? I always assumed he sang with George the line: "wear rings on every finger." Were the vocals done in the same session? Also, if Ringo had not played the drums, wouldn't he have been a bit chuffed to not play on either side of the next Beatles single? Or maybe he just didn't care at this point.
    tug_of_war, RAJ717 and akmonday like this.
  6. beatleroadie

    beatleroadie Forum Resident

    With all this debate I can't believe no one has suggested the alternative...that it's neither Paul nor Ringo playing drums on OBS.. Maybe John was so hot to get Ballad out, and Ringo was unavailable, so they quickly and secretly drafted a session musician or friend from another band to drop in. Top secret. George brought in Eric for WMGGW. He could have brought in someone to drum cuz Ringo was unavailable, if he didn't want Paul drumming his song. The AR50 book is just a big cover up ;)
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  7. Autotune Sucks

    Autotune Sucks Forum Resident

    Little Rock, AR
    Or a late-period comeback by Pete Best!
    jwjeffrey, Hammerpeg and Keith V like this.
  8. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I would suggest maybe Yoko was drumming, but nah it sounds actually good and the drum track has no banshee screaming being picked up on the mics lol
  9. Vic_1957

    Vic_1957 Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    Been there, done that! LOL Actually, it was someone on that site that sent me here to read an old thread started by the one and only... Bobby Whitlock.
    phillyal1 and HotelYorba101 like this.
  10. Vic_1957

    Vic_1957 Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    There is conflicting info on who played bass... some say George; some say Paul. The article on the Beatles Bible site says:
  11. geo50000

    geo50000 Forum Resident

    Canon City, CO.
    In a Creem interview, Harrison claims to have played bass:
    • Creem: You also told me you played bass on “Old Brown Shoe.”
    • George: It’s like a lunatic playing.
    • Creem: It sounds like McCartney was going nuts again.
    • George: That was me going nuts. I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.
  12. akmonday

    akmonday Forum Resident

    berkeley, ca
    doesn't ringo sing on this during the 'i'll be a singer/rings on every finger' lines? it would be weird if he sang on this but didn't play drums. but, I'd always heard it was Paul on this too.
  13. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger

    There’s another version with the Purdie shuffle on it.
    gregorya likes this.
  14. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Jersey City, NJ
    The open hihats before the fills lead me to believe it's Ringo. But who knows now?
    pantofis likes this.
  15. jmxw

    jmxw Forum Resident

    A sense of humor John may have had, but he never said that... :tsk:
    Evethingandnothing likes this.
  16. jmxw

    jmxw Forum Resident


    MortSahlFan and andrewskyDE like this.
  17. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

    I think he rushes more than drags, but it's probably a sign of not feeling the pocket.. Not 'rock steady' like Ringo that's for sure.
    O Don Piano likes this.
  18. writteninwater

    writteninwater Forum Resident

    It sounds like Paul to me. It has that stompy homey sound of "The Ballad of John and Yoko".
    JDeanB likes this.
  19. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Gosh! I'd never thought to question that one. Many thanks. Turns out it was Dylan that said it.........

    jmxw likes this.
  20. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    It is kinda wierd seeing screenshots of my twitter conversations appear in forum threads.....
    Scott57, JDeanB, BeatlesBop and 4 others like this.
  21. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hope you don't mind of course, I saw it in the Abbey Road thread and now in the case of Old Brown Shoe is seemingly being admitted as evidence in the Beatles court to help try and decide this case of drummers lol
  22. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    No i don’t mind. It is just a reminder of the world we live in today. I was initially also wondering why anyone would check to see the conversation. To check if i lied? I did report the answer back, despite it not being what i thought it would be.
  23. btomarra

    btomarra Senior Audiophile Still Learning

    Little Rock, AR
    According to Mark Lewisohn’s book it was Ringo. Live instruments: Drums (Ringo), lead guitar and vocals (George), jangle piano (Paul), rhythm guitar (John). 13 takes of Something (first attempt) were recorded on the same day, (Wednesday 16 April). Ringo is noted by him on drums for that song also. He listened to the session tapes in compiling his book. Since I wasn’t there I have no way to dispute it. And Paul can’t play piano and drums at the same time in a live recording session.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  24. willwin

    willwin Forum Resident

    Gila likes this.
  25. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    Lewisohn’s book, by his own admission, has many errors and omissions. It no longer has the same rep.

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