Everybody loves beating on Ringo Starr -- he's got a weird face, they say, and isn't he the one who wrote that song about the submarine? Don't forget too that apocryphal tale of someone asking John Lennon if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, to which he allegedly replied, "He isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles."
There's also the very real quote from longtime producer George Martin:
''[Lennon] was the soul of the Beatles, Harrison was the spirit,'' he said. ''Paul was the heart, and Ringo was the drummer.''
Well, there won't be any Ringo-bashing here, no sir. The 71-year-old former Beatle is still touring, and he's coming to Hard Rock Live tonight at 8. As a primer -- and a lesson for anyone who might think of Ringo as the Meg Griffin of Liverpool -- here are seven pieces of evidence from A Hard Day's Night, the Beatles' 1964 feature film, that show why Richard Starkey is definitely the most badass Beatle.
1. He came up with the name of the movie.
No-brainer here. "A hard day's night" was one of many "Ringoisms" -- things he'd say that made just enough sense to, you know, write songs about and stuff. (For anyone interested: The movie title came first -- the song was after that.)
2. He's the dealer.
Bored on the train ride to their television appearance, the boys want to play some cards. Ringo takes charge when no one else will, giving 'em the old Liverpool shuffle and winning-- even though that rat Lennon is cheating:
3. While the other Beatles goof off, Ringo's smoking cigs and pondering life.
4. He rejects a cougar.
5. He's the one who gets invited to the high-end gambling hall.
6. He ditches the backstage shenanigans for an adventure.
He doesn't care about the antics. He's a musician, and he needs a little time to himself every once in a while. Of course, the time he spends brooding in the streets eventually leads him to...
7. He stirs up enough trouble to get himself arrested.