the ringo joke

There was a joke I once heard that made fun of Ringo Starr. The joke went like this “who was the luckiest person in the 60s?” the answer was Ringo Starr. Not a good joke in my book, I love Ringo. In the early days when Jeff Healey played Grossman’s I tried to get to him, I sensed he might be thrilled to be positioned to play free if only somebody helped turn his ear and technique in that direction but it was too late, things were happening fast and his band was tight knit and protective. A manager and others were like insulation around him. There was no getting to him in a 1 on 1 way to explore improvising, assuming he even would have enjoyed playing with me. It was pretty cool watching someone without eyesight play an electric guitar sideways on their legs and get great tone and velocity. Made you wonder if everyone had it all wrong playing the guitar against their torso. Tom and Joe, his band, seemed like two guys who showed up to the jam session and lucked out. They didn’t give off much in the humble department neither did they seem as connected to music that way Jeff did. Sometimes I used to think of that Ringo joke when I watched them backing up Jeff.

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