Sir Ringo Starr may be 81-year-old but he seems to show no sign of stopping. The Beatles drummer continues to write new songs with his latest EPs being the likes of Zoom In and Change the World. And apparently, his writing process is pretty energetic and spontaneous.
Express.co.uk caught up with one of Ringo’s collaborators Glen Ballard, who has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks and Lisa Marie Presley over the years.
While he was promoting Back to the Future the Musical, which he’s written the music and lyrics for alongside Alan Silvestri, we had a chance to ask Glen about songwriting with The Beatles drummer.
The lyricist and record producer has worked on Ringo 2012 and 2017 album Give More Love.
And while he’s collaborated with many music greats over the years, Glen admitted he was most awestruck doing so a member of the Fab Four.
Glen shared: “Well I have to say that’s the most intimated I can be because I think I’ve written three songs with Ringo.
“He calls me up and says, ‘Come over, we’re doing it today.’ I just show up and we literally write the song on the spot.
“The last time we did it he said, ‘Mac is coming in tomorrow so we have to finish this today.’”
Knowing Sir Paul McCartney would be visiting the next day was quite the shock.
Glen told Ringo: “Please don’t tell me that! Please don’t tell me Paul’s coming in tomorrow. I can’t take that. No pressure!” But they did manage to finish on time, much to the lyricist’s relief.
On being in The Beatles drummer’s presence and working alongside him, Glen shared: “He’s such a real human being. When you get in a room with him he’s just what you’d expect only more so.”
“It is intimating for me because I’ve been writing songs since I was five years old. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would get that opportunity. He seems to be getting younger so I’m trying to emulate that with good exercise.”
While on writing the music and lyrics of Back to the Future the Musical with Alan Silvestri, he said: “We discovered it lends itself perfectly to a two-act musical because we go to the fifties and we go to the eighties. From a musicians’ standpoint, just getting the flavours of those two periods’ music, which are quite different, gave us an opportunity.”
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Glen also confirmed that the Back to the Future theme does feature in the show. He continued: “We’re using it extensively throughout because every time you hear a note of his score you’re back in Hill Valley. So we already have a time machine, it’s called Alan Silvestri’s score.
“We just used it in the most strategic and beautiful way, interwoven with new songs and we still have the greats from the movie: Johnny B Goode, Power of Love, Back in Time, Earth Angel.
“We never wanted to dance around it. We wanted to firmly embed them where they belong. For us, it was just a gift.”
Back to the Future the Musical is playing at the Adelphi Theatre in London and tickets can be booked here.