Ringo Starr goes “crazy” over how hard it is for new artists to break into the industry.
The 76-year-old musician rose to fame as one fourth of hit band The Beatles and he’s also had an illustrious solo career since the group’s split in 1970. A lot has changed in the business since then and Ringo sympathises with the challenges facing modern musicians.
“I go crazy, because if you want to open for a well-known band you have to pay; management makes you pay. Who is giving back?” he fumed to Bloomberg Businessweek. “I did a Ringo tour once and had a local band at every gig open for us just to give them exposure. Nobody is helping anybody.”
Ringo also touched upon the disputes between artists and streaming services, which sees artists gaining little financial benefit from them. The drummer is determined to support emerging musicians, especially after hearing about one musician who reportedly only earned $5 for 12 million streams online.
“For an artist starting off, there’s no clubs for them to play in,” Ringo sighed. “The venues have gone down. It’s very hard now. It’s easier to become a celebrity on a TV show as a band for four months than work solidly. People think it just happened – we just woke up one morning and were Beatles. That’s not true. We worked very hard with the venues and put in the time.”
In December last year (15) material by The Beatles – which also included Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison – was made available to stream for the first time ever through services like Tidal and Spotify.
Quizzed on why the decision had been agreed now, Ringo simply put it down to having to “move with the times”.
“We were late to iTunes… but went there so you could buy the tracks. Streaming is huge now, so we’re moving on. Who knows what’s going to be next? What’s Kanye West going to think of?,” he joked.