BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - You don’t see his face much, but you can hear Ringo Starr’s drums behind Beck Black’s vocals in the new single “Who’s Gonna Save Rock n’ Roll”. The video for the song released this past Friday was just in time for the former Beatles’ drummer to celebrate his 80th birthday on July 7. Black, who grew up in Bladen County and graduated from UNCW, says she and Starr worked with the same sound engineer in Los Angeles, and that common thread ended up bringing their talents together.
“Ringo has been working with one of my engineers, Bruce Sugar, for about 17 years since 2003,” Black said. “Two years ago, Ringo heard the song that we had composed called ‘Who’s Gonna Save Rock n’ Roll', and he loved it. But Ringo was busy working on his own album that came out last year. He said ‘Man, this is a cool song. I don’t have time to play drums on it right now.”
Black said Starr agreed to let her and Sugar put some of his file drum tracks on the song. But it just didn’t seem to fit musically. It wasn’t until Sugar and Starr worked together this past January that “Who’s Gonna Save Rock n’ Roll” came up again.
“Bruce was at Ringo’s house in Malibu and somehow they started talking about the song,” she says. “Ringo remembered it and said, ‘You guys haven’t recorded drums on that yet? Let’s do it right now!’ Ringo recorded on his drum set, with his Beatles’ cymbals. He did four takes, and said ‘That will be three bucks’. He has a great sense of humor.”
An article in LA Weekly earlier this month previewed the livestream of Ringo’s 80th birthday celebration show. The writer, Brett Callwood, wrote “It’s been a busy week for Starr — he appears on the fantastic new song (and video) “Who’s Gonna Save Rock n’ Roll” by brilliant L.A. artist Beck Black”. High praise for the talented singer, songwriter and instrumentalist who decided to pursue music full-time over acting.
“I’ve been in Los Angeles for 13 years, so I’m glad to be an LA artist and a Carolina girl at the same time,” she says. “But, I have to be honest with you Jon, it’s not been the easiest time as an artist. The stage is bare, the lights are dim, I don’t know when we’ll ever be able to get back on a stage again and it breaks my heart. It feels like a part of me is missing because we’re not performing.”
Beck Black is going to release more material in the next few months. The band will release a nine-song record called Hollywood Boulevard this year. Beck’s other band called Jinx will also release material. Until then, you can find videos and links to Beck’s singles and Eps by going to beckblack.com.