you didn’t think i’d ignore my beloved beatles during a 1970s hits version of Guilty Pleasure Mondays, now, did you?
there’s definitely plenty of debate about the authorship of it don’t come easy. ringo is credited as co-writer along with his late, great pal george harrison. when you look at ringo’s earlier compositions (like this for example, his first credited), you cannot imagine he’d be capable of composing a song as musically complicated as this one. to be sure, it don’t come easy has a kick-ass sax section that screams a close kinship to savoy truffle, also a harrisong. (not to mention a vintage george guitar solo, all credited, of course.)
did george simply want to send his best pal off with a great start to a solo career? maybe. but whatever the case, ringo pulls this one off way better than george does in the demo, perhaps a guide vocal for his flat-toned pal. (not to mention that the hare krishna! yelled in the middle of the guitar solo of george’s version is rather weird — though if you listen carefully to ringo’s version, you can hear it there as well, albeit better hidden.)
ringo went on to have several other hits in the 1970s — photograph, you’re sixteen (which features macca on kazoo as well as a very young carrie fisher as the love interest in the video),Â and the no no song (the latter of which always made me laugh) to note. but none of them rock the way that it don’t come easy does.
i just love the fact that ringo conquered his alcoholism and went on to live a relatively happy life. ringo was always the most grounded and normal of the beatles. his son zak is actually a revolving member of my secret boyfriend list; he is far and away a better drummer than his dad. i’ve seen him hold up the who on more than one occasion, which has got to be a surreal gig for him. (how he goes from oasis to the who is surreal in itself, i suspect.)
but i digress. per usual.
anyhow, i hope i get to see ringo perform with one of his many all-star band outfits sometime before he stops playing. the only other beatle i ever saw live was macca, so i feel an obligation to support the only other living beatle. and i’m sure if i see him, he will probably close the show with this guilty pleasure song of mine. and i wish him continued success. musical success may not come easy, especially as a geezer gets older; but if you’re ringo starr and your best friend george writes you some great material (and credits you for it!), it certainly doesn’t come the hard way.