The Beatles’ The End

Not sure how many people care about this, but I figured I’d tell Eric from Epic Collapse and anyone else who might interested that I did a bit of googling just now in an attempt to get a definitive answer on the question about the song The End.

For those who weren’t there tonight, I asked the question, “What Beatles song features Ringo Starr’s only drum solo in the entirety of the band’s catalogue?” The answer I was looking for is, “The End,” from the Abbey Road medley. Eric said he’d heard that Ringo didn’t actually perform the drum solo, and it was instead recorded by Paul McCartney (or, more specifically, Ringo performed a solo but they didn’t like it so Paul recorded a new one).

When we checked Wikipedia in the bar, the article supported my answer, but this kind of thing intrigues me, so I just pulled up a few other websites to see if I could find anything else. None of the first few pages of Google results appear to support Eric’s claim, but I did find a couple of things which might explain the dispute.

First, this site has a few quotes from Paul McCartney and one of the studio engineers which I think we can take as strong evidence that Ringo did indeed perform the drum solo in the song (assuming the quotes are accurate, but I have no reason to believe they aren’t). However, they also emphasize that Ringo really didn’t want to perform a solo at all, and they suggest that the drum solo wasn’t performed as a drum solo, strictly speaking, in the studio but was then turned into a clear drum solo in the mixing process.

Second, the comments on the song’s page at Songfacts indicate that there’s some sort of rumor out there about Eric Clapton playing an uncredited guitar solo in The End. I don’t know how prevalent that story is since I’ve never heard it before, but it certainly shows how someone could have also heard a story about someone else playing the drum solo.

Alright, this was a much longer post than I’d usually write for something like this, but like I said, I found the question interesting. Obviously, I like music trivia, which explains why the music round is always worth twice as many points as most of the other rounds. A normal results post for tonight’s Quiz should go up sometime tomorrow.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Beatles’ The End

  1. Ha! Well played. Another team guessed “Birthday” if only for the eight bars of drummage (a la “Wipe Out”) just before “Yes we’re going to a party party.” I kinda like their answer so perhaps fans should acknowledge Ringo as having *two* solos during his tenure with The Beatles… perhaps. :)

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