Ringo Starr Had A Cover So Bad George Harrison Planned To Sue
via Classic Rock on MV / Youtube
In the colorful Beatles history, there’s a story that often gets overshadowed by the band’s immense success and creative genius. It’s a tale of camaraderie, creative clashes, and a disputed song cover that almost led to legal action. The central character? None other than Ringo Starr, the beloved drummer of The Beatles.
As the 1960s rolled on, The Beatles transitioned from teen idols to musical trailblazers, exploring new sounds and pushing the boundaries of popular music.
While John Lennon and Paul McCartney took the reins of songwriting, George Harrison and Ringo Starr often found themselves on the sidelines. This dynamic didn’t sit well with Harrison, who eventually stepped out of the shadows with his soul-stirring album, ‘All Things Must Pass.’
Amidst his solo endeavors, Harrison crafted a beautiful song initially titled ‘Whenever,’ later renamed ‘When Every Song Is Sung.’ Originally intended for Shirley Bassey, the track made its way into the hands of various artists, but none could give it the life it deserved. Enter Ringo Starr, who sought Harrison’s permission to cover the song for his fifth solo album, ‘Ringo’s Rotogravure.’
With a nod from Harrison, the song, now titled ‘I’ll Still Love You,’ found its way into Starr’s album.
However, when Harrison heard Starr’s rendition, he wasn’t pleased. Describing it as “an old song of George’s,” Starr once said:
“I remembered the song from 1970. I always loved it and no one ever did it.”
Yet, the dissatisfaction ran so deep that Harrison contemplated legal action against his bandmate.
“I asked him if, instead of writing one, could I have that old one? He said fine; it saved him a job. It’s called ‘I Still Love You,’ a big ballady thing,” Starr had explained to NME.
The incident underscored Harrison’s deep attachment to his compositions and the importance of artistic interpretation. In the end, legal matters were resolved outside the courtroom, but the incident revealed the complexity of Harrison’s songwriting, his artistic integrity, and the delicate balance of creative expression within The Beatles.
The tale of ‘I’ll Still Love You’ serves as a reminder of the intricate relationships within The Beatles, reminding fans that behind the iconic melodies and harmonies, there were human emotions, creativity, and the occasional discord, making their musical journey all the more fascinating.
Listen to the song below: