Ringo Starr once named his favourite Bob Dylan song

The connection between Bob Dylan and The Beatles is one of the most legendary in the history of rock music. At their first meeting in 1964, Dylan infamously turned the band onto cannabis, the drug that would fuel the band through their albums Help! and Rubber Soul. Dylan’s sound and songwriting also had a profound effect on the group, especially John Lennon, and tracks like ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ and ‘Norwegian Wood’ wouldn’t have existed without Dylan’s influence.

Lennon wasn’t the only admirer in the band. Ringo Starr was also heavily influenced by Dylan, appreciating the unique tones of his voice and the more introspective side to his lyric writing. While sitting down with ABC News back in 2009, Starr reminisced about his old friend and even pointed out the one Dylan song that he considers his favourite.

“You just got to love Bob,” Starr said. “My old-time favourite lately is ‘When The Deal Goes Down,’ and it’s just a beautiful love song. It’s this beautiful love song, he’s very romantic in a lot of songs, everyone listens to his wacky dream stuff, which is great. He moves me on that record.”

‘When the Deal Goes Down’ is one of Dylan’s more recent classics, having appeared on the 2006 album Modern Times. The title is one that stretches back through the history of music: Robert Johnson used it on his own ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’, which Dylan quoted in his 1978 song ‘Changing of the Guards’. The track could also be referencing ‘Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down’, a bluegrass classic recorded by the Foggy Mountain Boys that later served as the lyrical starting point for the Grateful Dead’s ‘Deal’. Dylan had previously written with Dead lyricist Robert Hunter on the albums Down in the Groove and Together Through Life.

Anyway, back to Ringo. “That’s why I like it. If it moves me, it’s the sentiment of the record and how he says it,” Starr claims. “But no one else can say it like that. We met him in the ’60s in New York. We just sort of bumped into him ever since. He’s just an incredible artist that is well-placed in the musical history of American music and world music, so I put Bob down because of all of that. You couldn’t do a list without mentioning Bob.”

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