Any of a hundred Beatles songs would prove the point, so I'll randomly pick "Come Together." Without Ringo's repeated pattern - bob-bob on the bass drum followed by a floating chi-chi-chi-chi on the hi-hat, and concluding with a melodic fluttering babada-bop on his low-tuned toms - it wouldn't be the same song. What it would be is a lesser song.
Q: Did you hear about the drummer who got into college?
A: Neither did I.
Ringo did not go to college. But he did take rock to school. He popularized the backbeat and the way to hold the sticks (gripping each the same rather than holding the left stick one way and the right stick another way - the traditional method back then). He even changed the sound of the drums, tuning them lower than others and muffling them.
But his enduring instruction was his remarkable feel. Technically undistinguished, Ringo created structures within a song that went far beyond keeping time or impressing with lightning-fast chops. His fills were perfect for the vocal phrasing here and the guitar solo there. He played with a patient, humble, attentive sensitivity that helped sculpt the song into its construction as much as the songwriters themselves did.
Q: What's the best way to confuse a drummer?
A: Put a sheet of music in front of him.
I have no idea what happens when someone puts a sheet of music in front of Ringo. But it doesn't matter. Ringo is a genius.