Ringo Starr


Ringo Starr : biography

7 July 1940 –

With the Beatles: 1962–1970

alt=Four greyscale images of the young Beatles with "mop-top" haircuts. Lennon (top left) is looking towards the left of the frame (his right), with exposed teeth. McCartney (top right) is facing forward with an opened mouth. Harrison (bottom left) has his right arm raised and his tongue stuck out slightly as if licking his lips. Starr’s teeth are visible, and his left eye is closed as if winking. All four are dressed in white shirts, black ties, and dark coats.

In January 1962 Starr quit the Hurricanes and briefly joined Sheridan in Hamburg before returning to Rory Storm for a third season at Butlins.: A second season with the Hurricanes at Butlins; : Starr quit the Hurricanes and briefly joined Sheridan in Hamburg; : Starr quit the Hurricanes and briefly joined Sheridan in Hamburg. On 14 August, Lennon asked Starr to join the Beatles; he accepted. On 16 August, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein fired their drummer, Pete Best, who recalled: "He said ‘I’ve got some bad news for you. The boys want you out and Ringo in … He said [Beatles producer] George Martin wasn’t too pleased with my playing [and] the boys thought I didn’t fit in." Starr first performed as a member of the Beatles on 18 August 1962, at a Horticultural Society dance at Port Sunlight.; ; . After his appearance at the Cavern Club the following day, Pete Best fans, upset by his firing, held vigils outside his house and at the club shouting "Pete forever! Ringo never!" Harrison received a black eye from one of the upset fans and Epstein, whose car tires had been flattened by them in anger, temporarily hired a bodyguard to ensure his physical safety.: Harrison received a black eye; : Epstein hired a bodyguard; (tertiary source).

Starr’s first recording session as a member of the Beatles took place on 4 September 1962. He stated that Martin thought he "was crazy and couldn’t play … because I was trying to play the percussion and the drums at the same time, we were just a four piece band". For their second recording session with Starr, which took place on 11 September 1962, Martin replaced him with session drummer Andy White while recording takes for what would be the two sides of the Beatles’ first single, "Love Me Do" backed with "P.S. I Love You". Starr played tambourine on "Love Me Do" and maracas on "P.S. I Love You" for this session. He commented: "I thought, ‘That’s the end, they’re doing a Pete Best on me.’" Martin clarified: "I simply didn’t know what Ringo was like and I wasn’t prepared to take any risks."

By November 1962 Starr had been accepted by Beatles fans, who were now calling for him to sing songs. Soon after, he began receiving an equal amount of fanmail as the others, which helped to secure his position within the band. Starr considered himself fortunate to be on the same "wavelength" as the other Beatles: "I had to be, or I wouldn’t have lasted. I had to join them as people as well as a drummer." He was given a small percentage of Lennon and McCartney’s publishing company, Northern Songs, but he derived his primary income during this period from a one-quarter share of Beatles Ltd, a corporation financed by the band’s net concert earnings. He commented on the nature of his lifestyle after having achieved success with the Beatles: "I lived in nightclubs for three years. It used to be a non-stop party." Like his father before him, Starr became well known for his late-night dancing and he received considerable praise for his skills, having honed his technique to a level previously thought unattainable in the UK.

During 1963, the Beatles enjoyed increasing popularity in England. In January, their second single, "Please Please Me" followed "Love Me Do" into the UK charts and a successful television appearance on Thank Your Lucky Stars earned them favourable reviews, leading to a boost in sales and radio play. By the end of the year, the phenomenon known as Beatlemania had spread throughout the country, and by February 1964 the Beatles had become an international success, performing on The Ed Sullivan Show to a record 73 million viewers. Starr commented: "In the states I know I went over well. It knocked me out to see and hear the kids waving for me. I’d made it as a personality … Our appeal … is that we’re ordinary lads.": "we’re ordinary lads"; : "I’d made it as a personality." He was a source of inspiration for several songs written at the time, including Penny Valentine’s "I Want to Kiss Ringo Goodbye" and Rolf Harris’s "Ringo for President". In 1964, "I love Ringo" lapel pins outsold all other Beatles merchandising. During live performances, the Beatles continued the Starr Time routine that had been popular among his fans: Lennon would place a microphone in front of Starr’s kit in preparation for his spotlight moment and audiences would erupt in their loudest screams. When the Beatles made their film debut in A Hard Day’s Night, Starr garnered much praise from critics, who considered both his delivery of deadpan one-liners and his non-speaking scenes highlights of the movie. The extended non-speaking sequences had to be arranged by director Dick Lester due to Starr’s lack of sleep the previous night, he commented: "Because I’d been drinking all night I was incapable of saying a line." Epstein attributed Starr’s acclaim to "the little man’s quaintness".