Ringo Starr is an English musician, singer and actor. He achieved great fame as the Beatles' drummer, who continues to be one of the most commercially successful bands in the history of music, with more than a billion records sold to date. Although Ringo Starr was more in the shadow of Lennon and McCartney, he nevertheless contributed to the band's great success and unique sound. This biography below describes the life and influence of the "funny Beatle".
Richard Starkey Jr., better known by his pseudonym Ringo Starr, was born on July 7, 1940 in the English port of Liverpool. He is the only child of Richard Starkey Sr. and his wife Elsie. However, the marriage of the parents did not last long; they divorced in 1944.
Since there was no close connection with his father, the later drummer grew up with his mother. At the age of six, the young Starkey developed appendicitis. After a routine appendectomy, however, he suffered from an infection of the peritoneum and fell into a coma for three days. For the recovery he needed a year, which he had to spend at the Children's Hospital.
After his release, the future Beatle often skipped school, so he was still an illiterate at the age of eight. In 1953, Richard fell seriously ill with the bacterial infectious disease tuberculosis and visited a clinic for 2 years. As part of this hospital stay, the future Beatle came as a member of the hospital band with music and drums in touch. Meanwhile, his mother married Harry Graves, who established a connection with his stepson.
Due to his illness and the resulting poor academic performance, Starkey was not admitted to a high school. After his full recovery in 1955 he became part of the working population and carried out various activities. Finally, he accepted a job as an apprentice machinist.
During his professional activity, the future Beatle became friends with Roy Trafford. The duo used the breaks to play together on improvised instruments. With their colleague, guitarist Eddie Miles, they formed the "Eddie Miles Band", which later renamed itself the group "Eddie Clayton and the Clayton Squares". When Starkey got a used, simple drum kit from his stepfather in 1957, his skills improved and the band played a few gigs.
With the advent of "Rock 'n' Rolls" in the UK, the band known in Liverpool "Rory Storm and the Hurricanes" sought a drummer. Richard Starkey fulfilled the conditions and became part of the group in 1959. Around this time he also adopted his later world famous stage name Ringo Starr.
Already a year later, the group became one of the leading bands in Liverpool. When they were offered a three-month commitment in Wales, Ringo Starr had to choose between completing his apprenticeship and the group. The drummer threw the final of his almost completed training and accompanied his colleagues to their commitment. In the fall of the same year, they accepted a commitment in Hamburg, where they met the Beatles. The drummer performed as a substitute for The Beatles and also met Tony Sheridan, who recognized Ringo's abilities and invited him to join his band.
Ringo Starr left there in 1962 his previous band and briefly joined Tony Sheridan's group in Hamburg, only to return but then again for another commitment of his old band to this. On request John Lennon left the drummer final "Rory Storm and the Hurricanes" and joined the Beatles.
The new drummer had to prove himself first. After an unfortunate first recording session, Ringo Starr was replaced by Andy White for the recording of "Love Me Do" because the producer did not want to take risks. By the end of the year he was able to integrate into the band and was also accepted by the fans.
At the latest with the release of the debut album "Please Please Me" fell the whole of Great Britain "Beatlemania" in 1963. The Beatles conquered the following year, the US and rode on the wave of success. Ringo Starr was particularly well received by the fans and served as a source of inspiration for songs like "Ringo for President". This popularity was further enhanced by the legendary drums Solos, the so-called "Starr Times" at concerts. In addition, Ringo sang on each Beatles album a title that was tuned in part to him extra.
During the filming of "A Hard Day's Night," whose title was allegedly based on a thoughtless statement Ringo, shone the "funny Beatle" by dry one-liners and non-spoken scenes. The latter were necessary because Ringo Starr was unable to speak his text due to lack of sleep during the previous night of drinking.
In June 1964, the Beatles were on tour, but again the drummer was hit by an illness. With an angina and high fever, he was treated in a hospital and had to spare some time. Jimmie Nicol replaced the sick Beatle for a few concerts before Starr returned. In the same year, when the Beatles met Bob Dylan and were offered cannabis by him, Ringo Starr was the first to access it, while the rest of the band members hesitated. The "funny Beatle" seemed to enjoy the glory and was quoted as saying that he saw the first three years with the Beatles as the only, never ending party.
The next year, Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox. The three children Zak (born 1965), Jason (born 1967) and Lee (born 1970) emerged from this connection. At the same time, however, he was also confronted with the downsides of the "Beatlemania": Before a show in Montreal, the drummer received telephone death threats. While his bandmates continued to develop musically to escape the pressure, Ringo Starr felt isolated and content with his role within the band.
The album "Revolver" was released the following year and contained with the single "Yellow Submarine" the only number one hit with Ringo Starr as lead singer. On the 1967 published album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "he sang the tailored track" With a Little Help From My Friends ". Although the album was commercially successful and praised by critics, the drummer felt increasingly alienated from his bandmates. Due to his inability to compose new material at the same level, his input remained minimal.
In August 1967, the band manager Brian Epstein died, leaving a big gap. The band decided to realize the planned movie project "Magic Mystery Tour" anyway. Through Ringo's interest in photography, he was appointed "Director of Photography" and had a great deal of post-processing on the strip.
In 1968, Ringo Starr became the first Beatle to perform on other artists without his bandmates. For the "The Beatles" album, released the same year, he wrote "Do not Pass Me By" during the Beatles stay in India. It was the drummer's first recorded Beatles song. Nevertheless, the recordings turned out to be very difficult, as the group dynamics became worse and the chasms unbridgeable. After Paul McCartney harshly criticized Ringo Starr's work on one of these recording sessions, he left the Beatles for two weeks; He returned, however, and continued working on recent Beatles releases: The Beatles, Abbey Road, and Let It Be. After more and more disagreements between the band members prevailed, the Beatles finally dissolved in 1970.
Already in the year of separation of the Beatles, Ringo Starr released the pop / rock work "Sentimental Journey" and the country music album "Beaucoups of Blues". With these works, the former Beatle moved on completely different paths, as the avant-garde-heavy albums of his former bandmates. Despite the dissolution of the Beatles, he supported George Harrison and John Lennon and Yoko Ono on their solo albums as a drummer.
The following year, he appeared at George Harrison's "Concert for Bangladesh" and wrote the hit single "It Do not Come Easy" with him. One year later, Ringo Starr released his most successful UK hit "Back Off Boogaloo". He made his directorial debut in the same year with the "T. Rex "Documentation:" Born to Boogie ".
With "Photograph", which was co-written by George Harrison and "You're Sixteen" succeeded the former Beatle directly two charts in 1973 in the United States. The same year released album "Ringo" was commercially successful and contained content of the remaining three former band members. With "Goodnight Vienna" the following year, the next successful LP of the drummer was released. At the same time he was involved in a romantic liaison with Lynsey de Paul. In 1975, the "funny Beatle" founded the record label "Ring O'Records", which signed some artists and published their works. Due to his repeated infidelities, Ringo Starr's marriage was divorced. The album "Ringo's Rotogravure" published a year later again contained compositions by George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney; however, the plant achieved only modest success. The following year, Starr tried to bring his formula for success through disco music and pop music of the seventies up to date. The resulting album "Ringo the 4th" flopped and also the 1978 published work "Bad Boy" disappointed.
After the tragic murder of John Lennon in 1980, Ringo Starr worked on the tribute song "All Those Years Ago," along with McCartney, wife Linda, and George Harrison. The following year released album "Stop and Smell the Roses" could not build on earlier successes. This year, Ringo Starr married actress Barbara Bach.
In the years 1984 to 1986 Ringo Starr worked as a speaker for the children's series "Thomas & Friends". Also for the American offshoot "Shining Time Station", whose first broadcast took place in 1989, took over the former Beatle a speaking role. Together with his son Zak, he worked in 1985 on the protest song "Sun City" against apartheid. For a performance of the "Prince's Trust" relief effort founded by Prince Charles, Ringo Starr appeared in 1987 along with well-known musicians such as George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Phil Collins.
The typical "Rock'n'Roll" lifestyle also left its mark on the former Beatle: in 1988 he had to undergo a six-week treatment because of his alcohol problem in a withdrawal clinic. The following year, the "Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band" made their debut, in which stage show each of the All-Stars could present their popular titles and which were released in 1990 on a compilation album.
By means of a cameo appearance with the "Simpsons" and the composition "You Never Know" for the film "Curley Sue", the "funny Beatle" attracted attention in 1991. The next year he released the studio album "Time Takes Time", which included guest appearances by stars such as Harry Nilsson.
Together with Paul McCartney and George Harrison in 1994 he started work on the "Beatles Anthology". The result was the two new songs based on John Lennon's recordings: "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love". The former Beatle worked again in 1997 with Paul McCartney on his album "Flaming Pie" together. The following year, Ringo released the albums "Vertical Man" and "VH1 Storytellers".
In 2002, Ringo Starr received a great honor as part of the "Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame". On the first anniversary of the death of former Beatle George Harrison, the drummer performed at the benefit concert "Concert for George". With "Pumpkinhead Records" he started again a year later a company.
With the studio album "Liverpool 8" earned the former Beatle mixed reviews in 2008. Negative headlines he wrote with the statement that he will not sign autographs after 20 October 2008 more. For the benefit concert "Change Begins Within", Ringo Starr once again appeared on stage in 2009 with Paul McCartney. With this he also promoted the video game "The Beatles: Rock Band". For the "BBC Children in Need Medley" Ringo again performed the voice of "Thomas the Tank" from the children's series "Thomas & Friends" of the eighties. This was the first number one hit of the "funny Beatle" in the UK, since the separation of the legendary Liverpool band in 1970.
In 2010 the album "Y Not" was published. On July 7, 2010, he celebrated his 70th birthday with a concert at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City with his All-Star band. He was surprised on stage by his friends and family as well as a performance by his companion Paul McCartney.
His current album "Ringo 2012", which was rated moderately, published the drummer in 2012. Together with his All-Star grouping he tours since 2013 worldwide. For the 56th Grammy Awards he once again stood with Paul McCartney on the stage of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Most recently, the drummer was involved in the #peacerocks anti-violence campaign, created by designer John Varvatos and the David Lynch Foundation.
Richard Starkey lives an unusual life, which is characterized by many highlights and strokes of fate. His life is like a roller coaster ride: the boy suffering from severe diseases as a child, the rise to one of the most famous people of the sixties. He lives the classic "Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll" lifestyle that took its toll in alcoholism and a failed marriage.
However, the lifestyle described above does not fit with the minor role he played in the Beatles. Although he became a fan favorite and enjoyed great popularity early on, he still managed a sort of shadowy existence between the omnipresent McCartney and Lennon.
His passion for drumming helped him, despite all the failures, rise to become the world's most esteemed wealthy drummer; his special voice and his unforgettable sound still characterize many successful artists today. Ringo Starr continues to live the childhood dream.