Who is Ringo Starr
Is Ringo Starr the best rock and roll drummer of all time, as fans and some well-known colleagues claim? Or just a clown who was just in the right place at the right time and has had the ability to capitalize on it for 40 years? One thing is certain: as a drummer for the Beatles, he has a superhuman status. In contrast to virtuoso colleagues like Keith Moon or John Bohnham, he is still alive, and he is the only one who was able to put John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison on his solo records even after the separation.
In his youth it hardly looks like a rocker career. Born Richard Starkey under simple circumstances in Liverpool in 1940, he spends the first fifteen years of his life more in hospital than in school because of serious illnesses. Several times he misses death, learns only poorly to read and write and loses his first job because he appears drunk. He is well on his way to ending up in social nowhere.
Then, at the end of the 50s, the skiffle came up. His stepfather bought him a drum kit, he took the stage name Ringo Starr and ended up in 1960 as a member of Rory Storm And The Hurricanes in Hamburg, where he met the Beatles who were also fighting on the Reeperbahn. His chance came two years later: When recording their first album, producer George Martin was so unimpressed by drummer Pete Best that he asked for a replacement. The band fall back on their friend Starr.
Despite or because of his often melancholy facial expression and his sense of humor, he has been the most popular Beatle with the audience right from the start. Even if Lennon / McCartney write and choose the songs, Starr is entitled to one song per album as a singer. With the linguistic twist "A Hard Day's Night" he also actively contributes to one of the most famous titles of the band.
While his colleagues became increasingly hostile in the second half of the 1960s, Starr remained the calm pole. After a few days, he ended the Beatles' trip to India that Harrison had started on the grounds that there were no baked beans there. While Lennon sings about his dead mother on the "White Album" and McCartney blisters his fingers on "Helter Skelter", Starr writes a casual rumba-zumba song with "Don't Pass Me By". His second and last author contribution during this time is "Octopus's Garden" on the final album "Abbey Road".
When the band officially split up in 1970, Starr had already released two of their own albums with the support of the other three. In return, he plays on Lennon and Harrison's solo projects. But he remains the only one who scores number 1 hits during his lifetime, 1972 with "Back Off Bugaloo" and 1974 with "Photograph". On the accompanying album "Ringo" all four Beatles play together for the last time. In 1975 he accompanies Lennon and Harry Nilsson on their infamous, several-month drinking tour through Los Angeles and seeks consolation after the collapse of his first marriage. He throws himself into party life, operates with moderate success as an actor and with disastrous consequences as a businessman.
In 1980 he married the actress Barbara Bach for a second time, occasionally appeared as a guest in the studio and at concerts, and regularly released new albums. But the heyday is over. He is less and less likely to be seen in public, has health problems, is an alcoholic and, due to his excessive lifestyle, ends up broke. The turning point did not take place until 1989 with a rehab and the first US tour of his solo career. With the 1992 album "Time Takes Time" he made it back into the charts.
In the 90s he was involved in various Beatles projects with McCartney and Harrison, but in between tours with his All Starr band. Even if the members change again and again, he can fall back on past greats such as Todd Rundgren, Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce and son Zak. The 1998 album "Vertical Man" featured Ozzy Osbourne, Brian Wilson, Steven Tyler, Alanis Morissette, McCartney and Harrison, among others.
Even in the new millennium, Starr remains active, both in the studio and on stage. Musically his productions are hardly revolutionary, but because of his cheerful nature and his motto "Peace & Love" he is still popular with colleagues and audiences.
In 2018, the British aristocracy also expressed this popularity: Prince William knighted Ringo Starr, 53 years after the Queen made all four Beatles Members Of The British Empire. From now on Richard Starkey can fall back on the suffix "Sir" and already has a purpose for the medal, as he reveals to the BBC: "I'll wear it to breakfast."
For the 2018 album "Give More Love" co-songwriters such as Peter Frampton, EurythmicDave Stewart, Van Dyke Parks and Totos Steve Lukather are responsible. The Eagles Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmitt, said Dave Stewart and Benmont Tench from Tom Petty's Heartbreakers Band appear as guests.
For the successor "What's My Name" in autumn 2019, more or less the same applies - only that Paul McCartney will now also be incorporated into the team. Paul brought Ringo on stage again in July 2019 at the end of his world tour. The two perform the Beatles numbers "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" and "Helter Skelter", with Ringo on drums.
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