Jump to content

The Ringo Starr Thread.


Recommended Posts

This thread is dedicated to one of my heroes...





Richard Starkey Jr, MBE (born 7 July 1940), known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the drummer for The Beatles. He was the oldest and shortest member of the band, and the last to join the "Fab Four" line up.


Early years

Ringo Starr was born at 9 Madryn Street,Toxteth Liverpool (sometimes stated as The Dingle, but this is incorrect).Starr's parents split up when he was three years old; his mother,Elsie,married Harry Graves,whom Starr liked and who encouraged his interest in music.His childhood was filled with long hospital stays—an appendicitis-caused coma and a cold-turned-pleurisy were among his ailments — consequently, he fell far behind in school. After his last extended visit to hospital, beginning at age 13, he did not return to school.His health problems had another enduring effect: allergies and sensitivities to food. When he travelled to India in 1968 with the other Beatles, he took his own food with him.


Like the other Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, Ritchie (as he was known in those days)also eventually became caught up in Liverpool's Skiffle craze. In 1957, Starr started his own group with Eddie Miles, which was originally named the "Eddie Miles Band," but evolved into "Eddie Clayton and the Clayton Squares;" "Clayton Square" was a local landmark and "Clayton" Eddie Miles' stage surname. Starr joined the Raving Texans in 1959, a quartet that backed singer Rory Storm.During this time, he got the nickname Ringo, because of the rings he wore,because it sounded 'cowboyish', and because the name Starr allowed his drum solos to be billed as 'Starr Time'.


Starr originally met The Beatles in Hamburg, in October 1960, while he was performing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.He also sat in for Pete Best on several occasions.When The Beatles removed Best as their drummer on August 16, 1962, Starr was their choice to replace him.


Although Storm had mixed feelings about losing Starr,Best's fans were upset, holding vigils outside Best's house and fighting at the Cavern Club, shouting 'Pete forever! Ringo never!'Similarly, other fans yelled the contrary: "Ringo forever! Pete never!"


Role in The Beatles

Starr's drumming style played a pivotal role in the music played and recorded by The Beatles. He filled the role he was hired for in 1962, then went on to establish a new approach to rhythm in popular music that some claim continues to grow in its significance and influence with every decade since The Beatles recorded their music.


Lennon said of Starr:

“Ringo was a star in his own right in Liverpool before we even met. He was a professional drummer who sang and performed and had Ringo Starr-time and he was in one of the top groups in Britain but especially in Liverpool before we even had a drummer ... Ringo's a damn good drummer.”


Drummer Steve Smith said:

“Before Ringo, drum stars were measured by their soloing ability and virtuosity. Ringo's popularity brought forth a new paradigm in how the public saw drummers. We started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect. One of Ringo's great qualities was that he composed unique, stylistic drum parts for the Beatles songs. His parts are so signature to the songs that you can listen to a Ringo drum part without the rest of the music and still identify the song.”


Many drummers list Starr as an influence, including Max Weinberg of the E Street Band, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters/Nirvana, Danny Carey of Tool, Liberty DeVitto of Billy Joel's band, Phil Collins, Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater and others.According to Collins, "Starr is vastly underrated. The drum fills on the song "A Day in the Life" are very complex things. You could take a great drummer today and say, 'I want it like that.' He wouldn't know what to do."


In his extensive survey of The Beatles' recording sessions, Mark Lewisohn confirmed that Starr was both proficient and remarkably reliable and consistent. According to Lewisohn, there were fewer than a dozen occasions in The Beatles' eight-year recording career where session 'breakdowns' were caused by Starr making a mistake, while the vast majority of takes were stopped due to mistakes by the other three members.


Starr is also considered to have advanced various modern drumming techniques (for playing and recording) such as the matched grip, placing the drums on high risers for visibility as part of the band, tuning the drums lower, and using muffling devices on tonal rings, along with his general contributions to The Beatles as a whole.Specific drum parts executed by Starr in notably signature fashion include the fill that brings the drums and bass guitar into "Hey Jude", the steady rock beats in "Please Please Me" and other early Beatles recordings, the drum kit pattern through the bridge of "Hello, Goodbye", and the driving bass drum notes found in "Lady Madonna", underlying the more intricate, double-tracked snare drum. His use of a 'sizzle' cymbal (a cymbal incorporated with rivets that vibrate) would bring a much fuller sound than standard 'ride' cymbals. Starr comments his best drumming is on the 1966 single B-side "Rain".


McCartney took over the drums on "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence", the first two tracks on the White Album (1968) after Starr had walked out, disgusted with the band's tensions and bored with waiting around to contribute. He did not return for two weeks until the other three Beatles urged him to come back. He spent the fortnight with actor Peter Sellers on his yacht in Piraeus, where he wrote "Octopus's Garden". Lennon sent telegrams to Starr, and Harrison set up flowers all over the studio for Starr's return saying "Welcome home".


McCartney sent Starr a postcard on 31 January 1969 (the day after the band's performance on the roof of Apple Studios) stating: 'You are the greatest drummer in the world. Really.' This postcard is included in Starr's book Postcards From The Boys.


McCartney played the drums on "The Ballad of John and Yoko", recorded 14 April 1969, since only Lennon and McCartney were immediately available to record the song.Starr commented that he was lucky in being 'surrounded by three frustrated drummers' who could only drum in one style.Starr also did not play drums on The Beatles' first-ever single, "Love Me Do". Session drummer Andy White was brought in by The Beatles' producer George Martin to record in place of Pete Best, and Martin claims to not have realized prior to the session that The Beatles had hired a professional drummer. Starr played tambourine on the version of "Love Me Do" featuring Andy White and maracas on "P.S. I Love You".


Starr generally sang at least one song on each studio album, as part of establishing the vocal personality of all four members. In some cases, Lennon or McCartney would write the lyrics and melody especially for him, as Lennon did with "Good Night" from the White Album, and as he and McCartney did for "Yellow Submarine" from Revolver (1966). Often these melodies would be tailored to Starr's baritone vocal range. Starr's backing vocals can be heard on songs such as "All Together Now", "Help!", "Carry That Weight", and "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill".


Starr is credited with "Don't Pass Me By" (on The White Album) and "Octopus's Garden" (on Abbey Road) as sole songwriter. Starr's name also appears as a co-writer. On Rubber Soul, the track "What Goes On" was co-written by Lennon, McCartney and Starr; while the songs "Flying" (on the Magical Mystery Tour album) and "Dig It" (on Let It Be) are listed as being written by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr. In addition, Starr wrote "Taking a Trip to Carolina" (on the second CD of Let It Be... Naked), and received joint songwriting credits with the other three Beatles for "12-Bar Original", "Los Paranoias", "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", "Suzy Parker" (heard in the Let It Be film), "Jessie's Dream" (heard in the Magical Mystery Tour film) and The Beatles' version of "Free as a Bird".


Lennon used Ringo's common original expressions, such as "A Hard Day's Night" and "Tomorrow Never Knows", and turned them into Beatles songs.


Starr commented in The Beatles Anthology that when he presented a song to The Beatles, it would often sound to the other three Beatles like another popular song, and Starr recognised the similarities when they were pointed out.


Personal life

Starr married Maureen Cox on 11 February 1965, and they had three children, Zak, Jason, and Lee; the couple divorced in 1975. In 1980, on the set of the film Caveman, he met actress Barbara Bach, who played the role of Major Anya Amasova (female lead and main 'Bond Girl') in The Spy Who Loved Me. They were married on 27 April 1981, just a few weeks after the release of Caveman.


His son Zak Starkey is also a highly respected and prolific drummer, who is semi-official member and drummer in Oasis - one of the bands influenced by the Beatles, the most. Starr arranged for Zak to receive drumming instruction from Zak's idol, The Who's late drummer Keith Moon, who was a close friend of Starr's. In 1985, Starr was the first of The Beatles to become a grandfather upon the birth of Zak's daughter, Tatia Jayne Starkey.Zak also has performed with his father in his All-Starr live versions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

he narrated thomas the tank, i had no idea until i was watching it with my cousin and the credits came up


I didn't learn that until recently either. It humors me to picture him doing that.


Wasn't he also the conductor on "Shining Time Station" or whatever it was called?


Huh? What is this show?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha I love that one! A perfect MFC/Mika tie-in.


Did you know that 'Ringo' means apple in Japanese? (I think it's Japanese.)


Get the hell outta here! Really?!




Did you know that fall wasn't planned, and he actually tore his suit when he fell? But they thought it was funny how he got right back up laughing so they left it in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huh? What is this show?


It's a show I used to watch when I was a kid. It was on PBS, I think. It was either 'Shiny Time Station' or 'Shining Time Station'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

Privacy Policy