Ringo Starr in 2007.
|Birth name||Richard Starkey|
|Also known as||Ringo Starr|
|Born||7 July 1940
Dingle, Liverpool, England
|Genres||Rock, pop, psychedelic rock, world|
|Occupations||Actor, musician, singer-songwriter, drummer|
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, piano, vocals|
|Labels||Parlophone, United Artists, Capitol, Apple, Swan, Vee-Jay, Tollie, MGM, Polydor, Atlantic, RCA, Mercury, Koch, Private Music, Boardwalk, Rykodisc|
|Associated acts||The Beatles, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Plastic Ono Band|
|Ludwig Super Classic Drumset
Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl Drumset
Richard Starkey, MBE (born 7 July 1940), better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the rock group The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr belonged to another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in 1962, taking over from Pete Best. In addition to his contribution as drummer, Starr featured as lead singer on a number of successful Beatles songs (in particular, "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine", and the Beatles version of "Act Naturally") and as songwriter with the songs "Don't Pass Me By", "What Goes On" and "Octopus's Garden".
As drummer for The Beatles, Starr was musically creative, and his contribution to the band's music has received high praise from notable drummers in more recent times. Starr described himself as "your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills", technically limited by being a left-handed person playing a right-handed kit. Drummer Steve Smith said that Starr's popularity "brought forth a new paradigm" where "we started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect" and that Starr "composed unique, stylistic drum parts for The Beatles songs".
Starr is the most documented and critically acclaimed actor-Beatle, playing a central role in several Beatles films, and appearing in numerous other movies, both during and after his career with The Beatles. After The Beatles' break-up in 1970, Starr achieved solo musical success with several singles and albums, and recorded with each of his fellow ex-Beatles as they too developed their post-Beatle musical careers. He has also been featured in a number of TV documentaries, hosted TV shows, and narrated the children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. He currently tours with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.
Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey to Richard and Elsie Starkey (née Gleave), at 9 Madryn Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, England. His parents split up when he was three years old, and his mother subsequently married Harry Graves, who encouraged his interest in music. Starr was afflicted by illness for much of his childhood. When aged six, he had appendicitis, which developed complications, causing him to fall into a coma. At thirteen, he developed chronic pleurisy and was admitted to a sanatorium for two years. After this extended hospital visit he did not return to school. The periods of hospitalisation left him behind scholastically, and as a result he was ineligible to attend grammar school or even sit its Eleven plus qualifying examination. Starr attended St Silas Primary School in High Park Street close to his home in Admiral Grove, which Billy Fury also attended at the same time. Later Starr attended Dingle Vale Secondary Modern School, leaving in 1955. While there, he showed an aptitude for art and drama as well as practical subjects including mechanics. Starr's health problems had another enduring effect in the form of allergies and sensitivities to food, and when The Beatles travelled to India in 1968, he took his own food with him.
Like John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, Starr became caught up in Liverpool's skiffle craze. In 1957, he and his friend Eddie Miles formed The Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group. In 1959, he joined the Raving Texans, now adopting the stage name "Ringo Starr" because of the rings he wore and because it sounded "cowboyish", and his drum solos were billed as "Starr Time". By October 1960 the band was renamed Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and while they were performing in Hamburg, Starr met The Beatles. On 16 October 1960 he drummed in Hamburg with Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, recording with them for the first time to back Hurricanes singer Lu Walters.
After returning to the UK, Starr sat in for Pete Best as The Beatles' drummer on 18 August 1961 and 5 February 1962. The Beatles removed Pete Best as their drummer on 16 August 1962, after Best had played in the early recording sessions at EMI Studios.
Starr's first performance as a full Beatle was on 18 August 1962 at a Horticultural Society Dance at Port Sunlight village. At Starr's first Cavern Club performance as a full Beatle the following day, Best's fans were upset, mainly at how he was sacked, holding vigils outside Best's house and fighting at the club, shouting 'Pete forever! Ringo never!' George Harrison received a black eye by one of the fans.
When he arrived at EMI Studios for the second time on 11 September, Starr was shocked to find another drummer there, session drummer Andy White who was commissioned by producer George Martin. Using sessions drummers familiar with studio techniques was a normal procedure for studio recordings in those days. Starr's view at the time was that Andy White was brought in because he thought George Martin viewed him as crazy. Of the 4 September rehearsal session, Starr stated, "He [George Martin] thought I was crazy and couldn't play. Because when we were doing 'Please Please Me', I was actually playing the kit and in one hand I had a tambourine and a maracas in the other, because I was trying to play the percussion and the drums at the same time, because we were just a four piece band". Starr also stated, "I thought, 'That’s the end, they’re doing a Pete Best on me.'"
Starr generally sang at least one song on each studio album as part of an attempt to establish the vocal personality of all four members. In some cases, Lennon or McCartney wrote the lyrics and melody especially for him, as they did for "Yellow Submarine" from Revolver (1966) and "With a Little Help from My Friends" on Sgt. Pepper. These melodies were tailored to Starr's baritone vocal range. Starr's backing vocals are heard on songs such as "All Together Now", "Carry That Weight", and "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill".
The Beatles used Starr's unusual turns of phrase, or "Ringoisms" as they became known, such as "a hard day's night" and "tomorrow never knows", and turned them into songs. Recalling this, McCartney said, "Ringo would do these little malapropisms, he would say things slightly wrong, like people do, but his were always wonderful, very lyrical... they were sort of magic...". As well as inspiring his bandmates' creativity in this way, Starr occasionally contributed his own lyrics to unfinished Lennon and McCartney songs, such as the line "darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there" in "Eleanor Rigby". Frustrated at times of being the odd man out in the group in regard to songwriting, 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 a popular song of the day. Starr did eventually begin composing, and is credited with "Don't Pass Me By" (on The White Album) and "Octopus's Garden" (on Abbey Road) as sole songwriter.
His disgust with the band's tensions and boredom at waiting around to contribute during the sessions for the White Album caused him to quit the group temporarily. He spent two weeks with actor Peter Sellers on the latter's yacht, Amelfis, in Piraeus, where he wrote "Octopus's Garden". He did not return for two weeks, even though the other Beatles urged him to come back: Lennon sent telegrams, and Harrison set up flowers all over the studio for Starr's return saying "Welcome home". Starr's name also appears as a co-writer for the Rubber Soul track "What Goes On" along with Lennon and McCartney, while the songs "Flying" (on the Magical Mystery Tour album) and "Dig It" (on Let It Be) are listed as being written by the entire group. On issued material after the break-up, Starr wrote "Taking a Trip to Carolina" from the second "bonus" 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".
While Starr himself has been the first to acknowledge the technical limitations of his drumming for The Beatles, the overall effect of his contribution has received high praise from notable drummers. Starr said, "Whenever I hear another drummer I know I'm no good. I'm no good on the technical things [...] I'm your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills. The fills were funny because I'm really left-handed playing a right-handed kit. I can't roll around the drums because of that." George Martin's version was, "Ringo hit good and hard and used the tom-tom well, even though he couldn't do a roll to save his life", although Martin later added, "He's got tremendous feel. He always helped us to hit the right tempo for a song, and gave it that support—that rock-solid back-beat—that made the recording of all The Beatles' songs that much easier." Lennon, asked if Starr was the best drummer in the world, jokingly replied, "He's not even the best drummer in The Beatles!", but also said, "Ringo's a damn good drummer. He always was a good drummer. He's not technically good, but I think Ringo's drumming is underrated the same way as Paul's bass playing is underrated." 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.
Drummer Steve Smith extolled Starr's qualities beyond the technical, in terms of his musical contribution as drummer:
|“||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.||”|
|“||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 September 1980, John Lennon had this to say about 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 Star-time and he was in one of the top groups in Britain but especially in Liverpool before we even had a drummer. So Ringo's talent would have come out one way or the other as something or other. I don't know what he would have ended up as, but whatever that spark is in Ringo that we all know but can't put our finger on -- whether it is acting, drumming or singing I don't know -- there is something in him that is projectable and he would have surfaced with or without the Beatles. Ringo is a damn good drummer.||”|
Many drummers acknowledge Starr as an influence, including Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes, Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters, Orri Páll Dýrason of Sigur Rós, Max Weinberg of the E Street Band, Danny Carey of Tool, Liberty DeVitto of Billy Joel's band, Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden, Eric Carr of Kiss, Phil Rudd of AC/DC, Phil Collins, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Pedro Andreu of Heroes del Silencio and others.
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 owing to mistakes by the other three members. Starr is considered to have influenced various modern drumming techniques, 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.
Starr drummed on all but five of the band's released tracks that feature drumming. For the band's second recording session with Starr as a member on 11 September 1962, producer George Martin replaced the studio-inexperienced Starr with session drummer Andy White to record 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. McCartney took over the drums on "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence" from the White Album (1968) after Starr had walked out, and also played the drums on "The Ballad of John and Yoko", recorded on 14 April 1969, since only he and Lennon 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.
After the announcement of the breakup of The Beatles on 10 April 1970, Starr released two albums before the end of that year. Sentimental Journey featured Starr's renditions of many pre-rock standards and included the arranger talents of Quincy Jones, Maurice Gibb, George Martin and McCartney, among others. His next album, Beaucoups of Blues, put Starr in a country context, and included renowned Nashville session musician Pete Drake. He scored hit singles with "It Don't Come Easy" (1971) (US #4) and "Back Off Boogaloo" (1972) (US #9), the latter of which was his biggest UK hit, peaking at #2. He achieved two #1 hits in the US, with "Photograph" (co-written with Harrison) and "You're Sixteen" (written by the Sherman Brothers of Mary Poppins fame).
He participated in The Concert for Bangladesh organised by Harrison in 1971, as well as drumming on Harrison's All Things Must Pass and Living in the Material World, Lennon's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, and Yoko Ono's early solo work. Starr then made his debut as a film director with the T. Rex documentary Born to Boogie. Starr became firm friends with T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan and during the period of filming the documentary, Starr released the single "Back Off Boogaloo".
In 1971, he started a furniture company with designer Robin Cruikshank. Starr's own avant-garde designs included a flower-shaped table with adjustable petal seats and a donut-shaped fireplace.
The 1973 album Ringo, produced by Richard Perry, with participation by the other three former Beatles on different tracks, was commercially successful. The album Goodnight Vienna followed the next year and was also successful. Hits and notable tracks from these two albums included "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen" both reaching number one on the US charts, "Oh My My" (US #5) and "I'm the Greatest" (written by Lennon) from Ringo, and "Only You (And You Alone)" (US #6) and "No No Song" (US #3) from 1974's Goodnight Vienna. In late 1975, these singles and others were collected for Starr's first greatest hits compilation, Blast from Your Past, which was the last album to be released on Apple Records. During this period he became romantically involved with Lynsey de Paul. He played tambourine on a song she wrote and produced for Vera Lynn, "Don't You Remember When", and he inspired another De Paul song, "If I Don't Get You The Next One Will", which she described as being about revenge after he missed a dinner appointment with her because he was asleep in his office.
Starr's recording career subsequently diminished in commercial impact, although he continued to record and remained a familiar celebrity presence. Starr signed with Atlantic Records in the mid-1970s, and in 1976 the album Ringo's Rotogravure was released. Although yielding two minor hit singles, "A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll" (US #26) and a cover of "Hey Baby" (US #74) the album achieved moderate sales but reached a respectable #28. This caused the label to revamp Starr's formula; the results were a curious blend of disco and '70s pop. The album Ringo the 4th (1977) was a commercial disaster, reaching no higher than #162 on the charts. Afterward, Starr soon signed with Portrait Records. His stint with Portrait began on a promising note: 1978 saw the release of Bad Boy, as well as a network TV special. Neither were very popular with Bad Boy reaching a disappointing #129 on the US charts. Starr did not release another album with Portrait.
In 1975, Starr founded his own record label called Ring O'Records, and four albums were released on the label between 1975 and 1978 (Startling Music by David Hentschel, Graham Bonnet by Graham Bonnet, Restless by Rab Noakes and a re-release of an Apple Records album, The Whale by John Tavener) as well as 16 singles by artists such as: Bobby Keys, Carl Grossman, Colonel Doug Bogie, David Hentschel, Graham Bonnet, Suzanne, Johnny Warman, Stormer, Rab Noakes and Dirk & Stig (the last being names of characters from The Beatles pastiche band "The Rutles", created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes).
In 1980, Harrison wrote "All Those Years Ago" for Starr to sing on his album Can't Fight Lightning which was later released as Stop and Smell the Roses. Harrison sang a rewritten version himself, including it on his 1981 album Somewhere in England following Lennon's murder. Starr, along with Paul and Linda McCartney, played on Harrison's version. Ronnie Wood from The Rolling Stones also collaborated with Starr while recording Stop and Smell the Roses, at Cherokee Studios, adding guitar, bass, saxophone, keyboards, and back-up vocals. Starr was interviewed by Rolling Stone and Musician around this time. Stop and Smell the Roses was a well regarded album, but again did not sell particularly well. During recording of "Stop and Smell the Roses", Lennon had offered Starr a pair of songs to use on Roses: "Nobody Told Me" and "Life Begins at 40". However, following the murder, Starr did not feel comfortable recording them; the former was released posthumously under Lennon's name on the album Milk and Honey, while the latter's painfully ironic lyrics kept it unissued until 1998's John Lennon Anthology.
In 1984 and 1986, Starr narrated the children's series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, a Britt Allcroft production, which was first shown on Central Television and subsequently across the ITV network. He was unsure about taking the role at first, having never previously read the books by Reverend Awdry, and at the time he felt that children would be more interested in "dinosaurs with lasers." Nevertheless, he had a change of heart and took the role, narrating the first two series. Starr also portrayed the character Mr. Conductor in the program's American spin-off Shining Time Station, which debuted in 1989 on PBS. Starr left after the second season.
In 1987, Starr drummed on the George Harrison song "When We Was Fab" from his album Cloud Nine. The song, co-written by Harrison and Jeff Lynne, charted in the Top 30 in both the UK and the USA. The same year, Starr, Harrison, and Lynne joined Eric Clapton, Elton John, Phil Collins, and Ray Cooper in a performance for the Prince's Trust charity.
In October 1988, Starr and Bach attended a detox clinic in Tucson, Arizona, each receiving a six-week treatment for alcoholism. Starr later complained that it had been difficult to recover with the "press flying overhead" on a constant basis. On July 23, 1989, 'Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band' gave their first performance to an audience of ten thousand in Dallas, Texas. The band consisted of Starr and a varying assortment of musicians who had been successful in their own right with popular songs at different times. The concerts interchanged Starr's singing, including selections of his Beatles and solo songs, with performances of each of the other artists' well-known material, the latter incorporating either Starr or another musician as drummer. The eighth All-Starr Band tour took place in 2003.
In 1990, Starr recorded a version of the song "I Call Your Name" for a television special marking the 10th anniversary of John Lennon's death and the 50th anniversary of his birth. The track, produced by Jeff Lynne, features a supergroup composed of Lynne, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh & Jim Keltner.
The success of the initial All-Starr tour led to Starr releasing his first album in nine years, 1992's Time Takes Time. The album was produced by four of the top producers in music: Phil Ramone, Don Was, Jeff Lynne and Peter Asher, and featured guest appearances by various stars including Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson.
In 1995, Starr appeared with Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork of the Monkees in a Pizza Hut commercial. In the commercial, he claims he is trying to reunite "the lads." The commercial ends with the three Monkees joining Ringo. He looks into the camera and says "wrong lads."
In 1997, Starr guested on drums on two songs on the McCartney album Flaming Pie. McCartney had written a song about Starr's ex-wife Maureen Starkey ("Little Willow") and asked Starr if he'd play on another ("Beautiful Night"). The day after the "Beautiful Night" session, the two recorded a jam session which developed into another Flaming Pie song, "Really Love You", notable for being the first song ever credited to McCartney/Starkey and officially released on an album.
In 1998, he released two albums on the Mercury label. The studio album Vertical Man marked the beginning of a nine-year "partnership" with Mark Hudson, who produced the album and, with his band The Roundheads, formed the core of the backing group for the album. In addition, many "famous guests" joined on various tracks, including Martin, McCartney, and—in his final appearance on a Starr album before his death—Harrison. Most of the songs were written by Starr and the band. The Roundheads and Joe Walsh joined Starr for his appearance on VH1 Storytellers, which was released as an album under the same name. On the show, he performed greatest hits and new songs, and told anecdotes relating to them.
On 29 November 2002, Starr performed "Photograph" and a cover of Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't" at the Concert for George held in the Royal Albert Hall, London, on the first anniversary of Harrison's death. According to the official Concert for George website, "Ringo Starr caught everyone with a tear in their eye with a rendition of 'Photograph', a composition he wrote with George, which seemed to sum up how everyone felt." The song includes the lines, "Every time I see your face / it reminds me of the places we used to go / But all I've got is a photograph / and I realise you're not coming back anymore".
Starr was an "honorary Santa Tracker" and voiceover for the London stop in Santa's annual Christmas Eve journey in 2003 and 2004 as depicted in the annual NORAD tracks Santa program. According to NORAD officials, he was "a Starr in the east" who helped guide North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa-tracking tradition.
In September 2005, Liverpool City Council decided they would bulldoze 9 Madryn Street, Starr's birthplace, as it had 'no historical significance', despite a previous reprieve back in July. The LCC later announced that the building would be taken apart brick by brick and preserved after all.
In 2006, Starr featured on the Jerry Lee Lewis duet album, Last Man Standing; he performed a cover, with Lewis, of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen". It was also announced he would be the star in a Pow! Entertainment animated film and comic book produced by comics creator Stan Lee.
In the 24 December 2007 issue of Time (European edition), Starr was profiled in a three-page article focusing on his happiness in life and his music. The article mentioned the Liverpool 8 album, but only briefly. It also stated that Starr and Dave Stewart were collaborating on writing a musical, to be called The Hole in the Fence, and discussed Starr's then-upcoming performance in Liverpool on 11 January 2008.
In January 2008, the studio album Liverpool 8, produced by Dave Stewart, Mark Hudson and Starr himself, was released. Mark Hudson was the initial producer of the record but was replaced by Stewart after a falling out with Starr. (The album's production credits read, "Produced by Ringo Starr and Mark Hudson; Re-Produced by Ringo Starr and David Stewart." All of the songs but one were written with members of the Roundheads, although Stewart also has several co-writing credits.) Starr's attorney Bruce Grakal told journalist Peter Palmiere that the partnership between Hudson and Starr was over and they would never work together again. This happened after Hudson dropped out of the 2006 tour as musical director to do the TV show The One: Making a Music Star. According to Palmiere, Hudson now claims that the split was over Starr's insistence on using synthesised sounds, for which Stewart is known, whereas Hudson wanted real guitars, pianos, strings etc.
In October 2008, Starr posted a video on his website stating that he will not be signing autographs after 20 October 2008. He stated that he is too busy and that anything after that date sent to any address will not be signed.
On 4 April 2009, Starr reunited with McCartney at the David Lynch "Change Begins Within" Benefit Concert at Radio City Music Hall. After separate performances from Starr and other artists, McCartney's set came last, and towards the end he announced "Billy Shears", whereupon Starr joined him to perform "With a Little Help from My Friends" and, with all performers, "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Cosmically Conscious". In late May 2009, it was announced that Starr will collaborate with Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney to record some new tracks to record an entire album. Starr appeared on-stage at Microsoft's 1 June 2009 E3 press conference with Yoko Ono, McCartney and Olivia Harrison to promote the upcoming The Beatles: Rock Band video game.
Starr remains the only Beatle not to top the UK singles charts as a solo artist, although he did chart two number one singles in the US. He is also the only Beatle not to top the UK album listings, his highest position being #7, achieved in the UK with both Sentimental Journey and Ringo; the latter reached #2 in the US charts, giving Starr his highest album position there. In the USA, Starr's Apple singles fared rather well. Of all four members of the Beatles- in their respective solo careers- he has the second most consecutive top ten singles in the US with seven in a row: "It Don't Come Easy" (#4), "Back Off Boogaloo" (#9), "Photograph" (#1), "You're Sixteen" (#1), "Oh My My" (#5), "Only You (And You Alone)" (#6) and "No No Song" (#3). McCartney has the most with eight in a row.
In November 2009, Starr once again performed the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine for "The Official BBC Children in Need Medley". This is the first #1 UK hit Starr has been involved in since The Beatles disbanded in 1970 (not counting guest appearances on other singles by other artists)
In January 2010 he released his fifteenth studio album Y Not. On 13 January 2010, Starr and his band performed "Walk With You" from the album on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Starr also appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing with Ben Harper. Starr was also featured on The Jay Leno Show, where he played "The Other Side of Liverpool". On 22 January 2010, Starr appeared on Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief as a Celebrity phone operator. Starr also appeared at the 52nd Grammy Awards with Norah Jones presenting 'Record Of The Year' to Kings Of Leon on 31 January 2010 .
Starr married Maureen Cox in February 1965, and they had three children Zak (b. 13 September 1965), Jason (b. 19 August 1967), and Lee (b. 17 November 1970); the couple divorced in 1975, and Cox died in 1994. 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. Starr resides in Los Angeles and also maintains homes in Cranleigh, Surrey and Monte Carlo.
His son, Zak, is a prolific drummer, who until August 2008 was a semi-official member and drummer in Oasis—one of the many bands influenced by The Beatles. Starr arranged for Zak to receive drumming instruction from Zak's idol, The Who's late drummer Keith Moon, who was Zak's godfather and a close friend of Starr's. Zak also performs with The Who live (such as during the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime show in 2010) and sometimes in the studio. In 1985, Starr was the first of The Beatles to become a grandfather upon the birth of Zak's daughter, Tatia Jayne Starkey. Zak has performed with his father during some All-Starr Band tours.
Like fellow ex-Beatle McCartney, Starr is a vegetarian. Unlike McCartney, who is vegetarian for ethical reasons, Starr is vegetarian because of stomach problems he had in the past. Starr was left-handed until he became ambidextrous when, during his childhood, his grandmother helped him learn to write with his right hand.
Aside from The Beatles films (A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1967), Let It Be (1970)), Starr has acted in several films such as Candy (1968), The Magic Christian (1969) (alongside Peter Sellers), Blindman (1971), Son of Dracula (1974) and Caveman (1981). For the 1979 documentary film on the Who, The Kids Are Alright, Starr appeared in interview segments with fellow drummer Keith Moon. He starred as Larry the Dwarf in Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (1971). His voice is also featured in Harry Nilsson's animated film The Point! (1971). He appeared in The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese film about the 1976 farewell concert of The Band, a favourite of The Beatles. He co-starred in That'll Be the Day (1973) as a Teddy Boy. He played 'The Pope' in Ken Russell's Lisztomania (1975), and a fictionalised version of himself in the Paul McCartney-penned Give My Regards to Broad Street in 1984.
In December 2006, Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein campaigned for Starr to receive the same honour as his fellow ex-Beatle Paul McCartney by being knighted. Finkelstein's petition to the Prime Minister, given press coverage by The Sun newspaper and the Canadian National Post, attracted 1,887 signatures before its deadline of 13 February 2007. Starr himself has clearly stated both that he does not particularly support the Royal Family ("I think it should end with this queen. I think we can have the pageant without...them. I think they should have built a hospital in the name of the Queen Mum, but they didn’t, they just decided not to pay taxes and keep their money."), and that he is not personally interested in being knighted:
In the Queen's Birthday Honours of 12 June 1965, Starr and the three other Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE); they received their insignia from Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on 26 October. He and the other Beatles were cumulatively nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer for their performances in the 1964 film A Hard Day's Night. The Beatles won the Academy Award for 'Best Original Song Score' for the 1970 film Let It Be. Each Beatle received an Oscar statuette.
The minor planet 4150 Starr, discovered on 31 August 1984 by Brian A. Skiff at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory, was named in his honour. Starr was nominated for a 1989 Daytime Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series' for his role as Mr. Conductor in the television series Shining Time Station.
All four of The Beatles were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when the group was inducted in 1988. Since then, Lennon (1994), McCartney (1999), and Harrison (2004) have been inducted for their solo careers as well. Starr remains the only Beatle not to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his solo career. However, it was announced on 5 September 2007 that Starr would be on the ballot for membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
On 9 November 2008, Starr accepted a Diamond Award on behalf of The Beatles during the 2008 World Music Awards ceremony in Monaco.
On 8 February 2010, Starr was honoured with the 2,401st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. It is located at 1750 North Vine Street, in front of the Capitol Records building, as are the stars for Lennon and Harrison.
To date, Starr has toured with eleven versions of his All-Starr Band, where "everybody on stage is a star in their own right." The band has consistently toured for over a decade, and, in similar fashion to Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, rotates its lineup depending on the musicians' projects at a given time.
|Narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends