When I’m 64. Forget 64, how about 75! Rock has not age limits. I could never imagined a Beatle getting to that age. Sadly, two Beatles did not, they passed away much too young.
While a lot of Baby Boomers have retired, Ringo, a member of the previous generation, is still going strong. He’s been touring and released a new CD of music. And, he was just enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for the guy who gets a little help from his friends, and who has been married for more than 30 years to a former Bond girl.
Ringo, born Richard Starkey, is a survivor. As a boy he contracted a life-threatening illness. Later in life he kicked a dependency on drugs and alcohol, and resurrected his musical career. He once sued a record producer to stop the release of an album that he felt was substandard, having been recorded during his years of alcohol abuse. Now a youthful 75, Ringo is also showing that age does not have to be a barrier to being very successful late in life.
Ringo is usually not mentioned amongst the greatest of drummers of the classic rock generation. Why? Because he made it look easy and only once engaged in a drum solo on record. He says he hated to draw attention to himself and drum bombastics were self-indulgent crap. At the end of the Abbey Road album you will hear his only drum solo, and to do that he had to be talked into it.
As a solo artist, Ringo enjoyed his greatest commercial success in the early-mid 1970s. From “It Don’t Come Easy” to the “No No Song,” he enjoyed numerous hits and even coaxed his former bandmates to play on his records. In fact, his Ringo album featured all the Beatles, just not on the same songs. Ringo was the peacemaker and enjoyed friendships with each of the ex-Beatles.
Incidentally, Ringo was the first member of the band to actually quite the group while making the White Album. Paul was instructing him how to play the drums and it reached the point that Ringo up and quit. A few days later he returned and has legend tells it, he found his drum set surrounded in flowers, a peace offering from Paul.
Happy Birthday, Ringo. Thanks for providing the backbeat for an entire generation.