Ringo Starr has come a long way from Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, the band he was in before the Beatles. Sir Ringo or Sir Richard has an unusual sound to it. Ringo’s journey through life from a sickly child in Liverpool to a knighthood hasn’t been a straight and easy one. His life is well documented, being a Beatle tends to do that for you, all of the high points and low points alike.
Ringo is a survivor and he has learned to adjust his course to catch the prevailing wind. When Ringo joined the Beatles, he was a well-known drummer, his addition boosted the group’s musical credibility. Through the years, Ringo is rarely mentioned as either a great technical drummer or one of rock’s most premier stickmen. Ringo was never showy, he never used twin bass drums, or used a gong or timpani drum, or tailored his music around his drumming. Only once on a Beatle record did he ever solo, and he had to be convinced to do it. Ringo’s drumming was economical and served the song, not the other way round.
In A Hard Day’s Night, Ringo has several scenes where he shines, using physical comedy very effectively to showcase his “Ringo” personality John Lennon wrote a song called “This Boy” which was a B-side of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” An instrumental version of this song was used in the film, and is played while Ringo has a few adventures while out on his own. The song is called “Ringo’s Theme (This Boy)”. Years later Ringo delved into acting on a regular basis, with mixed results. Perhaps if he had taken it more seriously and invested more time developing his acting skills, he might have enjoyed more success. It doesn’t matter because Ringo had many other plans in life.
Following the breakup of the Beatles, Ringo was slow to engage his solo career, picking unlikely projects before tackling a major pop project, the Ringo album, where he called upon many friends to help make his most successful record. His subsequent albums were less successful and his musical career stalled, in part because of drug and alcohol issues. Things were so dark that he sued to stop the distribution of recordings he made. After he cleaned up his act, he hit the road with what would be along running all star band, and started making records again.
Ringo never stopped being Ringo, he just ditched the layers of substance abuse, bad career choices and rediscovered what made him happy. Instead of chasing hit singles, riding the fame train, and going to the best parties, he adopted the peace and love approach. I think he simplified his life and really took peace and love to heart.
His knighthood listed his contribution to music. “It’s great! It’s an honour and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love,” he said.
“Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer best pal! X Paul,” tweeted his fellow Beatle.
Sir Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997. “I had dinner with him last week and we were both actually laughing about where we came from, and we’ve ended up in the palace and it’s now Sir Paul and Sir Richard,” said Starr.
This Boy, has made out okay.