23 surreylive.news NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020 PAST TIMES Starr Ringo will always be a R The beat goes on for Beatles drummer Ringo Starr as he turns 80. looks back at his remarkable career INGO STARR once said “drumming is my middle name” and the former Beatle is still keeping the beat as he celebrates his 80th birthday next week. His stepfather Harry Graves brought him his first set of drums as a present when he was growing up and Ringo promised him he would become the best drummer ever. His grandfather later lent him £25 for the deposit on a drum kit upgrade when he turned professional. “First and foremost I am a drummer,” he once said in an interview. “After that, I’m other things, but I didn’t play drums to make money. I played drums because I loved them. My soul is that of a drummer.” Ringo has called drumming “the love of my life” and in 1957 he was playing in the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group before going on to join The Beatles. The band had already had several drummers and Pete Best had been with them for two years but record producer George Martin suggested they find someone new when they auditioned for him at the Abbey Road Studios. Ringo was originally hired on a salary of £25 a week with the promise of a full partnership in the band later and he contributed to the 1962 hit Love Me Do. He was a natural fit for the band and John Lennon once summed up the group’s dynamics saying: “Ringo is Ringo, that’s all there is to it. And he’s every bl**dy bit as warm, unassuming funny and kind as he seems. He was quite simply the heart of the Beatles.” Born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, his parents divorced when he was three and he was brought up by his mother Elsie and his stepfather. Ringo remembered: “I was born the day war broke out, but I don’t remember all the bombs though they did actually break up Liverpool, you know. I remember when I was a little older, there were big gaps in all the streets where houses used to be. We used to play over them.” Ringo was nicknamed “Lazarus” growing up because he spent so much time in hospital as a result of ill health including bouts of pleurisy and tuberculouis. He also spent 10 weeks in a coma when his appendix burst when he was six. It was during one hospital visit that he started to play drums when he was encouraged to take part in a hospital band on his ward. Paying tribute to his mum, he MARION McMULLEN Ringo with his wife Barbara Bach in 1985 Ringo in the days before Ringo in 1963 at the start of the Beatles’ rise to fame and, above, with his All Starr Band at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles last year he was the Beatles‘ drummer Dancing in the Peppermint Lounge, New York in 1964 George Harrison and Ringo at an awards event The Beatles posing for a jokey portrait told the Daily Mirror in 2013: “That woman loved every second of my life and remembered every second of it. “She worried about me too. When I decided to leave the factory and go to Butlins with my first group, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, her advice was ‘Well, it’s all right as a hobby, son’. “I had a proper job and who knew where this was going to go? But I said ‘No. I’ve made the decision, I’m a drummer now, this is what I do’.” He adopted the stage name Ringo Starr and has said of his playing: “I never studied anything, really. I didn’t study the drums. I joined bands and made all the mistakes on stage.” Ringo is also credited with coming up with the title of the first Beatles film when he was heard saying “It’s been a hard day’s night”. His movie career has also seen him appearing alongside David Essex in That’ll Be The Day in 1973, playing the pope in director Ken Russell’s 1975 movie Lisztomania, popping up as Mock Turtle in Alice In Wonderland in 1985 and famously narrating Thomas The Tank Engine on TV. Caveman in the 1980s saw him appearing alongside Dennis Quaid as a fur-clad character called Atouk. Ringo, who has three children from his first wife Maureen, married actress Barbara Bach in 1981. She accompanied Ringo when he was knighted for his services to music in 2018 and joked he would be wearing his medal at breakfast. His “Peace And Love” birthday celebrations have now become a tradition and last year fans in more than 26 countries organised celebrations. The event began after he told a journalist in 2008 “I’d like everyone on the planet to go, ‘Peace and love’ on my birthday”. He has said of getting older: “When I was a teenager, I thought that everybody at 60 should be shot because they’re useless. When I got to 40 my mother said ‘I don’t suppose you feel like that anymore, son’. “I was well p***ed off with being 40, but, after that, you just go with it.” Acting up: (from top) Ringo in Mexico filming for Caveman; as British explorer Sir Francis Drake for TV show, Around the Beatles; and in the film That’ll Be The Day PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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