"I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS"
"To be or not to be, I don't care,
The question is, are you alive out there?
It don't take brains, just heart and soul,
I think therefore I rock and roll"
Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey July 7, 1940) was the more notable of the two drummers for The Beatles
, replacing Pete Best
. And he is awesome.
Following his career with the Fab Four, he has had a very successful solo career.
Aside from his musical career, he's also a pretty accomplished actor, starring in the prehistoric comedy film Caveman
, and had a co-starring role with Peter Sellers
in The Magic Christian
, and has appeared in many other films over the years. He will play a character and sing the theme song for a 2013 revival special of The Powerpuff Girls
on Cartoon Network
Some see him as the the Beatles' Garfunkel
, having only been credited for writing two Beatles songs which are mostly viewed as Album Filler
(although "Octopus' Garden" appeared on a Greatest Hits Album
). Ringo himself is often very Self Deprecating
about this. The other Beatles tried to avoid this, however, by giving him at least one song to sing on every album, and have repeatedly declared his importance for the band in interviews. John Lennon
, who often hired Ringo as his drummer after the breakup because he had gotten used to his groove, noted in an interview that "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."
Oh, and did we mention he provided narration for a large number of episodes in the Thomas the Tank Engine
series, and also played the Conductor?
- Sentimental Journey - 1970 (A Cover Album of Tin Pan Alley standards, decades before Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and other singers did the same thing)
- Beaucoups of Blues - 1970 (Another Cover Album, this time of Country Music songs)
- Ringo -1973
- Goodnight Vienna - 1974
- Ringo's Rotogravure - 1976
- Ringo the 4th - 1977
- Bad Boy - 1978
- Stop and Smell the Roses - 1981
- Old Wave - 1983
- Time Takes Time - 1992
- Vertical Man - 1998
- Ringo Rama - 2003
- Choose Love - 2005
- Liverpool 8 - 2008
- Y Not - 2010
- Ringo 2012 - 2012
- Adorkable: Played up in the movies, of course, but highly evident in real life as well. Why did he record that much-maligned album full of standards after The Beatles broke up? His mum wanted him to.
- The Alcoholic: He was already getting blind drunk at the age of nine (it's a Liverpool thing), but he managed to hide his heavy drinking while he was with the Beatles. After the band broke up, his alcoholism hit a downward spiral that lasted until the mid-80s, when he beat up his wife and realized he needed help. He's since made a full recovery.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Generally averted, though he was often seen as the most offbeat Beatle.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Grandpa
- Blinding Bangs: No more than the other three, but anime dubbing companies often turn characters with Blinding Bangs into parodies of him, riddling their dialogue with Beatles references. This is shown in Kinnikuman with Geronimo/"Beatlebomb" (one of the most criticized aspects of the dub) and Nihiru/Ringo from Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
- Book Dumb: Missed out on quite a lot of school due to constantly being ill, and referred to himself as "intelligent but uneducated".
- Boring, but Practical: As noted in the Lennon quote above, he's not a great drummer technically - because he was a left-handed boy who only had access to a right-handed drum kit. Lennon also joked that "[Ringo]'s not even the best drummer in the Beatles!" However, he contributed stylistically creative drum parts to the Beatles' songs, displaying a talent for moulding his drumming style to whatever the other Beatles needed. He is also very, very good at keeping time and very rarely caused takes to break down due to mistakes.
- Catch Phrase: "PEACE and LOVE!"
- He says it so much that it veers into Verbal Tic territory.
- Chick Magnet: People tend to forget that he had as many devoted fangirls as the others, if not more; his girlfriend in Liverpool was getting threatened by numerous Yandere types before Beatlemania proper even started. That gag in A Hard Day's Night about him getting the most fanmail was actually true.
- Classically-Trained Extra: "You're Sixteen" features a guest appearance by Paul McCartney... on kazoo! (or kazoo-like noises)
- Cleopatra Nose: And his fangirls thought it was his charm point!
- Cool Old Guy: Of course.
- Cloudcuckoolander: In sort of a stolid way.
- The Garfunkel: When it comes to songwriting, Ringo doesn't get as much credit compared with the other Beatles. Understandable, as while the Beatles were together, he wrote only two songs by himself. But to be fair, he was a great drummer.
- Generation Xerox: Ringo's son Zak has been the on-and-off drummer for The Who for the better part of the last 20 years, and played in Oasis for several years.
- Grief Song: "Never Without You" for George Harrison. "Photograph", which George himself helped Ringo record, also became this after George's death.
- Happily Married: To Barbara Bach.
- The Heart: Many fans and critics considered him the most expendable Beatle, but the other Beatles recognized Ringo as helping keep them together during the most tense of times. Once he tried to leave... and the other three sent him flowers to convince him otherwise! After they broke up, he was the only one to maintain friendly relations with the other three.
- Ill Boy: Ringo was extremely prone to illness as a child. When he was six years old, he developed appendicitis. Complications of the appendicitis caused an infection that put him into a coma for two months. At thirteen years of age, he was hospitalized again for chronic pleurisy. The next two years of his life were spent in a sanatorium to aid his recovery, but during his second year, he fell ill with tuberculosis. And that's just his childhood. He contracted tonsillitis in 1964, and in 1979 had to have parts of his intestines removed. He also copes with allergies and sensitivities to food.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Generally played and/or perceived as the innocent Beatle, due to his Plucky Comic Relief status in the films.
- It's Pronounced Tro-PAY : Saying "Ringo" without putting the emphasis on "go" is a crime.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Observable in the bottom half of this image◊. Him having been a feminine-looking, Moe Moe Bishōnen back then, time hasn't been kind to him. Though he looks okay for 70. Then again, many of those who saw Ringo as the "ugly Beatle" during the moptop era now think he's better-looking than Paul McCartney.
- Japandering: There's this, but in Ringo's defense the ad is actually quite clever.note
- Live Album: Several, most notably the series of Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band releases.
- Malaproper: Ringo was noted for this; he is generally credited with coining the phrases "a hard day's night", "eight days a week", and "tomorrow never knows".
- Meaningful Name: His nickname, which dates back to his pre-Beatle days with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, comes from his affinity for rings.
- Metaphor Is My Middle Name: "Drumming Is My Madness".
Drumming is my middle name
- Nice Guy
- Odd Name Out: John, Paul, George, and... Ringo.
- Older than They Look: He's 72, but he looks like he could be in his 40s (and with a little face cream, even late 30s. Seriously.◊), and doesn't look a day over 50.
- Precision F-Strike: According to this interview with his first wife Maureen, he used one of these right before he (temporarily) walked out on the White Album sessions. (It's especially funny when you contrast him with John, master of the Cluster F-Bomb.)
... I will never forget what he muttered as he folded his socks and put them in the suitcase. He said "Paul is a freaking
Q: You used freaking instead of the "F" word?
A: (laughs) Yes I did. He put so much stress on that word that it shocked me to hear him say it because he usually isn't like that.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: His default expression, but he really amps it up in films like A Hard Day's Night.
- The Reliable One
- Sad Clown
- Self-Deprecating Humor: He is very fond of it.
- Silly Love Songs: Plenty.
- The Southpaw: Initially caused him some difficulty, as his drum kit was right-handed.
- Step Up to the Microphone: To make the Beatles a full Vocal Tag Team, Ringo had a song in every album but A Hard Day's Night. John and Paul even joked that their version of the song they gave to The Rolling Stones was sung by Ringo...
- This dates back to his days with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes; part of the logic behind his stage name was that it allowed the group to bill his solos as "Starr Time." (After joining The Beatles, he continued to cover one of his usual Rory numbers—The Shirelles' "Boys"—which made it onto the album Please Please Me.)
- Tareme Eyes
- Type Casting: Tended to get cast as characters reminiscent of his Real Life persona, starting with A Hard Day's Night (in which he played an exaggerated version of himself). He once noted that he really wanted to play a villain just to shake things up.
- The Runt at the End
- The Wild West: His stage name was originally intended to evoke this; when he was with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, the band decided to do a bit of Wild West-inspired Theme Naming for all its members, and Ringo's stuck even after he became a Beatle.