Ringo Starr

The folloing article appeared in "Beatles Color Pinup Album" which is a publication of the editors of Teen Screen magazine. This article is from the year 1964.

My given name is Richard Starkey! But, please call me Ringo! I wear at least two or three rings on each hand, and have thought of myself as Ringo for a long time.
Born July 7, 1940 in Liverpool, I was destined to become a Beatle! Anyway, I couldn't leave the other three lads to roam the world looking for the perfect drummer! I admit, they have brought a load of problems on my neck! I can not keep silent more than two minutes.
They say I am a friend of theirs! Yet, I ask myself, why do they want to cultivate me?
If the other three could be locked up, perhaps I could tell you something!
Right now, drumming is the most important thing in my life.
When we first met, the other Beatles thought I was sad and moody. Many people do at first! I wasn't sad...nor moody! Nor am I now. I have never been happier than I am now!
A good deal of time is wasted talking to people you don't even like. To me this is stupidity!
Our success, among other things, had meant my Mum shall not have to work anymore! It is sheer joy seeing her sit around with nothing to do, but amuse herself with pleasing her fancy! This is when I think there is no saddnes in the world.
Of course, there is sacrifice! You must sacrifice something in order to succeed. I'm not grumbling, but we do carry on at a fantastic pace! We are not home very much and wherever we are...we must be escorted! I love it, but there are those times one like to go out with his friends and spend some fun times!
Being extravagant goes hand in hand with success, also! For a long time you know what looks good...then when you have the money to buy what looks good...there is no end to your spending! I've got a car now! Not to mention the brass cuff links...which are not brass at all, but real gold! Blue silk shirts and tapered pants! Leather coats and boots, suede boots and ties! These are the price we pay for success!
Once you reach one goal, there is still another. Some day, soon, I hope to be there on stage, playing everything with my left hand as well as my right hand!
Dingle, supposedly one of the toughest areas in Liverpool, is where I call home! Our neighbors are fab, and they watch over Mum and Dad now that I am no longer there to take care of them.
I began school at five! The St. Silas School in Dingle was that school! However, at six and a half I left!!! Not officially as you shall understand. I got a appendicitic attact. I remember the aweful pains, then the stretcher, the...ether! I was rushed to the hospital in the ambulance (so I was told, later).
Complications developed and my hospital stay was extended one year! It wasn't too bad there. I couldn't do my school lessons, so did get a bit behind. The one thing I did not like was making friends! Just when we would really hit on a fun time, they would get well and go home!
At last the day came when I would go home! The nurse told me I could get up. What she forgot to tell me is that she was gong to help me get up. Later, I tried to get out of the bed, fell and hurt myself and was confined for three years. In the same hospital. In the same room!
When finally let back to school, I attended Dingle Vale Secondary Modern. Mum used to give me dinner money. I would buy a small dinner of chips and a hunk of bread. The rest I spent at the flicks or on a visit to the fair.
Again I spent one year in the hospital! On a trip to London, I caught cold. The cold developed into pleurisy. How I wish I had listened to Mum and taken my mac!
While still in the hospital, my school days had ended. When I was released, I got an engineering job, which was not suited for me and for which I was not suited.
Mum and Dad bought me my first set of drums. From that time on, there was nothing but drums for me. I have up engineering and joined the Darktown Skiffle group. This was followed by three years with Rory Storm and The Hurricanes.
Three seasons at Butlin's Holiday Camps was the best thing that could ever happen to anyone who has a stage career in mind. The audience heckles you, yells remarks, and demands numbers you have never heard of, or do not know how to play. But somehow; you learn to play anything without arrangements, how to yell back and best of all, you learn to ignore them!
There is one great thing I really like about being with the Beatles. If you aren't getting into the act, the other three make certain you do what you may not have done. Such as, I don't usually sing. Well, the other boys decided I should have a full whack at it. So, now I've got a singing spot! It's really great! (I refer to the spot, not my singing!)
I have a habit which annoys my friends immensely! After the show, I go to the Blue Angel on Scale Street. Every one of my friends dozes off. But me, I keep jumping around.
One night after the first performance of the evening, Paul was sleeping on the floor in the dressing room. I dashed into the room and fell over his head. He wasn't too happy, he yelled, "Ringo! Do you have to leap on my head?" I asked him why he sleeps on the floor. Perhaps, you think you are a dog!! "Yes!" Paul growled and took a bit at me.
My big kick is science fiction. I read a lot of it. However, the mania the group has started is more fantastic than any of the science fiction I have read thus far.
None of us have quite grasped what it's all about yet. It's washing over our heads like some huge tidal wave...but we're young. Youth is on our side. And it's youth that matters right now. I don't care about anything, not politics especially! Just people and drums. People and more drums.
In Birmingham, there were dozens of policemen controlling screaming fans at the studio doors while we rehearsed a television program. Well, if they didn't scream, I guess I wouldn't be where I am today. But don't ask me to explain it!
Suddenly, we are international figures. Everybody wants to investigate us. They have gone as far as having us questioned by psychiatrists! I never was able to understand the questions, so I couldn't answer them. Besides, the words they use are much too long.
Really, we are quite normal!
You might call me the odd-ball Beatle. I am the only one of the four who has blue eyes. To make me even more of a stand-out I am 5'8" tall, and I play the drums.
My favorite pasttime besides science-fiction reading is listening to Ray Charles or Dhinah Washington. I think the perfect movie would have Paul Newman, Peter O'Toole, Elvis Presley and Brigitte Bardot. Since my favorite color is black, and I love sleek suits and ties; all the men in the flick would wear black. Fast cars are great! There would have to be fast cars and blondes all over the set. Blondes around 5'5" in particular.
These are things I like and would like everyone to enjoy. But I would never invite anyone for Chinese food, tomatoes and onions. These food I detest!
Nor do I care for Donald Duck, or motor bikes. Nothing is better than drums, though rings come not far behind!

Email Sarah

Return to Vintage Articles & Interviews


Hosted by www.Geocities.ws