Soundtrack Of My Life: Ringo Starr

The Beatles star talks the tracks that changed his life

The first song I fell in love with

Gene Autry – ‘South Of The Border’

“They used to play it on Saturday morning at the pictures in Liverpool, which was a big deal for kids in those days. I remember it like yesterday, him singing that and it just feeling good. It moved me.”

The first song I learned to play

Lonnie Donegan – ‘Rock Island Line’

“I was lucky because when I started, if you had the instrument, you were in the band. I worked in the same factory as Eddie Clayton, who played guitar, and we’d play in the basement – I had a snare drum, my best friend Roy Chaplin played tea chest bass, and we were a skiffle band. We played weddings for the beer.”

The song I do at karaoke

Frank Sinatra – ‘My Way’

“It’d have to be ‘I Did It My Way’ [laughs for a really long time]. I don’t know though. I’ve never actually done karaoke.”

The song I’d have played at my funeral

The Beatles – ‘Octopus’s Garden’

“I don’t know what we’d have playing, so I’ll say this one because it’d be nice to have everyone singing along.”

The act that made me want to be in a band

Lightning Hopkins

“He’s my favourite. I tried to emigrate to America to follow in his footsteps when I was 19, but there’s just too many forms for a teenager to fill in. I did the first set and they gave me more. So I used the English expression: ‘F**k off’. I just stayed around playing in Liverpool, and I ended up joining you-know- who.”

The best gig I ever saw

Eric Clapton

“I’ve seen Eric several times, here [in LA] and elsewhere. I once saw him play with Carlos Santana, who was so ‘on’ that Eric just bowed to Carlos’s on-ness. [Clapton’s ’60s band] Cream got back together a few years ago (Royal Albert Hall, 2005) and that was indeed a great, great show.”

The song that makes me dance

Chubby Checker – ‘The Twist’

“I dance to anything. I am a dancer. I’m still doing The Twist though. Am I still Twisting & Shouting? Of course!”

Ringo Starr’s new album ‘Give More Love’ is out today