Ringo Starr was inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on Saturday night (April 18). He might have been the last of the four Beatles to be inducted as a solo artist – the band themselves were inducted in 1988 – but that didn’t stop him having a great time on the night, and very much looking like the life and soul of the party. Not easy when Miley Cyrus is in the room. Paul McCartney will forever be the head Beatle – in charge of the band’s legacy, and in constantly touring the world, keeps the songs alive. Ringo, though, underrated and overlooked as he is, remains the most likeable. And he proved it again on Saturday – five times over…
When he and Paul shared a bit of banter
Ringo opened his speech with a series of anecdotes about his first few bands – the bassist of his first band used a tea-chest bass, while the band he left to join The Beatles, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, used a radio as an amplifier. But as soon as he started reminiscing about his job in a factory, Macca took to the stage, mock-tapping his watch. Ringo responded: “After the things I’ve sat through tonight! Blah blah blah. I’ve got some stories.” Nice to see after all this time they still have the same jokey chemistry.
When Paul described his first impressions of Ringo
Ringo impressed The Beatles while out in Hamburg, performing with the Hurricanes. In his induction speech, McCartney said of the drummer: “Ringo was like a professional musician. We were just like, slamming around and doing stuff, but he had a beard – that’s professional. He had the suit. Very professional. And he would sit at the bar drinking bourbon and seven. We’d never seen anyone like this.”
When Ringo laughed at keeping The Beatles waiting because of another job
Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were playing a three-month holiday gig – “we couldn’t believe how great that was” – and Ringo received a call from The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein asking him to join the band. Epstein’s offer was for him to take the drum stool that night, but Ringo turned him down. “No, I can’t do that,” he said. “I’ve got a band here. We’ve got a job.” He always has his priorities in order, does Ringo.
When he was gracious after an 11-year slight
Ringo, 74, has been a member of the Hall of Fame since 1988 as a member of The Beatles. His solo work was only recognised at the weekend, however, an accolade all three other members received over 11 years ago. His only mention of the lateness of the honour was: “Finally, I’m invited and I love it.” What a gent.
When he discussed giving advice on farting to young bands
“We hung out,” Ringo said about sharing rooms with the other Beatles on their tours. “I’m telling every band in the room, you really have to get to know your other players.” But following up this advice was an even more important point about band diplomacy. “A tip I’ve got for all bands who are starting out: when you’re in a van, if you fart, own up. It’ll cause hell if you don’t own up because everyone will blame everyone else. Make a pact in the van. We did and that’s how we get on so well.” A fart pact! Who knew?
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