Paul McCartney inducted his former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last night (April 18).
Starr had already been inducted as a member of the Liverpool group but became the final Beatle to be inducted as a solo artist in his own right at the ceremony, which took place at Cleveland’s Public Hall.
McCartney gave a speech about Starr as part of the induction process, recalling the drummer first joining himself, John Lennon and George Harrison on stage for the first time. “We got friendly with him, and he used to come in late night when we were playing, and he requested a couple of songs, so we got to know him,” McCartney recalled.
He continued: “And one night our drummer then, Pete Best, wasn’t available, so Ringo sat in. And I remember the moment. I mean, Pete was great, and we had a good time with him. But me, John and George, God bless ’em, were on the front line singing, and now behind us we had this guy we’d never played with before, and I remember the moment when he started to play – I think it was Ray Charles, ‘What’d I Say’, and most of the drummers couldn’t nail the drum part. It was a little difficult to do, but Ringo nailed it.”
McCartney concluded: “And I remember the moment, standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like, fuck you. What is this? And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles.”
Starr also made a speech before a short performance, as Rolling Stone reports, in which he said: “I want to thank Paul for all the great things you told us…some of them are true. You know, it’s a great honor to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was doing the press and they’re all saying, “Well, why did you wait so long?” It has nothing to do with me. You have to be invited. But anyway, apparently I’m invited and I love it.”
The drummer was joined by Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Green Day, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the “5” Royales as the Class of 2015.