Ringo Starr on finding out about John Lennon’s death: “I didn’t know what to do”

The Beatles icon was shot dead in 1980

Ringo Starr has recalled the time he discovered that his Beatles bandmate John Lennon had been killed.

The legendary musician was murdered by obsessed fan Mark Chapman on December 8, 1980. Lennon had been shot four times at close range outside his Manhattan residence.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Beatles drummer Starr opened up to Foo Fighters‘ Dave Grohl about the moment he was told the tragic news.

“When John went, I was in the Bahamas. I was getting a phone call from my stepkids in L.A. saying, ‘Something’s happened to John’,” he explained. “And then they called and said, ‘John’s dead’. And I didn’t know what to do.”

Revealing that he “still well[s] up that some bastard shot him”, Starr went on to detail his actions in the immediate aftermath of Lennon’s death.

The Beatles

The Beatles (Credit: Getty)

“I just said, ‘We’ve got to get a plane’. We got a plane to New York, and you don’t know what you can do,” he remembered. “We went to the apartment. ‘Anything we can do?’ And Yoko [Ono] just said, ‘Well, you just play with Sean [Lennon, John’s son]. Keep Sean busy’.

“And that’s what we did. That’s what you think: ‘What do you do now?’”

Ringo Starr, meanwhile, has spoken out on covering John Lennon’s ‘Grow Old With Me’ alongside Paul McCartney. The former bandmates’ rendition of the 1984 number features on Starr’s latest album ‘What’s My Name’.

“It was very emotional for me. I listened to all the songs, but he recorded all of them bar one,” he said. “And that was this one, you know, “Grow Old With Me” – I did the best I could.”