Here are some fab facts about the most underrated, overlooked, and mocked Beatle, Ringo Starr.
“Ringo Starr” is not his real name.
The “Starr” is short for “Starkey” and “Ringo” comes from his habit of wearing rings. Somebody called him that once and it stuck, which the drummer himself liked because he thought it made him sound like he was a cowboy.
He was the funny Beatle, after all.
When a reporter once asked him why he liked to wear so many rings on his fingers, Starr quipped that it was because he “couldn’t fit them all through my nose.”
There was life before the Beatles.
The Beatles fired drummer Pete Best and hired Ringo Starr because they heard he was the best drummer in Liverpool. Indeed, before he joined the Fab Four he played in a band called Rory Storme and the Hurricanes. (He’d also worked a ferryboat captain.)
Rise up, Ringo!
It’s standard today for rock drummers to play on a riser. That makes the musician just as visible as the rest of the band, instead of obscured behind a massive drum kit. It’s a practice that started with Ringo, because crowds and TV viewers wanted to see every Beatle, even the drummer.
Hold on tight.
Ringo revolutionized rock drumming…by how he held his sticks. Before the Beatles hit, rock and pop drummers held their drumsticks in the jazz or military band tradition—loosely, in a half-open hand. But rock needed power, so Ringo held his tight and banged down on his drums that way. Now that’s how most every rock n’ roll drummer plays.
Of all of the Beatles many songs, there’s only one drum solo. Abbey Road’s “The End” features just Ringo and his drums.
A real pioneer.
Ringo is the first and only Beatle to release a disco album: 1977’s Ringo the 4th. He’s also the first and only Beatle with a full-length Christmas album: 1999’s I Wanna Be Santa Claus.
Who wants pizza?
Ringo Starr is severely allergic to garlic and onions…main ingredients in pizza, which Ringo plugged in a Pizza Hut commercial in the early 1990s.