BeatleLinks LogoNav Panel New Sites Cool Sites Top Rated Fab Forum Add A Site Link To Us Revolution Radio New Products

Go Back   BeatleLinks Fab Forum > Beatles Forums > Paperback Writer


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Apr 28, 2004, 02:33 PM   #1
I am the Paulrus
I am the Paulrus's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 14, 2003
Location: Here, There, and Everywhere
Posts: 2,203
Default Starr is brought to book

Starr is brought to book

Apr 28 2004

He is the least celebrated of The Beatles, but a new book will recognise the humour, talent and courage of Ringo Starr. David Charters reports

HE WAS such a sickly little fellow, who teetered on the edge of death so many times, that on the few occasions he did turn up at school, the other children called him "Lazarus".

But a few years later you could see the wide smile under the prominent hooter that became young Richie Starkey's hallmark.

The other boys and girls had entered apprenticeships, drifted into shops, or bowed into dead-end office jobs, the way you did.

And he was one of the most famous people on the planet, whose very presence in a place caused girls to swoon, scream, or rip at their hair because they liked him. In fact, they loved him and they kept his photograph clasped in their lockets. Nobody ever counted the millions of girls who fell asleep with his photograph over their beds.

By then, Richie Starkey, whose mum Elsie had worked in the Empress pub in Liverpool's Dingle district, was Ringo Starr, drummer with the Beatles.

Now a whole, 170,000-word encyclopaedia has been devoted to his life by Bill Harry.

He is the former editor of Mersey Beat, the newspaper which chronicled the rivalries, the friendships, the breakups and makeups, of the groups behind the Liverpool sound - the Beatles, the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Fourmost, the Big Three, the Swinging Blue Jeans etc.

In more recent times, Harry has become the unofficial historian of the Beatles, writing an encyclopaedia about each and another one about the group itself.

This opus, which runs over many millions of words, has finished, significantly enough, with Ringo.

It has always been this way. John, Paul and George, with Ringo being the little one at the back.

But Harry, now 64, and living in London with his wife Virginia and their son Sean, does not agree. For him, Ringo was not only only a marvellous drummer but the most likeable Beatle, whose sense of humour and reality, made him the most popular of the Fab Four in America.

Unlike Paul and George (Liverpool Collegiate) and John (Quarry Bank), Ringo did not go to grammar school. In so far as he had an education at all, it was at St Silas Infants, where Billy Fury was also a pupil, the Dingle Vale Secondary Modern and the school at the Heswall children's hospital, Wirral, where he was a patient between 1953 and 1955 being treated for lung complications arising from pleurisy.

He was born in Madryn Street, Dingle, and stayed there for about three years. But his father, Richard Starkey, left home, and his mother had to move to a smaller home in Admiral Grove, where she worked in the pub to bolster the family income.

In common with the others, though, Ringo was a fan of Lonnie Donegan and when, in about 1957, his stepfather, Harry Graves (or "the step-ladder" as Ringo preferred), bought him a drum kit, he began playing in skiffle combos.

His reputation grew and he joined Rory Storm (real name Alan Caldwell) and the Hurricanes, the most successful of the early groups on Merseyside, though the Beatles with their experiences in Hamburg would soon overtake them.

In 1962, John, Paul and George asked manager Brian Epstein to sack Pete Best, a handsome chap and a good drummer, who had a more conservative outlook than the others.

Richie Starkey (who had been renamed Ringo Starr by Rory after the Ringo Kid cowboy), was playing at Butlin's holiday camp in Pwllheli, but he joined the Beatles, a decision which some have said made him the luckiest man in the world.

Again, Harry disagrees. To him, Ringo deserved his success. After all, his presence on earth at all was a miracle, made possible by the determination of a little boy not to die.

"There are hundreds of entries in the book about Ringo on every aspect of his life, all the people knew from the early days, the early pubs, the early streets, the hospitals," says Harry. "He was the genuine working-class member of the Beatles, born in abject poverty.

"The father, Big Richie, left home when Ringo was only three. Elsie took a job in the Empress pub around the corner and then they had to move to the smaller property because the father said he couldn't afford to give them any more money.

"Ringo had so many illnesses that the kids used to call him Lazarus. At the age of six he had peritonitis and he was in a coma for 10 weeks. At the school, they didn't know who he was when he went back to get something signed, so he could get a job.

"He didn't even have good looks, he had virtually no education at all. The mother had to get a neighbour to come into the house for about threepence an hour to teach him how to read. Here's a guy with everything against him, who became a multi-millionaire and married a beautiful film star (the Bond girl, Barbara Bach), with houses in Monte Carlo and mixing with royalty and everything like that.

"Of all the Beatles, his is the biggest transformation. His first job was as a delivery boy for British Rail which only lasted a few months because he failed a medical."

Despite all this Ringo, all 5ft 4ins of him, had a good heart.
EVERYONE who knew him felt easy in his company because he was so good-natured," says Harry, who edited 110 Mersey Beats between 1961 and 1965.

"He had an amazing sense of humour, a deadpan wit, which wasn't like the acerbic wit of John Lennon. Ringo made people laugh a lot."

In the Beatles, George and Ringo were naturally drawn together, and they remained firm friends after the Beatles split.

"Ringo was the most likeable of the Beatles," says Harry. "John would try and put you down if you didn't stand up to him, Paul was nice and all the rest of it but he was the PR man, with George there was the seriousness, the intentness and the bizarre type humour. Ringo was open and funny.

"George said that he would always have Ringo in a group, but he would never have Paul again. Paul criticised George's guitar playing. Ringo would also be very embarrassed because he would play the drums on the Beatles' recording and then Paul could come in at night and put his drumming on."

This may have provoked John's cruel observation that Ringo wasn't the best drummer in the world, he wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles.

"But Ringo is an excellent drummer and very influential on rock groups," says Harry. "He had been forced to play in a different way because he was left-handed.

"Most of all he is a lovely man."

Now Bill Harry is to write a Beatles' story of 2.5 million words.

* THE Ringo Starr Enclyclopedia is published by Virgin Books, on May 4, at £12.99.

Making a name for himself

RINGO'S solo hits include It Don't Come Easy (co-written with George), number four, 1971; Back Off Boogaloo, two, 1972;

Photograph (co-written with George), eight, 1973; You're Sixteen, four, 1974.

In addition to the Beatles' films in which his humour was acclaimed in the US, he appeared in Candy (1968), The Magic Christian (1969) and then the far more successful

That'll Be The Day (1973). He is also the much-loved narrator of many of TV's Thomas the Tank Engine stories.
I am the Paulrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 02:55 PM   #2
Pepperland Kamer
Dr. Robert
Pepperland Kamer's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 1,494
Default Re: Starr is brought to book

this is such great news. i love the encyclopedia series of books from bill harry,but i was worried ringo woudnt get his own,since hes usually rejected,but now all 4 of them have there own encyclopedia! great news! thanks for posting it!
Pepperland Kamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 03:07 PM   #3
Sgt. Pepper
beatlegirl9977's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 23, 2001
Posts: 4,783

Default Re: Starr is brought to book

Great article... but WHERE did they come up with this item??
I am the Paulrus Posted:
Despite all this Ringo, all 5ft 4ins of him, had a good heart.

[/ QUOTE ]
No WAY is he 5'4"!! He's 5'8", if I remember correctly from a few dozen books!
beatlegirl9977 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 04:02 PM   #4
beatlebangs1964's Avatar
Join Date: May 23, 2001
Posts: 37,585

Send a message via AIM to beatlebangs1964
Default Re: Starr is brought to book

I hope this one won't be rife with inaccuracies like the George Harrison encylopedia. And yeah, Ringo WAS 5'8"!
beatlebangs1964 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 04:43 PM   #5
BrazilianFlag's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 22, 2002
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Posts: 2,078
Default Re: Starr is brought to book

All I have to say is <font color="brown"> ABOUT BLEEDING TIME</font>! Put me in the list to buy the book!
BrazilianFlag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 06:31 PM   #6
Sun King
DizzymissLizzy909's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 02, 2003
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 13,890
Default Re: Starr is brought to book

FINALLY! I can't wait for it to come out!
DizzymissLizzy909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 06:44 PM   #7
SF4-EVER's Avatar
Join Date: May 28, 2001
Location: Chicago Area, IL, USA
Posts: 11,969

Default Re: Starr is brought to book

Thanks, Paul! I'm glad to see another book on Ringo come out.
SF4-EVER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11, 2004, 03:51 AM   #8
Sun King
lennonluvr9's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 13, 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 9,373
Send a message via MSN to lennonluvr9
Default Re: Starr is brought to book

Yay! More recognition for Ringo! He seems so underappreciated....
lennonluvr9 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Site Features
Search Links

  Advanced Search
Category Jump





New User Sign-Up!
Lost Password?
Beatles History

The costs of running our database and discussion forum are steadily rising. Any help we receive is greatly appreciated. Click HERE for more information about donating to BeatleLinks.
» Chat Room
» Current News
» Monthly Contest
» Interviews Database
» Random Site
» Banner Exchange
» F.A.Q.
» Advertise
» Credits
» Legal
» Contact Us
Copyright © 2000-2022 BeatleLinks
All Rights Reserved