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Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer’s age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed

This is an article about Sir Richard Starkey MBE, a member of a certain quartet from Liverpool that changed music forever. For most of Ringo’s career with The Beatles, he took a back seat and may have felt in awe of Lennon and McCartney. Like George, he didn’t put himself forward and just followed along where the band took him.

I am sure, at one time, he was conscious of some disappointment that he had replaced the popular Pete Best in the band. Best was popular amongst the girls with his James Dean looks, but there was a problem.

Best’s timing was dubious, to say the least. And, with the band improving, a drummer struggling with his timing was always going to be a problem. Enter Richard Starkey, as known as Ringo Starr. But, who is Ringo Starr? Let’s find out as we explore some Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer’s age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed.

Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer's age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed

Got On With The Job

At first, Ringo took a lot of stick, and it was rather unpleasant for him. But he just got on with the job, and over time, he was accepted. He went through Beatlemania, touring, films, and the mystic period in India. 

And, he absorbed all the pressures that went with being in the biggest rock band there ever was and ever will be. His mostly mild-mannered nature saw him through it all. Although, he did snap a couple of times.

At a recording session in 1968…

Ringo was so fed up with the bickering and one-upmanship that he just got up and walked out. He said he wasn’t coming back. That was during the recording of “Back In The U.S.S.R.” for the White Album. After all, the bass player shouldn’t be telling the drummer how and what to play, should he?

He returned a couple of days later and watched in dismay as the band was pulled in one direction and then another. And finally, it tore itself apart. After that, he embarked on a solo career that gave him a new impetus. You could say he is a survivor and now follows his mantra of peace and love to all he meets.

Of all The Beatles, he had the toughest time as a kid. That may indicate why he is always so grateful for what he achieved. Let’s skim briefly over Ringo Starr’s childhood to put the character of the man in some perspective.

Early Life

Ringo wrote, with a little help from his mate George Harrison, a song called “It Don’t Come Easy.” Ringo started writing the song as far back as 1968. But he was not keen to put it forward to the others, so he didn’t finish it. George helped him finish the song and produced it. In 1971, “It Don’t Come Easy” was released as Ringo Starr’s first international single.

It reached #4 in the UK and America and made the Top 10 elsewhere. However, it’s the title that we are looking at for the moment. It describes exactly his start in life.

Anything Else?

That could have been what he was thinking during a problematic childhood. Ringo Starr was born in Dingle, Liverpool, a tough inner city area, at the start of the Blitz in the Second World War. 

Unfortunately, Ringo Starr’s father lost interest in the family quite early and spent his money in pubs and clubs. The family ran into financial trouble and had to move to reduce costs. They stayed in the same part of the city where his mother took on extra work.

Ringo says he doesn’t remember his father. And he only visited Ringo a few times after he was divorced from his mother.

A First Separation

A First Separation

At six years old, “Richie,” as he was called, had appendicitis and was taken to the hospital. A routine operation went wrong, and he suffered peritonitis. Ringo Starr was in a coma for three days. Then, he spent a year of recovery away from his mother in a children’s hospital.

When he finally came home at age eight, his mother didn’t send him to school. His lack of education meant that he was classed as illiterate. He felt alienated from other children at school because of it and had a hard time. Finally, a relative helped him with schoolwork.

A Second Separation

He had almost caught up when Ringo contracted TB. As a result, he was admitted to a sanatorium, where he stayed for two years. It was there that he was introduced to music and played percussion in the hospital band.

Back at home, Ringo Starr’s family wanted him to play music because they could see how much he enjoyed it. They bought him all kinds of instruments, but he only wanted one thing. Drums.

Hello To Skiffle

Let’s fast forward a bit now. He was introduced to skiffle by a friend he met during an apprenticeship as a machine operator. Ringo was given his first drum kit, of sorts, and started to play. But skiffle died away, replaced by Rock and Roll.

Hello Ringo

It was at this time that he changed his name to Ringo. So, why did Richard Starky change his name to Ringo Starr? And does the name Ringo Starr have any special meaning? Glad you asked. Firstly, he thought it had a Country and Western sound to it. And secondly, because of the rings he wore. 

By now, he had become good enough to be the drummer for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. He was still pursuing his apprenticeship at the time. But, he joined as they were the leading band in Liverpool at the time and very popular amongst the locals.

In October 1960, whilst playing in Hamburg, Ringo first came across The Beatles. He even played with them a few times for fun. Maybe it was then this idea of replacing Best started to take shape. Finally, when Ringo joined The Beatles in 1962, the rest was history.

Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer’s age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed

Ringo Starr facts

He has been married twice. Ringo’s first marriage was to Maureen. They married in 1965 and were together for ten years, and had three children. One of those is Zak Starkey, currently the drummer with The Who. His other son is Jason, and his daughter is Lee.

Ringo is brutally honest when talking about that first marriage. He met her the week he joined The Beatles; she was a hairdresser in Liverpool. He blames himself and his behavior for the breakdown of the marriage.

There was also her affair with George Harrison, who was at the time married to Patti Boyd. But that marriage was failing as well. Maureen died at just 48 years old from leukemia. Heartbroken, he remained single for many years.

Then along came “Anya Amasova,” or rather, his Barb…

Ringo Starr’s second marriage was to the “Bond Girl” Barbara Bach, in 1981, and they are still together. As of today, he has eight grandchildren and was the first Beatle to become a great-grandfather. They divide their time living in Los Angeles, Monte Carlo, and London.

Ringo and Barbara have never had children together. But, there is a positive family atmosphere. He makes sure of that. With Ringo Starr’s three children with Maureen and Barbara’s two children from her first marriage, it can be a house full.

It is with and through Barbara’s influence that he has become very involved in various humanitarian projects. He and Barbara have established the Lotus Foundation, which helps impoverished people and areas.

The Effects of His Childhood

You could say that how his childhood developed influenced his own life today. Whilst he made mistakes with Maureen, he has ensured there is now a strong family bond. And growing up with very little in a poor part of Liverpool may well have been a driving force behind Ringo Starr’s charitable efforts.

From Rags To Riches?

Maybe not quite that bad, but today, Ringo Starr’s net worth is over 150 million UK Pounds. Of course, that is still subject to increments from royalties, paid appearances, etc. You might say that is quite a change from those days in Dingle, Liverpool. But this isn’t the end of our look at Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer’s age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed.

Ringo’s Music

Amazingly, he managed a solo vocal on most Beatles albums. On the first album, Please Please Me, he sang the rocker “Boys.” On the second album, With The BeatlesRingo sang “I Wanna Be Your Man.” A Carl Perkins song, “Honey Don’t,” on the album Beatles For Sale also showcased Ringo Starr’s singing skills. Finally, on the album Help!, he sang “Act Naturally.”

There were plenty more. But, possibly the two most well known Ringo Starr songs are “Yellow Submarine”, and singing as his alter ego, Billy Shears, “With A Little Help From My Friends” from the monumental album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

He also contributed some songwriting with the other Beatles on a few tracks. However, “Don’t Pass Me By” was Ringo Starr’s only Beatles song he wrote himself.

Post Beatles

Post Beatles

As we all know, The Beatles all went their separate ways, and I know that some were worried about “poor little Ringo.” They needn’t have been. In many ways, he produced as much as the others.

Ringo has released 20 studio albums and 46 singles to date, and some of those singles were special. “It Don’t Come Easy” has already been mentioned, but there were also “Back off Boogaloo” and “You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful And You’re Mine).”

But, possibly the best of them all was the song he wrote with his dear friend George, “Photograph.” He sang that at the Royal Albert Hall at the Concert For George. As he said that night, the words were more poignant now that George had gone.

As time has gone on… 

Ringo hasn’t had the same impact as he once had, but I shouldn’t think he is bothered. He has filled his life with music as well as films and has become an accomplished actor in the process. He has done narration for the children’s program “Thomas The Tank Engine” and creates and sells computer-generated art.

As a Drummer

Over the years, some have said that Ringo couldn’t play the drums well. But these people were just the usual losers with an ax to grind. Interestingly, he is naturally left-handed but plays right-handed. That has resulted in his technique being what you might call “inside-out.” The clearest example of this is on The Beatles’ track “Ticket To Ride.”

Right-handed drummers can play it as he does, but they can’t make it sound the same. Phil Collins has said that many of the fills he used when he was playing came from ideas he found when listening to Ringo. 

He was often the butt of good-humored banter within The Beatles. John Lennon was asked in an interview once whether he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world. He answered, “He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles,” said with that Lennon grin, of course.

A Creator Of Names And Messages

Ringo was known for some “odd” things he said from time to time. It was Ringo who came up with the song title “A Hard Days Night” and also the title for the album track “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

George Harrison said that Ringo often writes “cosmic” songs without realizing it. And he gave the example of the message of inner peace in the track “Octopus’s Garden” he wrote with Ringo.

He seems to have done so much in his life, and perhaps having his ‘All-Star Band’ for him was one of the highlights. And, never once has he let a false sense of self-importance overwhelm him. That is more than can be said for some in the group.

Want To Learn About Other World Class Drummers?

If so, check out our thoughts on Who Was the Drummer for NirvanaWho is the Famous One Arm DrummerRolling Stones Drummer – Charlie WattsThe Female Drummers You Should Know, the Best Rock Drummers of All Time, and the Best Metal Drummers of All Time for loads more information and song selections.

Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer’s age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed – Final Thoughts

He is approaching his 83rd birthday as I write this, and he is still enjoying life and involved in lots of things. Ringo was never one to try and grab the spotlight in the past, and he isn’t still.

Of course, plenty of people follow his every move. That is to be expected, but he doesn’t seek it out. Unlike some. He seems to have found a certain peace within himself. Perhaps he has made his own “Octopus’s Garden” with Barbara, his family, and a few close friends.

I haven’t included a fraction here of Ringo Starr’s music. If you want to hear more, then a good place to start is Photograph: The Very Best Of Ringo. But, just as important as the music, is that he is a good man. I think if he is thought of in that way, then he would be more than happy.

Until next time, happy listening.

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