Richard Starkey was born in a small two-story terraced house in the
Dingle area of Liverpool, on July 7, 1940, making him the oldest Beatle,
three months older than John. His father, who's name was also Richard,
was originally a Liverpool dock worker, and later worked in a bakery
where he met Ringo's mother Elsie. His parents broke up in 1943, and
Elsie later married Harry Graves, who little Richie called his "step
Although remaining cheerful throughout his childhood, it was filled
with hospital time, for appendicitis at 6, at which time he went into a
coma for two months, and a cold which developed into pleurisy when he
was 13, causing him to miss much school. By fifteen he could just barely
read and write.
Like the other Beatles, young Ritchie also eventually became caught
up in Liverpool's Skiffle craze. After starting his own group with Eddie
Miles called The Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group in 1957, he joined The
Raving Texans in 1959, a quartet which played while Rory Storm sang.
During this time, he got the nickname Ringo, because of the rings he
wore, and because it sounded "cowboyish", and the last name Starr so
that his drum solos could be billed as "Starr Time".
Notice Ringo's real name listed
as "Richard Sharkey"
Ringo first met the Beatles in Hamburg in October 1960 while there
performing with what had become Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. Ringo
joined the Beatles on August 18, 1962. Rory Storm was magnanimous about
the theft of his drummer, but Pete Best fans were upset, holding vigils
outside Pete's house and rioting at the Cavern Club, shouting "Pete Best
forever! Ringo never!" His health would cause him problems again later,
he missed three quarters of the 1964 tour of Scandanavia, Holland, the
Far East and Australia, to have his tonsils out.
The Beatles' first movie, originally to be called Beatlemania
became to be called A Hard Day's Night because it was something
Ringo had said one evening after a long and particularly grueling
Ringo married his long-time girlfriend Maureen Cox on February 11,
1965, and they had three children, Zak, Jason and Lee.
In His Own Words
About his early drumming, Ringo said:
"I started to be an engineer but I banged me thumb on the first
day. I became a drummer because it was the only thing I could do. But
whenever I hear another drummer I know I'm no good. John learned me
the song I sing. I can only play on the off beat because John can't
keep up on the rhythm guitar. I'm no good on the technical things but
I'm good with all the motions, swinging my head, like. That's because
I love to dance but you can't do that on the drums.
"I figure we're good for another four years. I don't want to invest
me money in stocks or anything. I just want to have it and draw twenty
or thirty quid a week. The main thing is, I don't ever want to go back