Ex-Beatle RINGO STARR turns 80 on July 7th - and finally gets the recognition he always wanted
Richard Starkey alias Ringo Starr has been in disagreement - and that for decades. For his fans, he is one of the most important drummers in rock history. Between 1962 and 1970, he recorded twelve albums with the Fab Four and sold 600 million copies. "John, Paul, George and Ringo have turned the world upside down," Lemmy von Motörhead once mused. "Just the way people listened to music and thought about rock bands."
Starr's critics, on the other hand, accuse the man from Liverpool of not being a particularly good musician, of always being in the shadow of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison and of having done some pretty bad solo albums. "I never claimed to be a brilliant songwriter," Ringo laughs. But that's life,
" Ringo says, "and I've got tracks on my albums that make even me think, 'How could I?' But that's life," he says, "and that's always been good for him: while most of his solo albums failed both critics and audiences, he has been very successful as an actor ("Caveman", "200 Motels", "Lisztomania"), started a prestigious interior design company (ROR) and formed the All Starr Band, which brings his life's work to the stage. "I'm living my dream," Ringo says. "After all, I'm performing with real luminaries and having a lot of fun. That's all I've ever wanted."
Definitely no one who is full or stuffed speaks like this. His private fortune is estimated at 350 million Euros, he was twice inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, knighted, literally played with God and the world (Clapton, The Band, Elton John, Stephen Stills, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Brian Wilson) and also found his private happiness: Since 1981 he is married in second marriage to actress Barbara Bach, has three children, eight grandchildren and lives in London, L.A. and Monte Carlo. His eldest son Zak is also a much sought-after drummer and is currently playing with The Who. "He's quite okay," Ringo says with a wink. "I'd say he's in the top three. Of course, he inherited his talent from me."