Music icon Ringo Starr opened up about his choice to join The Beatles 60 years ago and the incredible legacy of the band.
“I played occasionally with the boys, and that’s how I got to know them,” Starr explained on the Today Show Australia. “Then I’m playing with Rory [Storm], and we had a three month gig at Portland’s holiday camp which was ‘wow.’ Brian called on Wednesday and said ‘hey, excuse me, Ringo. The boys and I have been talking and they’d like you to join the band.’ I said ‘well, when do you want me to join?’ He said ‘tonight.'”
Starr then joked about how he said he couldn’t drop everything–it was a Wednesday, not a Saturday. At the time, the musician explained, leaving Rory Storm and the Hurricanes for The Beatles was a tremendous risk. Additionally, the current lineup of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison were long term friends. Starr would be the odd man out.
Even so, Ringo became a valued member of The Beatles. In the same interview, he recalled a number of memorable occasions he spent with his bandmates.
“One of the most incredible times was [when] John and I were showing a room in Manila,” Starr recounted. “We got off the plane in Manila, and like 10,000 cops got us to the hotel. It was crazy. We didn’t know that the madam of Manila had set us up a big dinner party. Anyway, John and I woke up that morning and put the TV on. Then there was this terrible footage of the party that she had set up and like kids crying, you know, as it went around the tables. Anyway, they didn’t like us after that, so we left with one cop on a motorbike.”
Starr Talks Evolution of The Beatles
However, when discussing the creative progression of the band, Starr summed it up with one word: drugs. He then joked “we were opening up our minds.”
“We were going around the world,” he explained. “Seeing the sights, I mean. We were growing. The music, our music, was changing.”
From those experiences, they grew as a band and as people. Even so, Starr holds nostalgia for those early times. The musician shared another anecdote from early in their career.
“You know, we’re traveling around the country in a this van,” he explained. “There’s the four of us; but one day, we stopped to a cafe somewhere in England. George got in the driver’s seat–he wanted to drive, you know, just to break the monotony. But Paul had the keys, so we hung out for two hours while they discussed it.”
While it’s a humorous anecdote, it’s a fun look into the dynamic that often steered the band into trouble. More specifically, The Beatles often argued over credits and creative expression. Either way, Starr gave fans a fun look back at the beginnings of the band that changed music.