Ringo: :”There are TWO Beatles left, not one”

Ringo Starr tells Paul McCartney to remember that there are two Beatles left

Jun 19 2011 John Dingwall, Sunday Mail

BEATLES legend Ringo Starr yesterday accused his old bandmate Sir Paul McCartney of acting as if he is the last surviving member of the Fab Four.

John Lennon was shot dead outside his home by deranged fan Mark Chapman in 1980. George Harrison died of cancer in 2001.

But, speaking ahead of his All Starr Band’s concert in Scotland on Thursday, the former Beatles drummer says Macca sometimes forgets he is still alive and kicking.

The 70-year-old rocker said: “We are as close as we want to be.

“We are the only two remaining Beatles, although he likes to think he is the only one. He is on my last record. I’ve been on several of his.

“He’s often touring and I’m doing my thing so it just depends. If we are in the same neighbourhood, we always say, ‘hi’. The only thing about touring is that every time I asked him to join the All Starrs, he says he is too busy.”

Ringo’s band play Glasgow’s SECC as part of a UK and European tour. And he promises to step out from behind his drum kit to sing Beatles classics such as With A Little Help From My Friends, Octopus’s Garden, I Wanna Be Your Man and Yellow Submarine alongside his solo material.

It will be tinged with nostalgia as Ringo says his time playing shows in Glasgow venues such as the Odeon during the early days of the Fab Four is up there as one of the highlights of his career alongside Shea Stadium, New York, where they played to 55,000 people in 1965.

But back in January 1963, Ringo, Paul, John and George were only playing venues such as the Museum Hall in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, and Dingwall Town Hall in the Highlands.

Asked about his favourite concerts, Ringo said: “As The Beatles, I’d have to say Shea Stadium. Before we got that big, Glasgow was always great.

“We always shared a room as well. People can’t believe it these days. But that’s how we got to know each other and that’s why we played so well. That was all part of it.”

But the man who replaced Pete Best in the band in August 1962 has only recently come to terms with the fact that he will always be known for his time with The Beatles.

He said: “I am at ease with it now. I don’t fight it. It gets boring when I have a new record and the second question is, ‘How’s Paul?’

“They can’t help themselves. So far I’ve never ordered the PR to say, ‘Don’t ask him about that’. I’ve always been open. You can ask me anything.”

Recalling his early years prior to joining the group , he said: “I had a dream at 13 that I wanted to play drums. It took five years before I got a set. I made my first set out of biscuit tins and bits of firewood.

“Then my step-dad Harry bought me drums for £12 and that was the first real kit I had.

“But I couldn’t carry it as I was on the bus. I didn’t have a car so I could only carry the snare.

“I started playing skiffle and then rock. The band would always get you to the gig but after the gig they’d be gone.

“I’d get off the bus and have to run up and down the street carrying one drum at a time.

“I was playing with Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. I worked in a factory – we all had jobs – and we had a chance to play Butlins for three months as the musicians.

“I was an apprentice but just thought I wanted to be a musician. I left my job. It was a huge family decision. They all came round and had the big family talk.

“I only ever wanted to be a drummer.

“Another well-known Liverpool band invited me to be the bass player. I did think about it for a minute. I thought, ‘Oooo, up front’ – but I love to hit those drums.”

For his tour, Ringo has assembled a band of six musicians who he says are all stars in their own right – Wally Palmar (guitar), Rick Derringer (guitar), Edgar Winter (keyboards and saxophone), Gary Wright (keyboards), Richard Page (bass) and Gregg Bissonette (drums).

He is proud that his son Zak Starkey is following in his footsteps, having played drums with The Who, Oasis and Paul Weller.

Ringo added: “He has a new band called Penguins, who are opening for Beady Eye.”

 

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