Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey)

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Born: 7 July 1940, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK

Born to a candy maker, "Richie" didn't have a sweet youth. At six he had appendicitis, complications put him in a coma. At thirteen he developed chronic pleurisy which required two years of hospitalization. He was so far behind in school as a result that he had no chance to completing standard public education. It also left him with enduring allergies and food sensitivities, like George Harrison he is a vegetarian, but because he can't eat meat. In 1957 he joined his first skiffle band, in 1959 he joined the Raving Texans and adopted the name Ringo Starr because it sounded "cowboyish". While performing at Hamburg, Germany in 1960 he met the Beatles, playing with them three times over the next two years. He was asked to join the band in the summer of 1962, a staff change that led to angry protests from Beatles fans. He generally sang one song on each studio album, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote songs specifically to suit his baritone range. Ringo wrote very few songs, the others felt that what he did write sounded too much like the work of others, but his occasional malapropisms such as "a hard day's night" and "tomorrow never knows" became inspiration for the others, and he contributed to lyrics. He did write "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden", the latter during a two-week period when he had quit the band. Challenged by being a left-handed drummer in a world of right-handed drum kits he was sometimes faulted for technical issues in his drumming, but the consensus of other drummers is that he was an excellent creative drummer and was one of the first rock drummers to significantly contribute to the sound of their bands' songs rather than being known for drum soli. He was sometimes called "the funny Beatle" and Lennon said he was "the heart of the Beatles". Since the breakup of the group he has continued to record, he participated in solo albums by all three of the other members as well as with numerous other musicians. He is the only Beatle not to be knighted, and so far the only one to not be individually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It seems likely that he will be inducted, at which point the Beatles will be the only band to have been inducted as a group and to have all members inducted for their solo work. His comments about the royal family suggest that he will not be knighted.

Biography from Wikipedia and Gary Shultz

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