Quick: think of your favorite Beatle. Chances are you thought of John Lennon or maybe Paul McCartney. You may have heard George Harrison’s sweet “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in the back of your head. In all, it’s unlikely that your first thought was directed at Richard Starkey, AKA, Ringo Starr.
Ringo gets a bad rap. Maybe it’s because he was the latest addition to the group or because he wrote the least amount of songs. In any case, he doesn’t get the love he deserves. It was only in 2015 when he was indicted to the Rock Hall of Fame, at McCartney’s request.
Last week, the voice behind the “Yellow Submarine” finally added a “sir” before his name, knighted by Prince William. It happened over 20 years after his bandmate, Paul, received the same honor!
Now, let us celebrate Ringo’s amazing career and knighthood by remembering 4 of his best moments.
1. His Drumming
Ringo didn’t write many songs for The Beatles, and he only sang in a handful of them. But his drumming gave the band its beat: McCartney has even said his arrival was the beginning of The Beatles. Yoko Ono has called him the most influential of the four.
Although subtle, Ringo’s take on the instrument is essential to the Beatles’ sound. Just ask Dave Grohl. In all, there’s a reason Rolling Stone has Ringo in the top 15 best drummers of all time.
2. Every Time He Was on a Beatles Movie
His goofy persona in the band’s films may have been what cemented his status as a “joke.” Still, his quips on everything during A Hard Day’s Night were probably the best part of an already fun movie. In fact, he was so fun and natural, the gist of the drama in Help! revolved around him. And of course, he later went on to act in many other things!
The title of A Hard Day’s Night actually comes from Ringo, too. After a long day, he said the phrase and it stuck so much that Lennon and McCartney wrote the song.
3. The Blisters on His Fingers
“Helter Skelter,” a Lennon-McCartney song written by the latter, is one of the band’s best known tracks. It’s often considered a proto-metal song, and it even has a dark history involving Charles Manson. It’s also known for something much lighter: Ringo Starr screaming in pain at the end.
“I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” he yelled. Of course, after 18 takes on the song, the drummer had had it with McCartney’s song. And thankfully, someone caught Ringo’s plea on tape!
4. His Reaction to Being Knighted
As he was leaving Buckingham Palace after becoming sir Richard Starkey, BBC came up to interview him. The interviewer mentioned how he wore his previous Buckingham honor on the Sgt. Pepper album cover. What would happen to his new pendant?
“I’ll wear it at breakfast,” he said, in pure Ringo fashion.