As one of the world's most famous drummers, Ringo Starr kept the beat for the iconic rock band the Beatles. Some see him as a true ensemble player who never worried about proving his prowess as a solo artist.For the past 40 years that Starr has been in the music industry, he hasn't received the praise or attention of his former bandmates, like John Lennon or Paul McCartney. Yet in the early days after the Beatles' breakup, it was Starr who outperformed the other three men. "Everyone says, 'Oh, you're outselling the others. Well, why not," Starr questioned. He joked that he was born to be famous. But after the early success, a fallow period full of B movies occurred. Then he struggled with alcohol. His saving grace came when he met his second wife, actress Barbara Bach. And, after 25 years, the two are still soul mates.
New AlbumNow the man who some consider just the fourth Beatle is proving he can do it alone, and extremely well. His latest musical effort is called "The Very Best of Ringo Starr," a compilation album with songs like "Back Off Boogaloo" and "You're Sixteen." "Sometimes things just gel," Starr said about his new album. The drummer said he enjoys working with artists and bringing them together. "That's the musician in me," he said. "Because I'm a drummer, it's just difficult to, like, get up and say, 'Now I'd like to do "Photograph" just on the kit.'" So he created a band called the Roundheads, and his enormously popular all-stars band. "I've always loved that," he said. "It gives me the opportunity to play with these people."
The Accessible BeatleThe man is so unpretentious that, at times, he seems in a rush to point out all of his perceived flaws. Ringo's self-effacing style is perhaps what made him seem like the most accessible, and often the most popular of the Fab Four. He was the Beatle who somehow humanized the other three. Some suggest he was the glue that held the brilliant, but often clashing, egos together, a lynchpin. "Everybody says that, and it's true. I was open to all the possibilities of what was going on," Starr said. "If there was any making up to do, we'd make it up at my house."
A New LegacyAnd some say this fresh view of Starr's role as a collaborator shows him as a musical genius and a revolutionary. Though, he joked, he had never seen those press clippings. Initially, people looked down on drums, Starr said. But then minds began to change once they realized he could play well. In fact, many drummers count Starr as their inspiration. "A lot of people that work in offices say that to me, 'Because of you, I'm a drummer.'"