Fun Facts About Ringo Starr; Author Talks Biography of ‘Funny’ Beatle

Ringo Starr’s life story is told in the book “Ringo: With a Little Help."

ByABC News
July 3, 2015, 7:17 AM
Ringo Starr performs onstage during the 30th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall, April 18, 2015, in Cleveland.
Ringo Starr performs onstage during the 30th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall, April 18, 2015, in Cleveland.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

— -- His is the voice on “Yellow Submarine,’ “Octopus’ Garden’ and “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

Now, a new biography chronicles Ringo Starr’s life. In “Ringo: With a Little Help,” author Michael Seth Starr – no relation to Ringo Starr – tells the story of the drummer from his earliest days on the streets of Liverpool to the height of mega-fame as one of the four band members in the Beatles.

In an interview with ABC News’ Juju Chang that aired on "Good Morning America" today, Starr said the American audience got its first glimpse of Ringo as “the funny Beatle” when the band appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964.

“They fell in love with him immediately and the public – it’s funny, if you watch their famous appearance” on the “The Ed Sullivan Snow,” Starr got the “most applause" when he was shown, the author said.

Scroll down for fun facts about Ringo Starr

Ringo’s goofball personality was on display in the movies “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help.”

“Ringo has a natural affinity for clowning around and comedy … he did make several movies while the Beatles were together. And then after they broke up, he really went whole hog into movie making,” Starr said.

Ringo Starr’s acting career wasn’t exactly award-winning material, but he did land one prize: meeting his second wife, Barbara Bach, on the set of the film “Caveman.”

According to the author, Starr – who turns 75 on Tuesday -- was the peacemaker of the band. He was tightly connected to all the members -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and even to George Harrison, despite the fact that Harrison had an affair with his first wife.

“His reaction was ‘well, you know, at least we kept it in the family,’” the author said of the drummer.

Even after the band broke up, Ringo kept those bonds of friendship. He was the only Beatle to rush to Yoko Ono’s side after John Lennon was shot.

“I always found that very touching … his first instinct was to charter a plane and fly back to New York with Barbara Bach and try to console Yoko Ono,” Starr said.

And when Ringo Starr was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, Paul McCartney was there to do the honors.

“Ringo always considered those guys his brothers, all three of them and he's said many times ‘I miss my brothers,’ and to see him and Paul McCartney there, it’s thrilling on one hand and bittersweet on the other,” the author said.

“Ringo: With a Little Help,” goes on sale on Tuesday.

Fun Facts About Ringo Starr
Facts provided by Michael Seth Starr, author of "Ringo: With a Little Help.”
1.) He was the oldest Beatle and the youngest Beatle. (Oldest chronologically, last to join the group.)
2.) After he first joined The Beatles, there was talk of making him the group's "dancer," who would play the drums only part-time.
3.) He was more popular than John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison when The Beatles first arrived in America in 1964.
4.) He was the Beatle destined to have the biggest acting career after his performance in "A Hard Day's Night." It didn't quite turn out that way.
5.) He was the first Beatle to quit the group, walking away for a few weeks in 1969 and taking refuge on Peter Sellers' yacht (where he wrote "Octopus's Garden").
6.) He drank and partied his way through the '70s and '80s.
7.) He suffered an emotional collapse in 1976 in Monaco -- completely shaving his head (and his eyebrows)
8.) He was the only ex-Beatle who rushed to Yoko Ono's side after John Lennon's 1980 assassination.
9.) He battled alcoholism and did a stint in rehab, with his wife Barbara Bach, in 1988.He got drunk on the way to rehab .
10.) He was at his ex-wife Maureen's bedside when she passed away (from leukemia) in 1994.
9.) He grew up in the Dingle, one of Liverpool's toughest neighborhoods (no indoor toilets, either).
11. ) His father (Richard Starkey Sr.) abandoned the family when Richy was 3. He was raised by his mother, Elsie, who worked several jobs to support the two of them. (She eventually remarried).
12.) He was considered by many to be the best drummer in Liverpool when he joined The Beatles, leaving behind a career as the drummer for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
13.) He's left-handed but plays on a right-handed drum set, which gives him a unique sound.
14.) He's the world's richest drummer and is worth an estimated $300 million.
15.) Rolling Stone magazine named him the fifth-best drummer in rock history.