Ringo Starr Thrills Fans in Bryant Park

ByABC News via logo
June 17, 2005, 8:56 AM

June 17, 2005 — -- Does the man need any introduction?

Ringo Starr has been a music icon since Beatle-mania in the 1960s. But the drummer has also had a thriving solo career.

As part of "Good Morning America's" Summer Concert Series, Starr and his band, the Roundheads, performed some classic Beatle tunes as well as songs from their new album, "Choose Love," in front of an enthusiastic audience in Bryant Park.

"Choose Love," which debuted June 7, features guest performances from the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Robert Randolph and Billy Preston.

Starr is planning a summer tour to promote the new album.

Roundheads is not the only project on Starr's plate these days. He has teamed up with Spider-Man creator Stan Lee to produce an animation project that will be released next year on DVD. There are also plans to turn it into a television series, and Starr will lend his voice to the animation.

Starr's real name is Richard Starkey. He took the last name "Starr" from his birth name and got "Ringo" because he always wore lots of rings on his fingers.

He joined the Beatles in August 1962, and was so convinced his Beatles fame would be so short-lived, he sent large amounts of money to his aunt to deposit in his bank account while he was on tour with the band. His intentions were to start a hair-dressing salon once the Beatles faded from public memory.

Of course, the Beatles revolutionized the world of rock and Starr skyrocketed to international fame.

After the Beatles broke up, Ringo delved into acting, playing the magical character, Mr. Conductor, on the PBS hit series "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends." He also played roles in several made-for-TV movies like "Alice in Wonderland."

Starr played drums on a few songs for Paul McCartney's "Pipes of Peace" and George Harrison's "Cloud Nine" albums. In 1989, he embarked on his first solo tour called "Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band."

Starr is married to Barbara Bach and has three children from his first marriage.