The solo years
Starr released two albums in 1970, the year of The Beatles’ breakup. Sentimental Journey was his nostalgic take on a number of post-war standards, and Beaucoups Of Blues indulged his interest in country music.
The singles It Don’t Come Easy (1971) and Back Off Boogaloo (1972) were hits, and Photograph, co-written with George Harrison, was a US number one, as was You’re Sixteen. His 1973 album Ringo remains his biggest commercial success, although Starr is the only former Beatle not to top the UK single or album charts as a solo performer.
Ringo Starr played drums on Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and Living In The Material World, and appeared at the Concert for Bangladesh. He also played on John Lennon‘s solo album Plastic Ono Band. Lennon returned the favour, writing the title track of the Goodnight Vienna album, and I’m The Greatest on Ringo.
In the mid 1970s Ringo’s musical career declined, with a series of albums provided diminishing returns. Harrison gave him a song for the album Stop And Smell The Roses, but Starr felt uncomfortable performing it. Harrison rewrote it and recorded it himself as All Those Years Ago, following the death of John Lennon; Starr played on it, along with Paul and Linda McCartney.
Lennon had also given Starr a song for Stop And Smell The Roses. However, he was uncomfortable recording the song in the wake of his friend’s murder, and Lennon’s version was eventually released posthumously on the album Milk And Honey.
Ringo guested on McCartney’s 1982 album Tug Of War, and in 1987 performed on George Harrison’s hit single When We Was Fab. Two years later he formed Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, in which a number of musicians from various other acts featured. Their live shows were a success and led to a new record deal for Starr.
In 1997 he appeared on Paul McCartney’s album Flaming Pie. He played initially on the song Beautiful Night, and went on to jam. From this came a new song, Really Love You, which was credit to McCartney-Starkey – a first.
In 2002 he was inducted into the Percussive Hall of Fame, and in 2006 toured once again with the All Starr Band. His album Liverpool 8 was released in January 2008, coinciding with Liverpool’s status as European Capital of Culture.
To this day, Ringo Starr still performs and appears in public, and works on a range of musical, film and other media projects.
Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox on 11 February 1965. They had three children – Zak, Jason and Lee – before divorcing in 1975. Cox died in 1994.
Starr met Barbara Bach on the set of the film Caveman in 1980. They married the following year on 27 April.
Zak Starkey is also a drummer. Ringo arranged for him to have lessons with The Who’s Keith Moon, a close friend of the family. Zak went on to perform with The Who, Oasis, and the All-Starr Band.