The Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr, is a famous rock and roll musician known for his skills on the drums.
He was born Richard Starkey in 1940 in England to parents Elsie and Richard, who were from Liverpool.
When he was a kid, his family moved to Liverpool to stay with his grandfather, John “Jack” Starkey.
His mother bought him a drum kit for Christmas in 1956.
Although Ringo is the most famous Beatles drummer, he is not the only one; several more were before him.
In this article, we will cover all of them and answer all your frequently asked questions.
How many drummers did the Beatles have?
The Beatles have a total of 5 drummers:
- Colin Hanton
- Tommy Moore
- Norman Chapman
- Pete Best
- Ringo Star
He was the first Beatles drummer. He played in the band the Quarrymen that later evolved into the Beatles. He was a member of several lineups starting in 1956. He left the band in 1959 after an argument with the rest of his band.
The Speke Bus Depot Social Club was one disaster too many for him; he quit after only one performance in which they blew it-literally!
Tommy was the second Beatles drummer. He played only from May to June 1960, and due to that, he became a part of history, although he is a pretty irrelevant member of the band.
He decided to quit Beatles to go back to his old work at bottle works; he was enough of John Lennon.
He died in 1980 caused by a brain hemorrhage at the age of 49.
Norman was a third drummer for the Beatles. Like Tommy Moore, he also played only a few gigs.
The reason for him leaving the band was a call for national service. After finishing his time in the national service, he played with several local bands. One such group was Ernie Mack and The Saturated Seven.
He died of cancer at age 58.
Chapman was replaced by Pete Best and was a second drummer to stay more than a few gigs but fourth overall. He was not fortunate enough to stay in the band when they became world-famous.
He is often referred to as a fifth Beatle but was fired in 1962 after spending two years in the band. He played on some of the band’s early recordings, but he left the band before any major record contract.
He started a couple of bands that were not so successful, so he decided to quit music and work as a civil servant.
The most famous Beatles drummer who spent 8 years in the bend until the very end in 1970 when John Lennon was killed.
Besides drumming, he also sang lead vocals on songs like “Yellow Submarine,” “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Don’t Pass Me By.”
The band thought his playing was more suitable for the band than Pete’s, so the band manager Brian Epstein fired Pete, and John Lennon asked Ringo to join.
Did the Beatles use session drummers?
They did, and this is a sort of a public secret. In 1978, session drummer Bernard Purdie claimed that he had overdubbed drums for 21 Beatles recordings from 1963.
He said that Brian Epstein paid him off and bought his silence.
When did Ringo Starr join the Beatles?
He joined in 1962 when he replaced Pete Best on the recommendation of the band’s lead guitarist, George Harrison.
He played tambourine and percussion on his first sessions with The Beatles since the producer had already decided to hire a session drummer.
It didn’t take long for fans to start liking this new sound that Ringo delivered; his popularity eventually won out over any initial struggles or unease within the band members themselves.
How did Ringo Starr join the Beatles?
Beatles got their first major contract, but producer George Martin didn’t like the results he got from Pete Best, so he decided to hire a session drummer and do overdubs.
Soon, the band realized they could lose the deal, so they asked their manager Brian Epstein to fire Pete.
After Pete was fired, they decided to hire Ringo but not to include him yet. Instead, they hired Andy White, and Ringo played percussion.
Is Ringo Starr left-handed?
Yes, he is a left-handed drummer, but he plays the right-handed drum kit. This is not that strange since, in the past, this was the only known setup, so all drummers, right or left-handed, learn to play on right-handed setup.
The open-handed technique was one of the ways to overcome this, which is something that Simon Philips uses, who is also left-handed.
Another way is to move the whole drum kit to a right side, and lead with your left hand like Ian Paice from Deep Purple does.
What drums did Ringo use?
The Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl “Super Classic” drum kit is ideal for any Ringo enthusiast. The Beatle had used this particular set since May 1964, when he started to tour.
Ringo also uses Ludwig Hollywood Maple Kit.
If you want to find out more about the genuine Ringo kit, check out our article.
Also, here is an excellent showcase of all drums Ringo used trough his career.
How much is Ringo Starr worth?
Many claim Ringo is the wealthiest drummer in the world.
His fortune is estimated at $300 million.
He owes his vast net worth to intelligent investments and Beatles royalties, which are still coming long after the band broke up.
How old is Ringo Starr?
In 2021 he turned 81. He was born on July 7th in 1940.
What songs did Ringo Starr write?
Ringo wrote more than 42 songs for Beatles; here is just a small glimpse:
- Don’t Pass Me By
- Octopus’s Garden
- With a Little Help from My Friends
- Honey Don’t
- If I Needed Someone
- Act Naturally
- A Day in the Life
Are Paul Mccartney and Ringo Starr friends?
Yes, they are even showing on each other’s records as guest artists. However, they don’t spend as much time as they would like to.
They remain great friends over the years.