You’ve probably heard of him before; after all, he was the drummer for one of the most famous bands in history. As an example, his given name is Richard Starkey (his wife calls him Ritchie). The reason he is known as “Ringo” is that he used to always be wearing numerous rings.
There is still a great deal about the legendary musician that is unknown. Here are four facts about Ritchie that Beatles fans may not know in honor of his 77th birthday.
1. He Has Never Had Pizza, Curry, or Onions.
Ringo was a sickly child who constantly fell ill. He lost a year of his life to a coma at the age of 6 after appendicitis caused a raging infection, and another year at the age of 13 due to tuberculosis.
He learned he was allergic to many things as a child. His allergy manifests itself in the form of a strong aversion to foods containing onions, garlic, and spices. “Neither pizza nor curry has I ever tasted in my life.” Yet in 1995, he still managed to star in a pizza commercial.
2. He Doesn’t Shake Hands.
The legendary drummer may have developed a fear of germs as a result of his numerous childhood illnesses. Instead of shaking hands, he’d rather just bump elbows.
3. He’s a Lefty but Plays a Right-Handed Drum Kit.
Like many left-handed children of a certain era, Ringo was taught that his natural inclination to use his left hand as a dominant hand was inappropriate. Although he still preferred to use his left hand for most things, his grandmother “converted” him to write with the right.
Part of what set him apart as a drummer was his ability to adapt to right-handed equipment and instruments. “I have a right-handed kit, but I lead with my left,” he told Conan O’Brien in 2012.
4. He Hates Drum Solos.
A drummer who played drum solos on songs like “The End” might seem like the type who would relish the opportunity to show off his talents, but that’s not the case. Paul McCartney once recalled that no drummer he had ever played with had a greater distaste for drum solos. “Ultimately, we had to beg him to help us out.
I explained to him that the transition from “Carry That Weight” into “The End” is a huge shift in momentum and that we only have a few seconds to pull it off. Furthermore, he gave in and agreed to carry it out. Plus, Ringo was fantastic.”
You won’t hear that iconic fill from “The End” if you convince him to solo. I have no idea how to do it,” he confessed to Rolling Stone. I’ll never do it again if my life depended on it. Just can’t!
5. He’s a Left Handed Drummer but Plays a Right Handed Kit.
Many of today’s most acclaimed drummers credit Ringo as an early inspiration. Starr claims that the challenges he faced as a lefty drummer using a right-handed drum set influenced the development of his unique style.
6. He Was the Original Man in The Cab for ‘Thomas the Tank Engine.’
From 1984 to 1986, Starr voiced the role of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend, the lovable blue truck, on the children’s television show Thomas and Friends, before George Carlin and then Alec Baldwin took over the role.
And for two full seasons, he was Mr. Conductor on the Thomas spinoff Shining Time Station. His decision to leave “Thomas” was explained by his desire to concentrate more on his solo career.
7. You Can Also Call Him a Bit of An Artist
Starr’s early interests as a child included art, drama, and mechanics. We can only assume that his “drama” skills were put to good use during his time with the Beatles.
He started dabbling in computer-generated artwork in the ’90s, claiming he needed something to keep him occupied during his tours. He hasn’t stopped making art or selling it, either.
8. Back Off Bolin, Er, Boogaloo!
Ringo says he got the idea for “Back Off Boogaloo” while having dinner with Marc Bolan of T-Rex, but the rumor mill says it was in response to Paul McCartney’s comments to the press about the other Beatles.
Starr apparently got the idea because Bolan frequently used the word “boogaloo” in his speech. When he returned home, he realized that the recorder was dead; he had to borrow batteries from his children’s toys if he wanted to record his thoughts.