As a member of a minorly important British pop group that got its start over 50 years ago, Richard Starkey went from a Dickensian, impoverished and sickly child banging on biscuit tins with sticks, to Ringo Starr, one of the world's richest and most infamous drummers.
"Before Ringo, drum stars were measured by their soloing ability and virtuosity," said Steve Smith—drummer for Journey and an adamant fan of Starr's—in an interview with the Percussive Arts Society. "Ringo's popularity brought forth a new paradigm in how the public saw drummers. We started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect."
Not only did Ringo bring a compositional element to the drummers of yore, but he was the first drum star of non-American birth, said Smith. He's also attributed with bringing the matched grip into the mainstream and being the first to suggest drummers be set on risers so they could be as visible as other band members.
Starr will play with his All Starr Band at the Les Schwab Amphitheater on Thursday July 17. Brush up on a random sampling of Richard Starkey's pre- and post-Beatle history below.
Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band
Thurs., July 17
Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr.
1. What was the name of Starr's band prior to being hired by the Beatles?
a) Rory Storm and the Hurricanes
b) Dark Glasses Dark Jacket
c) The All Stars
2. How old is Ringo Starr?
3. David Lynch once called Starr...
a) "An utter inspiration and wildly a under-appreciated drummer."
b) "A total weirdo."
c) "The coolest guy on the planet."
d) "The worst Beatle."
4. How many solo albums has Starr released since the breakup of the Beatles.
5. Where did Starr meet his current wife Barbra Bach?
a) She fainted on him at a Beatle's press conference.
b) She was the guitarist in the punk act Cavewoman.
c) On the set of the film Caveman.
d) They attended school together as children in Liverpool.
6. For what role did Starr win a daytime Emmy in 1989?
a) Captain Tom J. Horton, "Days of Our Lives."
b) Mr. Conductor, "Shining Time Station."
c) Garfield, "Garfield and Friends."
d) Himself, "Saved By the Bell"
7. Which hash tag did Starr promote during his most recent birthday celebration?
8. Starr has been sued by which of the following?
a) Pete Best
b) Apple Record Company
c) Paul McCartney
d) All of the above
1.a 2.d 3.c 4.b 5.c 6.b 7.b 8.d