by Bill Harry
Ringo Starr was the genuine working-class member of the Beatles. Born into poverty in a tiny house in Liverpool's Dingle area, deserted by his father, he suffered years of illness which seriously affected his schoolwork. Despite having all the odds against him, he became one of the most famous people on the planet.
With a kit bought for him by his stepfather, he taught himself to play the drums and soon became one of the most acclaimed drummers in Liverpool - just as the famed 'Mersey Sound' was being created - as a member of Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, a group billed above the Beatles. He made his first appearance with the Fab Four in Hamburg during a recording session. The rest is history.
Ringo became the most popular member of the group while in America during the 'British Invasion'. George Martin described him as 'the cement that held the Beatles together'.
His story is inspiring: from humble beginnings to mega-stardom; dating a succession of beautiful models and actresses ; marriage to Bond Girl Barbara Bach; and fabulous wealth and recognition as a recording star and actor in his own right.
The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia completes the Virgin series on the individual Beatles and in the most comprehensive book about Ringo Starr ever written.