Ringo: With a Little Help is the first in-depth biography of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who kept the beat for an entire generation and who has remained a rock icon since the Beatles took the world by storm over 50 years ago.
This book traces the entire arc of Ringo's remarkable life and career, from his sickly childhood to his life as the world's most famous drummer to his triumphs, addictions, and emotional battles following the breakup of the Beatles. Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in the Dingle, one of Liverpool's most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer. Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group but also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as one of rock's revered elder statesmen.
©2015 Michael Seth Starr (P)2016 Tantor
"[F]ascinating perspective." (Publishers Weekly)
just one more book lover
Ringo didn't authorize this book, so I will. Michael Seth Starr has done something most Beatles biographers don't do: He's taken Ringo from behind the kit and placed him center stage.
This is an enjoyable, fast-paced account of the drummer's life and work, from his Liverpool birth to his and Paul's appearance on the 2014 TV show commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
If you've read Beatles' bios, then you're not going to be surprised by the first half of the book. The author covers well-trod ground and he doesn't spend a lot of time on any event or album. So if you really love Sgt Pepper's and wanted to get an in-depth read on "With a Little Help from My Friends," it's not here.
The book really hits its stride at the midway point when the author takes on the story of Ringo's post-Beatles life. This story hasn't been told in detail, at least not in audio, and there's a lot more to that period than Ringo's drunken binges with Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Marc Bolan, John Bonham and John Lennon.
Michael Seth Starr shows a man struggling to redefine himself after the group that shaped his identity falls apart. But out of that chaos comes a slew of acting gigs, creative collaborations, albums and songs like "You're Sixteen", "Goodnight Vienna", "It Don't Come Easy" and "Photograph." Ultimately, Ringo rocks back from divorce, the deaths of Lennon and Harrison and alcoholism to mount several successful tours with his All-Starr Band and comes to terms with a public that will forever see him as a Mop Top.
I would've loved to hear more about Ringo as a musician--what he did on certain songs that made him such an admired figure in the drumming community. At the very end, the author does provide interviews with four drummers on Ringo's influence. Just would've liked more.
The narrator Peter Berkrot is a good reader but he doesn't do a Liverpool accent. But not many Americans can do that well.
"Narrator's Impersontaion of Ringo Was Annoying"
I'm a Beatles fan and there doesn't seem to be a lot around about Ringo so a natural choice for me.
Maybe it's because I'm from Liverpool that the narrator's awful impersonation of Ringo annoyed me so much but it really really did. It wasn't even as bad as the old Beatles cartoon voices which would have been more than acceptable.
I would receommend this book though for anyone interested in Ringo or The Beatles
"Only thing that lets it down is narrator"
All in all quite a nice companion book to other Beatles biographies . But the American narrator is awful . By far the worst I have heard narrating any audiobook . When he tries to do the Liverpool accent it comes out as some odd mix of Mexican and Irish .
"Excellent book, questionable accent."
love the book, an excellent insight - but can't tell if the narrator thinks Ringo is Irish or Mexican, judging by the accent.
all in all, worth the purchase!
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