- Up until this month, Ringo Starr was the only member of the Beatles not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. In fact, he was only inducted via a special committee who included Starr under its “Award for Musical Excellence Banner,” which honors sideman, producers, and other tertiary participants in the music industry. The honor was arranged after Starr’s old bandmate Paul McCartney, and Robbie Robertson of the Band, personally lobbied Hall organizer Jann Wenner.
- When The Simpsons premiered in 1990, three Beatles were still living, and all appeared on the show, at separate times. Starr was the first to do so. In an April 1991 episode, he’s shown getting around to answering all of his Beatles-era fan mail, and sends Marge a letter thanking her for the “fab painting” she made of him. “I hung it on me wall!” he adds.
- The Beatles were minimally involved with the making of the film Yellow Submarine. Except for Starr. He asked animators to make the animated version of himself have a bigger nose.
- While the other Beatles had various disagreements with each other over the years, Starr reportedly never had any bad blood with any of his former band mates. (After George Harrison died in 2001, his wife, Olivia Harrison, said Starr was “probably his best friend.”) Starr took the friendship musical—he’s the only Beatle to perform on solo albums by all the other Beatles. He was the drummer on Lennon’s 1970 Plastic Ono Band album, four Paul McCartney albums, and seven George Harrison albums.
- Born in 1940, Starr is the oldest Beatle, 3 months older than John Lennon.
- Starr was the only Beatle who had a job before Beatlemania hit. In his early 20s, in the early ‘60s, Starr worked as a ferryboat steward.
- Starr’s main musical output these days is his touring All Starr Band. Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh is a frequent collaborator on those tours, and he’s also family—Walsh is married to Marjorie Bach, sister of Barbara Bach, Starr’s wife of 30-plus years.
For more fun facts about music, check out Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music.