Ringo Starr’s 80th birthday is coming up on July 7th, and we’re celebrating with an in-depth conversation on the latest episode of the Rolling Stone Interview: Special Edition video series. “Man, I’m only 24 in here,” Starr says, pointing to his head. “And I’m still doing what I love to do. I’m still in the music business.”
In the interview, Starr talks about his longevity (one secret: “broccoli with everything and blueberries in the morning”); life in isolation (“I haven’t left the house in 11 weeks now”); hanging out with Keith Moon and John Bonham (“that’s two handfuls”); the early years of his solo career; Peter Jackson’s upcoming Let It Be-era Beatles documentary; missing George Harrison and John Lennon; and playing “Helter Skelter” on stage with Paul McCartney last year for the first time since he recorded it.
Starr also discussed Ringo’s Big Birthday Show, a virtual charity concert that will hit YouTube at 8 p.m. EST July 7th. The show will include a mix of at-home performances and unseen concert footage from Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Jr., Sheila E, Ben Harper, and others. The YouTube broadcast will benefit four charities: Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares, and WaterAid.
In the interview, Starr, who recently affirmed his support for Black Lives Matter, ponders the racism and segregation that the Beatles observed in the U.S. (they famously refused to play to segregated audiences), and the band’s deep debts to black music. “Black musicians were our heroes,” he says.
Finally, he looks back at the White Album nugget “Good Night.” “I used to be a rock singer,” he says with a laugh, “and they’d always give me those soppy songs. And so they ruined my whole career!”
This is the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s latest new video series, RS Interview: Special Edition, featuring in-depth conversations with notable figures in music, entertainment, and politics. Episodes premiere on Rolling Stone’s YouTube channel.