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The First Time: Ringo Starr

Beatles drummer on his first time drumming with the Beatles, meditating with the Maharishi in India and his new book

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band — which features Colin Hay, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie and Hamish Stuart — will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band with a string of tour dates. Here in our exclusive video, the Beatles drummer giddily remembers joining the Beatles, buying his mother a new house and meditating in India in 1968 in the latest installment of “The First Time.”

Starr had met John, Paul and George in Liverpool when he was a member of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, but he didn’t hang out with them until they were playing in the same club in Germany. Starr was lying in bed (“As a musician does at noon”) when Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein knocked on his door and asked if he could sit in for drummer Pete Best. “And that went on several times, a knock on the door. And then I was asked to join, and that’s how it all started.”

Starr occasionally wrote songs for the Beatles, but he claims his earliest attempts at songwriting weren’t successful. “I’d present them to John, Paul and George, and they would roll on the floor laughing,” he fondly recalls. “What I tended to do was rewrite songs that were there already.” Starr confirms he got better at it in the late Sixties, when he penned whimsical classics like “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden.”

As a 13-year-old recovering from tuberculosis in the English countryside, Starr was given a little drum while bedridden. “Since that day, I only ever wanted to be a drummer.”

Starr also spoke about traveling to India with the Beatles in 1968 to visit Maharishi at the ashram, where he meditated. “He gave some lectures and then gave us a mantra that we could mediate on. That was the first time for me. And the last time I mediated was this morning. Peace and love!”

Ringo Starr has also released his latest limited-edition book, Another Day in the Life, find out more details here.

In This Article: Ringo Starr

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