What Ringo Starr Did Before He Joined The Beatles

Ringo Starr is one of the most well-known (and the richest) drummers in the world. Per Biography, the man who used to be named Richard Starkey has had a great career after the Beatles broke up. He has toured with his own band, acted in movies like "Caveman," and also even lent his voice to the popular children's television show, "Thomas and Friends." He has a recognizable face and his easygoing demeanor has made him a favorite among both fans and musicians that play with him. 

He initially was not received well by Beatles fans who had liked Pete Best, the previous drummer, and some fans even gave him a black eye after a show. Starr eventually won them over, and he became an integral part of the group. How integral? Most of the time the drummer tends to be more in the background, but he was front and center and considered an equal member, even having some songwriting credits and lead vocals on certain songs. 

Prior to joining the Beatles, Starr had a musical history, though. 

Playing instruments made at home

Ringo Starr spent a good amount of his early life being sick, including having a burst appendix and pleurisy, according to Britannica. He was even in a sanatorium for a while, and it was while he was there that he really developed a love for percussion by banging a mallet on his bed. Then, after some unsuccessful attempts at work — he missed way too much school due to his illnesses to catch up — he dove into playing music. The thing is, he didn't play a traditional drum set at first. No, he played a particular type of music called skiffle, which is where people play homemade instruments. A co-worker at one of his jobs showed him, and he got hooked. One reason is because it didn't cost a lot of money to make. 

The youngster did get a real drum set at the age of 17, per Biography, and he later played in a band called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. This was the time when Richard Starkey became Ringo Starr, as he liked to wear rings and was also a fan of country music. His drum solos were a welcome part of the shows. He even dubbed them "Starr Time," and the group gained a lot of fans. They were touring in Hamburg, West Germany, and he met the newly formed Beatles, with George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, along with Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe. They had an initial taste of their chemistry when Starr played with the three people that would later become his bandmates: Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. 

That was the path that Ringo Starr took to his current status as a rock legend.