Paul McCartney has inducted fellow surviving Beatle Ringo Starr into the Rock Hall of Fame, completing the deck for Beatles members being welcomed to the esteemed list of musicians as solo performers.
At the ceremony on the weekend where Starr, as well as Joan Jett, Lou Reed, Green Day, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were bestowed the Rock Hall Of Famer title, McCartney gave the honours with a touching speech including recalling the moment he first heard Ringo play drums.
Starr has released 19 solo albums since the end of The Beatles, more than any other member and reportedly has McCartney to thank for the entry into the Hall of Fame, with Paul telling Rolling Stone magazine “I talked to Bruce Springsteen and I talked to Dave Grohl, and they both said he should be in and I said I’d do the induction. That took care of it.”
Check out the full speech McCartney made at the ceremony below:
OK. Ringo Starr was born in Liverpool at a very early age, and he had a hard childhood. Real hard childhood, but he had a beautiful mom, Elsie, and a lovely stepdad Harry. Both of them had real big hearts, beautiful people, and they loved music. So at some point during this difficult childhood, Ringo got a drum. Ringo got a drum! And that was it. He was now a drummer.
Later on he joined a group called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. And we saw these guys when we were out in Hamburg, we were playing out there. And Ringo was like a professional musician. We were just like, slamming around and doing stuff, but he had a beard — that’s professional. He had the suit. Very professional. And he would sit at the bar drinking bourbon and seven. We’d never seen anyone like this. This was like, a grown-up musician.
Anyway, we got friendly with him, and he used to come in late night when we were playing, and he requested a couple of songs, so we got to know him. And one night our drummer then, Pete Best, wasn’t available, so Ringo sat in.
And I remember the moment. I mean, Pete was great, and we had a good time with him. But me, John and George, God bless ’em, were on the front line singing, and now behind us we had this guy we’d never played with before, and I remember the moment when he started to play – I think it was Ray Charles, “What’d I Say,” and most of the drummers couldn’t nail the drum part, it’s a little bit [sings a bit of it].
It was a little difficult to do, but Ringo nailed it. Yeah — Ringo nailed it! And I remember the moment, standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like, fuck you. What is this? And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles.
Watch: Ringo Starr – Postcards From Paradise