Ringo Starr Once Said Being in The Beatles Made Him Bored: ‘Sometimes I Feel Like I’d Like to Stop Being Famous’

Ringo Starr has lived in the spotlight for decades. It didn’t take him long to see it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The Fab Four brought Ringo fame, but he still got bored in the time between recording sessions and other obligations. The Beatles drummer played in the most popular band ever, met and had intimate relationships with other famous entertainers, and enjoyed a rarefied lifestyle few people from a working-class Liverpool neighborhood could dream of. Sometimes, he wished he could go back.

Ringo Starr said his Beatles fame contributed to his boring life
Ringo partied with Charlie Watts and John Bonham. He formed friendships with T. Rex’s Marc Bolan and Harry Nilsson. The drummer and Nilsson lived with John Lennon in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. Starr partied so hard the bright sun hurt his eyes, so he made his room into a den of darkness, according to Lennon’s girlfriend May Pang.

Ringo had any and everything he wanted at his fingertips. He lived in a swank London apartment before moving into palatial estates outside the city. Still, the fame of being a drummer who didn’t work regular hours every day made Ringo bored (via 150 Glimpses of The Beatles): “I suppose I get bored like anyone else, but instead of having three hours a night, I have all day to get bored. Even this house was a toy. In Liverpool, I’d always lived in a four-roomed house, and the height of my ambitions was a [house] in [Liverpool suburb] Aigburth. Sometimes I feel like I’d like to stop being famous and get back to where I was in Liverpool. There don’t seem to be so many worries in that sort of life, although I thought there were at the time. But I had to come here to realize that they counted for very little.”

Growing up in a working-class section of Liverpool seemed fraught with troubles. His dad left the family when he was three, money was scarce, and Ringo endured several illnesses as a child. Paul McCartney said Ringo had the hardest life of any of The Beatles.

Still, it wasn’t until the drummer grew up and could afford security that he discovered those worries were minor. The Beatles brought fame and fortune that removed nearly all of his hardships, and Ringo got bored anyway. Ringo’s hobbies — playing pool, making homemade movies, collecting records — weren’t enough to fill his downtime. He found other ways to fill his days as he tried to stave off daily drudgery.

Ringo tried to avoid boredom in his life

Ringo’s life of fame had some boring moments, but he tried his best to liven things up. When The Beatles summoned Ringo to the studio and cut his downtime short, he changed drumming forever and put his stamp on the greatest Beatles song ever. Outside of recording, the dull moments seemed few and far between.

He traveled the world making movies with The Beatles and on his own in the 1970s. The drummer once survived a scary plane ride that had his fellow passengers fearing for their lives. Ringo got banned from the Playboy Club after one debaucherous evening there.

Playing with The Beatles gave Ringo Starr fame but couldn’t stop him from becoming bored. Being a professional musician came with downtime that his hobbies couldn’t quite fill. Still, he discovered that the worries he thought came from growing up in working-class Liverpool were merely universal yet trivial problems.

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