The last song John Lennon wrote for Ringo Starr

In the wake of The Beatles’ breakup, everyone was keen to have Ringo Starr around. Since he was known as the good-time spirit of the band every time they played, it was almost expected that Starr would have a fruitful solo career based on his charm alone. Then again, Starr would only get to the top of the charts again with a little help from his friends.

For Starr’s first handful of solo hits, he occasionally went into the backlog for cover songs. Being an avid fan of country music throughout his career, Starr’s albums like Beaucoup of Blues saw him tapping into the same lowdown songs of his youth, which would occasionally bleed into The Beatles’ career. Once he was on better terms with his former bandmates, he began to have his first solo hits written by the Fab Three.

Across his album Ringo, Starr had the help of every Beatle in some capacity, with George Harrison helping him write the song ‘Photograph’ and John Lennon contributing the track ‘I’m The Greatest’ for him to sing. Though Paul McCartney would also give a song away for Starr to perform, it was only a matter of time before his star power began to run out of gas.

As Harrison began dealing with his marital troubles on Dark Horse and Lennon took a sabbatical from music in the late 1970s, Starr had to look elsewhere for his hits. Despite having a budding friendship with other ‘70s legends like Harry Nilsson, Starr’s attempt to fly completely solo on albums like Ringo the 4th made for the most unlistenable music of his career, going into disco territory that he wasn’t equipped for.

For a long time, Lennon had no interest in writing for Starr anymore, only offering up the whimsical ‘Cooking in the Kitchen of Love’ for him to sing. As Lennon started to settle into life as a house husband, his itch to write new material brought him back to marital life on the album Double Fantasy.

Refreshed from his time away from the music industry, Lennon sounded like a new man ready to take on the next decade, with tracks like ‘Woman’ and ‘Watching the Wheels’ serving as glimpses into his life away from his Beatle years. Just when he seemed to settle down into his years as an ageing rocker, it would prove bittersweet when Lennon was shot and killed outside his Dakota apartment building in December of 1980.

After working on the finishing touches for Yoko Ono’s single ‘Walking on Thin Ice’, Lennon was also shopping around for material that would end up working for Starr. Of the songs he had demoed, ‘Nobody Told Me’ was shaping up to be a good single for Starr’s next album, Stop and Smell the Roses.

Given how fresh the wounds were, though, Starr reeled back on it, knowing that he couldn’t go through singing the song without thinking of his former bandmate. Starr was also offered the Harrison song ‘All Those Years Ago’ to sing, only for Harrison to eventually cut his version of the tune with rewritten lyrics about Lennon.

Starr could have easily made a comeback single out of ‘Nobody Told Me’ if he wanted, but sometimes the wounds are too fresh to open up that soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mick Jagger John & Yoko’s Elvis Presley & Priscilla Presley