New Biography Reveals Beatles Member Ringo Starr Had TB For 2 Years When He Was 12

By @vitthernandez on
Ringo Starr
(IN PHOTO) Musician Ringo Starr gestures during a "Peace & Love" event to celebrate Starr's 75th birthday in Los Angeles, California, July 7, 2015. Reuters

Beatle Ringo Starr’s drum skills was developed because of his two years confinement in a hospital when he was 12 for tuberculosis. Patients took part in a musical programme. For his drumsticks, Ringo removed the cotton from cardboard cotton holders which he thwacked on his locker and bed.

That and other trivia about now 75-year-old Richard Starkey are found in the first comprehensive biography of one of the music icons of the 1960s and 70s, titled “Ringo: With a Little Help.”

Ringo’s first long hospital stay was when his appendix burst at age six. The incident almost killed the boy from Dingle, located near the Liverpool docks, who stayed almost six months at the Royal Children’s Infirmary after his appendectomy.

Tuberculosis, according to Mayo Clinic, is caused by bacteria spread from one person to another via tiny droplets released into the air from coughing and sneezing. Most strains of TB are drug-resistant, so TB patients are required to take several types of medication for several months to eradicate the infection and avert development of resistance to antibiotics, which explains his almost two-year confinement.

Rory Storm, the leader of the first professional band – named Rory Storm and the Hurricanes – changed Starkey’s named to Ringo because the latter wore a lot of rings. Since Starr was known as the coolest and best drummer in Liverpool, he was tapped by fellow musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison to replace the band’s drummer, Pete Best, who was fired.

According to the New York Post, because of Ringo’s big nose infectious smile and sharp Liverpool wit, he was the favourite Beatle when the band guested on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in their first US tour. He quit the very popular boy band in 1968 when he walked out during the recording session for “White Album.” He was tired of the infighting within the band and no longer happy with his drumming, the biography recounts.

He went solo and got several hits. When not playing music, Ringo partied a lot through the 1980s until he realised that his alcohol habit caused blackouts, public fights and other headaches that led to his and wife Barbara’s rehab in 1988. From then on, he led a clean life.

Since then he has been holding his annual All Starr Band tour, now on its 10th year. He celebrated his 75th birthday on July 7 at the event on a stage in front of Capitol Records in Hollywood with friend, reports Americansongwriter.

At noon, Ringo blew his giant birthday cake and asked fans to use the hashtag #PeaceandLove, which went viral, for all the photos they would be posting on social media sites.

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