Ringo Starr Biography
From 1988 to 1995

A Brief and Hopefully Accurate Summary
of the Life and Times of Ringo Starr. ©

 

On January twentieth of 1988, Ringo joined George and Yoko in New York for the Beatles induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later joining in with the all star jam session. That same year Ringo played the part of the tiny Mr. Conductor in the children's television series Shinning Time Station for which he was nominated for an Emmy. He also contributed the vocals to "When You Wish Upon A Star" for the LP Stay Awake which featured a collection of Disney songs. In October of that year he and Barbara came to terms with their alcoholism and entered a rehabilitation center in Tucson, Arizona.

1989 saw a sober and revitalized Ringo. He began a series of publicity rounds to promote Shining Time Station which began airing in January. Starr Struck, a compilation of Ringo's greatest hits between 1976 and 1983, was released in February. Also during that month Ringo sold Tittenhurst Park. In March he took part in the "Spirit of the Forest" single and video and participated in Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" video. Later that month he recorded "Act Naturally" with Buck Owens an later in the year appeared with him in the subsequent video. He also participated in a clever Oldsmobile commercial with his daughter Lee. The best news for Ringo's fans, however, was the announcement in June that he would embark upon his first ever solo concert tour in July. After a flurry of publicity appearances, on July twenty-third the first ever All Starr Band began a thirty city tour of the US. In November the band played seven dates in Japan. On November 15, a judge ruled in Ringo's favor allowing him to block the release of the 1987 Memphis Album. Ringo was dissatisfied with the album which he deemed substandard since it had been made while he was under the influence of his alcohol addiction.

1990 brought the release of the Ringo and the All Starr Band live album . A video of the August fourth Greek Theater performance was also released. On May fifth, Ringo appeared via video at the John Lennon Scholarship Concert. Backed by a stellar band including Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, Ringo sang the Lennon composition "I Call Your Name." His live version of "With A Little Help From My Friends" was included on the Romanian Angel Appeal project, Nobody's Child.

In 1991 Ringo signed with Private Music and began work on a new album. He also appeared with Bruce Springsteen in Nils Loffgren's "Valentine" video and recorded "You Never Know" which was played over the closing credits of the movie Curly Sue. There was talk of his starring in a television sitcom for Lorimar, but nothing ever materialized. Ringo did, however, add his voice to an episode of the Simpsons which aired on April 11. On December second he received an award form BMI commemorating the one millionth broadcast in the U S of "It Don't Come Easy."

By the summer of 1992 Ringo was on the road again with the second incarnation of the All Starr Band. Drumming along side of Ringo this time was his son Zak. Time Takes Time was released to coincide with the tour. "Weight of the World" was selected as the single and the video began to show up on VH-1. This year's tour, lasting from June second till the Labor Day weekend, was longer than the first and included dates in Europe as well as the US. Ringo and the band performed for the Jerry Lewis Telethon which was televised from Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend. In the fall Ringo hosted a celebrity golf tournament and concert to benefit the Sierra Tucson clinic. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , The Making of Sgt. Pepper was televised in both the U.S. and England. All three former Beatles had contributed new interview material for the special and subsequent video.

On April 19, 1993, Ringo's Going Home special , featuring not only the '92 All Starr band but also Ringo's son Jason and stepfather Harry Graves, premiered on the Disney Channel. On April sixteenth Ringo joined Paul on-stage for the "Hey Jude" finale at the Earth Day Concert. On the twenty-fourth, as part of a group calling themselves the New Maroons and headed by Don Was, Ringo drummed at the Farm Aid Concert. In June, the New Maroons performed at the Together for Our Children benefit concert. The year also saw release of the live album and video of the '92 tour, Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band Volume Two Live From Montreux.

Plans for a new concert tour were put on hold for 1994, but Ringo was not entirely out of the public eye that year. In January of 1994, Ringo joined George Harrison and Paul McCartney to record John Lennon's "Free As a Bird," the first new Beatles song in thirty years; however, the world would have to wait until the end of the next year to hear it. On February seventh the video of the new recording of "Drive My Car" was televised during the American Music Awards. Both Paul and Ringo had taken part in anti-drunk driving project . Plans for a new concert tour were put on hold for that year due to conflicting schedules of band members. 1994 also brought three major losses for Ringo. On January fifteenth, his dear friend Harry Nilsson died of a heart attack. On August twenty-seventh his stepfather, Harry Graves, died of pneumonia. Then on December thirtieth his ex wife Maureen died of complications from a bone marrow transplant. In the mid eighties, Maureen had married Isaac Tigret, founder of the Hard Rock Cafe. Isaac as well as Ringo and his and Maureen's three children were with Maureen when she died.

Early in 1995, Ringo joined Paul and George to recorded "Real Love" and with the others taped more segments for the Beatles Anthology. Also in '95 Ringo contributed "Lay Down Your Arms," a duet with Steve Nicks, to the For the Love of Harry, Everybody Sings Nilsson album.

By the summer he had put together another All Starr Band which began touring Japan in June. The June twenty-seventh concert at Tokyo's Budokan Hall was filmed and televised in Japan later in the summer. In July and August the band toured the United States, but the tour was abruptly canceled on August twenty-fourth when Ringo received word that his twenty- four year old daughter Lee had been suddenly hospitalized in London.

Lee later underwent successful surgery for a brain tumor. There was no video or live album release since the canceled Reno, Nevada, show was the one earmarked for such a purpose. Before heading to Japan in June, Ringo taped a commercial for Pizza Hut which also featured members of the Monkees. That year he also created a painting for the Private Issue credit card, the company which sponsored the summer's tour. The painting itself brought in $33,000 when it was auctioned to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation. During 1995, Ringo also designed a line of drumsticks for the ProMark signature series.

Today Ringo and Barbara call Monte Carlo home but they maintain houses in Las Angeles and Colorado. In interviews and appearances Ringo seems happy and at ease with himself. He has managed to get his life and career back on track and cleaned out all the garbage from his life. This October marked his seventh year of sobriety. His sense of humor and personal charm haven't left him. He still comes across as the down to earth and unassuming person that first endeared him to so many people in the sixties.

 

 


Return to the Ringo Starr biography menu.


Read about Ringo Starr's importance to the Beatles as their friend and drummer .


Return to the Ringo Starr Home Page.