BANG! NEWS – Sir Ringo Starr nearly missed out on being one of The Beatles because he’d planned to move to America.
The music legend was working in a factory when, at the age of 19, he and a friend decided to take the plunge and emigrate, but they were put off when they saw how many forms they had to fill in, and the 80-year-old drummer often reflects on how different his life could have been.
He said, “I love the blues and wanted to go and live in Houston because I wanted to be where Lightnin’ Hopkings was – my all-time favourite blues player.
“John and I went down to the embassy and we filled in all these forms – we were just teenagers filling in all these forms. So we filled them in and took them back to the embassy and they gave us more paperwork, with even more questions – sheets and sheets of it.
“Well, we turned back into teenagers then. We just ripped them up.
“I often look back on my life and think, ‘what if I’d gone and lived in America? Because who knows where I’d have been now.”
Ringo is proud of the legacy of The Beatles and is amazed they’re still popular now.
He told HELLO!, “Being an only child, all I ever wanted was a brother and I had three brothers in the band.
“And The Beatles were the best band then and they’re still relevant to the next generation – who, if they’re interested in music, listen to our stuff.
“People are still to this day holding up their babies for me to look at, saying to each other, ‘There’s one of them’. It’s far out.”
The musician also thinks it’s “far out” that he’s got such a large family, children Zak, Jason and Lee with first wife Maureen, stepchildren Francesca Gregorini and Gianni Bach with wife Barbara, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
He said, “I’m an only child and I look around the table and think, ‘What? All these people are related to me? It’s far out. They’re all a blessing.
“And Barbara’s in my life – that’s another blessing. I have many blessings. Life has been very kind to me.”