Ringo Starr appeared at the GRAMMY Museum yesterday at a media preview to promote his new exhibit, ‘Ringo: Peace & Love’, and his new e-book, ‘Photograph‘, both of which are available to the public starting June 12. Ringo explained that these projects, centering around his archive of personal artifacts, were planned in conjunction with each other. Additionally, a more extensive version of the e-book will be published in hardcover format in December.
Ringo credited his wife, Barbara, as motivating him last year to go through his archives. “I found so much stuff I didn’t know I had,” Ringo explained, including a wealth of old photos and letters that his mother had collected over the years. Even though Starr’s mother died in 1986, he hadn’t looked through the box of mementos she left behind until last year. He found old photographs and letters written before he joined The Beatles when he performed with Rory Storm’s band in Liverpool and Hamburg.
At the press preview, Ringo answered questions from the audience. He revealed his musical idol when he was a teenager was Lightnin’ Hopkins, an American blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was such a big fan that he considered emigrating to the US as a teenager so he could live in Texas where Hopkins lived. The Beatles’ would have never met Starr had he followed through and moved to the US when he was 18. Ringo got discouraged and gave up on the idea since he did not have the patience to fill out the paperwork required for emigrating to the US.
Starr also put a rumor to rest stating that the Beatles “did not jam with Elvis” that fateful day when the two legends met in 1965 in Hollywood. Starr explained that while he looked up to many rock and roll pioneers who were older than The Beatles, Elvis was the “first one not like my Dad.”
Ringo worked closely with The GRAMMY Museum by loaning many items for display including his clothing, drum kits and personal artifacts for the exhibit.