The new Photograph book by Ringo Starr includes Ringo’s personal photos mixed with handwritten letters and memorabilia from his own collection. Ringo attributes the majority of the items shown in the book up to 1964 thanks to his mother who was diligent at saving everything.
The book spans Starr’s lifetime from his early childhood, including time spent in the hospital, his teenage years playing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, all the way through to his solo career playing with the first All-Starr band. The Beatles’ years feature unique photos of Ringo’s bandmates that only another “Beatle” could capture.
On September 25, 2015, Ringo joined Conan O’Brien in a live slideshow event at the El Rey Theatre to discuss Photograph. O’Brien, a self-professed Beatles fan, was the perfect choice to interview Starr trading one-liners with him throughout the conversation.
Conan and Ringo sat on the corner of the stage facing each other with a huge screen in the background. Laughter set the tone of the evening. Conan started off by saying: “I think I’m here to book you an airline flight, Ringo. Would you like an aisle seat?”
As the slideshow began, the audience reacted fondly to early photos of Ringo with his mother, including one when he was 7 years old in the hospital with tuberculosis. Ringo shared stories of what his early childhood was like as pictures of him with one of his first drum kits was shown.
When Conan pointed out the streak of gray on the right side of Ringo’s hair noticeable in some early pictures, Ringo revealed that he had alopecia at age 18. He said the doctors told him it would either eventually cover his whole head or it would go away altogether. Luckily for Ringo, the gray went away by the time he was a Beatle.
In one photo on page 62 of the book, Ringo, pictured with his mother, Elsie, and stepdad, Harry, is showing off his shoes which happen to be Birkenstocks.
Ringo described how The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, called him on a Wednesday in 1962 asking him to join the Beatles and play a gig with them that night. However, Ringo had already committed to a gig with Rory Storm at Butlins Camp so Ringo explained that he’d join the band on Saturday.
“I’ll join the Beatles, but on my schedule,” Conan joked.
On page 82 is a photo of Ringo with George Harrison and Paul McCartney before he had joined The Beatles. A girl on the right side is staring at Paul. “The best part of this photo for me,” Ringo observed, “is the chick looking at Paul… She’s like, ‘I’m ready.'”
Pointing out his picture of John Lennon sitting in a hotel room, Ringo said, “What the hell is he doing… nobody can do this!” Ringo and Conan both remarked how Lennon’s leg was extremely flexible to sit up so high on his lap. “Cirque du Soleil was calling,” Ringo quipped.
Moving through The Beatles’ years, there was a shot of Ringo and Peter Sellers, who The Beatles were big fans of. In 1969, Ringo starred with Sellers in the film, ‘The Magic Christian.’ Ringo revealed that in addition to money, Sellers gave him his house as payment for being in the film.
“What?” Conan exclaimed. “That’s fantastic, you had a great agent,” he continued. “I’m calling my agent tomorrow and firing him.”
During the hour-long conversation, Ringo stated his hopes for a future project. Since all four of The Beatles had their own cameras during Beatlemania, Ringo hopes that a second photo book can be done in collaboration with the photos of John, Paul and George. “Then I’ll be in more of the photos,” Ringo concluded.