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July 7, 2023

20 Candid Snapshots of Ringo Starr Taken by Fans From the 1960s

Ringo Starr joined The Beatles in 1962, replacing the band’s original drummer, Pete Best. His solid and steady drumming provided the rhythmic foundation for many of the band’s biggest hits. While not as involved in songwriting as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Starr did contribute vocals to several Beatles songs, including “Yellow Submarine,” “With a Little Help from My Friends,” and “Octopus’s Garden.”

During an interview with Playboy in 1964, Lennon explained that Starr had filled in with the Beatles when Best was ill; Starr replied: “[Best] took little pills to make him ill.” Soon after, Best filed a libel suit against him that lasted four years before the court reached an undisclosed settlement in Best’s favor.

In June of 1964, Starr became ill again, when he was hit by pharyngitis and tonsillitis, and he was temporarily replaced on the road by Jimmie Nicol. He rejoined the tour a few weeks later, relieved to find out he wasn't being permanently replaced.

That same year, the Beatles took their music to the big screen with the humorous documentary film A Hard Day’s Night (1964). For their next film venture and soundtrack album, Help! (1965), Starr provided the vocals for “Act Naturally.” Both projects allowed Starr’s comedic and acting talents to shine through. That same year, Starr married longtime girlfriend Maureen Cox. Beatles manager Brian Epstein was his best man, and George Harrison was one of his witnesses, along with the stepfather who had bought him his first drum set.

Also that year, the Beatles finally met one of their idols, Bob Dylan. According to legend, Starr was the first one to smoke pot with Dylan, while the others initially hung back. Times would change. Below are some amazing candid snapshots of Ringo Starr captured by fans from the 1960s:


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