Ringo Starr: Straight Man or Joker?

Alan Clayson, Author Paragon House Publishers $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55778-575-6
Drummer and former Beatle Ringo Starr won't pen his memoirs or cooperate with biographers, so Clayson ( The Quiet One: The Life of George Harrison ) attempts to fill the void with this wordy effort. Readers interested in learning of rock 'n' roll's advent in England will particularly enjoy the early chapters, which detail Ringo's working-class origins, associations with little-known bands and musical influences. The author acknowledges his subject's initial scapegoat status as the least articulate and lowest paid member of the Fab Four, meanwhile praising the musician's simple, functional drumming style. Ringo's post-Beatles years, his alcoholism and eventual detox, his failed first marriage and pairing with actress Barbara Bach are recounted--but his true personality remains vague here. Fans may be tempted to buy this portrait, but it is too smug and dense with Britspeak to appeal to a mainstream American audience. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 374 pages - 978-1-86074-189-0
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