cover image Ringo: With a Little Help

Ringo: With a Little Help

Michael Seth Starr. Backbeat, $32.99 (424p) ISBN 978-1-61713-120-2

In this illuminating and comprehensive biography of Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey, New York Post TV editor Starr delves into every aspect of the life of one of the 20th century’s most famous drummers. Beatles fans may come away disappointed at the lack of truly new material regarding Ringo’s tenure with the band, much of which is culled from the Beatles Anthology documentary. That said, Starr successfully paints a complete portrait of the legendary drummer, whose contributions to rock ’n’ roll, he argues, have largely been overshadowed by his iconic bandmates. With aplomb, Starr creates an intimate picture of Liverpool and Hamburg during the 1950s and ’60s that puts the rest of Ringo’s life (including his later battles with alcoholism and drug addiction) into fascinating perspective. Starr’s prose is straightforward, at times stilted, but frequent eyewitness accounts and quotes from original interviews with Ringo’s friends and family help him succeed in revealing the nuanced and passionate man who was the backbone of the Beatles. (July)