Workplace etiquette states that before leaving a job for another, it’s common practice to give your employer two weeks notice prior to departure. But playing in a band isn’t an occupation many people try to make a career out of, so the rules are a bit skewed.
Not for Ringo Starr. That man is a gentleman.
Starr was drumming for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in 1962 when Brian Epstein — manager of fellow Liverpudlians, The Beatles — asked Starr to fill in for Pete Best for a show at The Cavern Club. After several more temporary gigs with John, Paul, and George, Epstein asked Starr to join the band permanently. And immediately.
“We [Starr and his Hurricanes bandmates] had a gig with Rory, who had a three month residence in Butlins holiday camp in England,” recalls Starr. “Halfway through that, Brian phoned me and said, ‘Would you join The Beatles?'”
“I said, ‘When?'” and he said ‘tonight,’ which was Wednesday,” continued Starr. “I can’t just leave the band… I’ll leave Rory, but I’m not going to leave him, like, NOW. So I left on Saturday.”
The move was still abrupt, but the transition was easy; both The Beatles and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were cover bands playing the same songs, making finding a replacement drummer for Starr an easy task.
And as they say, the rest is history. A history that has led Starr to his second induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, this time as a solo artist. Of course, there is only one person suited to induct Starr.
“He actually set it up, I believe,” Starr says of former bandmate, Paul McCartney. “He called me to say that he wanted to put me into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame and he’ll do the induction and will I accept. And I said, ‘sure.'”
The induction ceremony will take place April 18th and be televised May 30th on HBO.
Starr just released his 18th solo album on March 31st. Postcards from Paradise includes 11 original songs and is available through iTunes.
Listen to Scott Shannon’s full interview with Ringo Starr below: