As Ringo turns 71 today, he's still helping to carry The Beatles' flame

It's strange to think now, but there was a time when The Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr thought that he was going to go the same way as Pete Best, and be unceremoniously fired from the group...

On the first day he arrived in EMI's recording studios in September 1962, Ringo was  shocked to find another drummer in his stool, session sticksman Andy White.

"[George Martin] thought I was crazy and couldn't play," Ringo later said of the legendary Beatles producer. "I thought, 'That's the end, they're doing a Pete Best on me."

Of course, Ringo wasn't fired and went on to play on all The Beatles' classic and influential albums up until their final Let It Be LP.

As the drummer in the 20th century's most important pop group, Starr collectibles have today accrued their own value on the markets.

Naturally, his signature is most valued when featured alongside the other Beatles.

Notable examples include a Sgt. Pepper Souvenir Poster which ties in with the group's landmark 1967 psychedelic album. Also dating to 1967, the poster signed by all four Beatles sold for $52,500 in June 2009 at Christie's New York.

Ringo Starr solo-signed autographs have gone up in value by 25.16% - which is actually more than Sir Paul McCartney's in terms of annual growth


Ringo's own autographs have always been moderately priced, mainly due to amounts of time he famously devoted to signing fans' autographs.

All this came to a halt in 2008, when released a video revealing that he would no longer be signing autographs (perhaps the combination of signing and drumming was giving him repetitive strain injury?).

Just as Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong's decision to stop signing autographs in 1994 led to a boost in their value - indeed, he is today the world's rarest and most valued living signature - Ringo's decision to stop signing could likewise see a rise in his autograph's average value.

The industry's PFC40 Autograph Index shows that Ringo's autograph has risen by 25.16% over the past 11 years - compared to 16.67% for the other still-living Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

While Ringo's autograph, average value £995, wouldn't bring enough to buy a Yellow Submarine, his status as one quarter of the 20th century's most important band means he is certainly worth your consideration as an entry-level alternative investment.


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