Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr!

Richard Starkey was born in Merseyside, Liverpool on July 7, 1940 to mother Elsie and father, also named Richard. He almost didn't make it through childhood, suffering from all kinds of illness and even falling into a coma. But Beatles fans are grateful he did, because he completed the group as Ringo Starr.

Here are five little known facts about the world-famous drummer:

·  Starr is left-handed, but plays a right-handed drum kit resulting in a unique playing style. He has also draped a towel over his snare drum and stuffed the bass drum with cushions to vary the sound.

·  The 'Starr' part of his stage-name comes from shortening his surname, whilst 'Ringo' is due to his fondness for wearing rings on all his fingers.

·  Ringo had the most solo US Top ten hits of any Beatle (McCartney sang many of his post-Beatle hits with Wings)

·  He inspired a number of Beatles song titles without intending to. 'A Hard Day's Night' was originally Starr's description of a long session recording their first film, which became its title as well as that of the song. He also coined 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.

·  He is a longtime fan of the comedy troupe Monty Python, and even appeared on an episode in 1969.

The Beatles performing Octopus Garden - written by Ringo

Now one of only two Beatles surviving, memorabilia associated with the drummer is only going to become more valuable especially as, a little like Paul McCartney, he threatened to stop signing autographs (though he largely relented).

Collectors and investors interested in rare pieces related to Ringo and the other Beatles will be pleased to know that a number are on the market right now.


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