Interview: Ringo Starr Talks Peace & Love, Sobriety and What He Really Thought of Yoko

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In an exclusive interview and photo and video shoot with Parade, Ringo Starr opened up for a candid conversation that began with one of his favorite topics—one has also become his mantra and mission. Plus: What he wants for his birthday and his favorite Beatles song!

Peace & Love. Starting 11 years ago July 7, his birthday, he began holding Peace & Love celebrations, appearing somewhere around the world and asking everyone to pause and say (or think) the P and L words. “If you think and do good, then the planet will support you,” he says. “It’s like a pebble in the ocean; it’s rippling out, and it will get to shore.”  

Getting Better…and Older. “I can’t hide my birthday,” says Starr, who’ll soon be one year from 80! “Everybody knows exactly when I was born. When I was a teenager, I thought everybody at 60 should be shot because they’re useless. I was well pissed off when I got to 40! I’m not ashamed of it anymore. Actually, it’s a miracle I’m still around. I put a lot of medication in my body and I could have left at any time.”  

Clean & Sober. Sober now for 30 years, he’s a clean-living vegetarian who meditates, goes to the gym in the mornings and avoids sugar. “[When] I got sober, I had all this time and energy,” he says. “It’s working today. That’s all I have.”  

Remembering the Beatles. “We were not falling apart until we split,” he says. “We played together right up until that. I love the White Album [the band’s 1968 release, officially titled The Beatles]. I mean, Pepper [Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released the previous year] was great, but there was a lot of sitting around; we were like studio guys. [For the White Album], we were back to being a band.”

Favorite Beatles Song to Sing? I think “With a Little Help From My Friends.” It’s given me a whole career. I’m thankful many a time for that.For more about Ringo, see Sunday’s Parade or go to Parade.com
To find out what he thought about Yoko Ono, go to YouTube.com

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