Who Are Ringo Starr’s Closest Friends
Ringo Starr has never been hesitant to approach his peers for help. Throughout the years, the drummer has maintained strong ties with his fellow Beatles colleagues, who have supported his solo career.
George Harrison, for example, was present even after he injured himself on a mountain hike to assist Starr with his own project. However, Starr’s network of musician buddies extends beyond The Beatles, illustrating his love of musical collaboration and companionship.
1. Beatles and Who: Starr and Moon’s Intimate Friendship
Starr and Keith Moon, despite having contrasting drumming styles—Starr’s understated elegance compared to Moon’s bombastic bashing—had a unique bond. Their personalities complemented each other well, and they shared a close relationship.
According to one of Starr’s former girlfriends, they had such an intimate connection that they could communicate without speaking. Although there was a moment when Moon tried to audition for The Beatles as a drummer, it did not affect their friendship.
In fact, Moon even babysat Starr’s son, Zak, at one point. It’s interesting to note that Zak eventually followed in his father’s footsteps and became The Who’s touring drummer later in his life, creating a full-circle moment for the two iconic drummers and their families.
Despite their different styles and career paths, Starr and Moon maintained a strong bond and had a special connection that transcended their musical differences.
2. The Friendship of Ringo Starr and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin
Despite Led Zeppelin surpassing The Beatles in a 1970 NME poll, drummers John Bonham (Bonzo) and Starr formed a strong friendship. Bonham admired Starr’s drumming as a perfect fit for The Beatles’ music.
They often spent time together, with Bonham playfully pranking Starr at his Los Angeles home. Despite band rivalries, their mutual respect and love for music fostered a lasting friendship that transcended their careers as influential drummers in the music industry.
3. Beatles’ Drummer and T. Rex Leader: Close Connection
Marc Bolan and T.Rex became well-known after The Beatles’ breakup. Bolan and Starr were good friends who both loved music. Starr even contributed by photographing the album cover for T.Rex’s The Slider release.
In 1972, Bolan and Starr collaborated on the concert movie Born to Boogie, in which Elton John also appeared. The movie enhanced their bond while showcasing their musical abilities.
Bolan impacted Starr’s word choice, ultimately resulting in one of his greatest solo achievements. Starr invited Bolan to a dinner party, where he came up with the phrase “Back Off Boogaloo,” which Ringo eventually adapted into a song.
After being released in 1972, the song quickly climbed the charts, peaking at No. 2 in the UK and No. 9 in the US. The song’s catchy and enduring personality clearly indicates Bolan’s impact on Starr’s music.
4. Beyond the Band: Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson’s Lifelong Brotherhood
During the 1970s, Starr and Harry Nilsson were close friends who frequently spent time together. Along with John Lennon, they were part of the infamous LA drinking group known as The Hollywood Vampires, often indulging in binge drinking, staying out late, and dealing with hangovers the next morning.
Despite their indulgent lifestyle, Starr and Nilsson still made time for their shared love of music. For instance, Nilsson provided vocals for Starr’s hit song “You’re Sixteen.” Starr also made guest appearances on several of Nilsson’s albums, including “Son of Schmilsson,” “Pussy Cats,” “Son of Dracula,” “Duit on Don Mei,” and “Flash Harry.”
Their musical collaboration was a significant aspect of their friendship, and they enjoyed working on each other’s projects whenever possible. In fact, Nilsson even contributed the song “Easy for Me” to Starr’s album Goodnight Vienna.
5. The Drummer and Joe Walsh: From Friends to Family
Starr has been friends with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh for a very long time. Walsh was a key player in Ringo’s All-Starr Band in its early versions and contributed his talents to the albums Old Wave in 1983 and Vertical Man in 1998. When Walsh and Marjorie Bach got married in 2008, and Starr married Barbara Bach in 1981, their relationship took a surprising turn, and they became brothers-in-law.
Even though they were related, Starr and Walsh continued to work together on music; Starr contributed to Walsh’s 2012 album Analog Man, and Walsh also contributed to Starr’s projects. Their artistic collaborations had no impact on their tight friendship, which remained unshakeable.