Just a few years before The Beatles became a worldwide phenomenon, they were all looking for a way out of Liverpool, England. Each of the stars – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – were working-class lads from the city, and were no doubt looking for a better life. So in 1959, Ringo and John decided to cross the pond to kickstart the next step of their lives.
In 1959 – just before The Beatles had been formed proper in 1960 – Ringo was good friends with John, but had not yet become part of his band. At the time, Pete Best was the drummer for The Quarrymen, the group that preceded the Fab Four.
Ringo was interviewed by You and I recently where he explained his love for blues music had him hunting for another life in America.
“I love the blues,” he said. “Everybody should know by now. When I was 19, I tried to emigrate to Houston, Texas. I wanted to be where Lightnin’ Hopkins was, my all-time favourite blues player.”
The drummer explained he and John even got their passports in order and went to get the paperwork started.
“John and I went down to the embassy and filled in all these forms,” he said. “You know, we were just teenagers then.”
Ringo explained how they had even worked out how to make a living once they landed.
“We even had a list of factories where we wanted to apply for jobs because I was working in a factory at the time,” Ringo said.
Years later, of course, The Beatles, would go on to conquer America. Thousands of fans would arrive at their plane hours in advance just to catch a glimpse of the four lads from Liverpool.
But, at the time, they struggled to even get through the door into the USA.
Ringo went on: “But then, when we went back to the embassy, we were given more paperwork with more questions. We then turned back into teenagers and just ripped them up. Sod it!”
He added: “That would have been an interesting move if I’d have done that.”
Of course, just a year later, The Beatles were formed. John was instrumental in writing some of the band’s biggest tracks alongside his best friend, Paul, which got them a lot of much-needed exposure.
Two years after that, in 1962, The Beatles had been signed by their manager, Brian Epstein. And he felt as if they needed a different kind of drum playing in the group.
As a result, Epstein sacked the band’s drummer, Pete Best, and the Fab Three went on the hunt for their drummer.
Naturally, John’s head was turned to Ringo, who was playing music in the Liverpool scene at the time.
From then on, the band were inseparable. And two years after that, on February 7, 1964, The Beatles made their debut in America, where Beatlemania awaited them at the airport.