When Ringo recorded “Elizabeth Reigns” on his Ringo Rama album (2003), he signed off by saying; “there goes the knighthood”. Some of his lyrics were not overly complimentary to her majesty, like:
“We don’t really need a king.
Six hundred servants
Use her detergent
Scrubbing the palace floor
And all of your sins are
As big as the Windsors
So let’s point our fingers
Has that delayed his knighthood? Does he even deserve one?
Many have questioned: “why has he got it?” or “just because he was a Beatle?”. “Is this just further degrading the honour system?”
So what has Ringo done to deserve it? Many people, including Beatles fans, don’t give Ringo the credit for his part in The Beatles’ success. Was he just a lucky guy who jumped on the bandwagon, or something more?
In our new book, “Finding the Fourth Beatle”, we examine how and why Ringo became the drummer in the Fab Four, the only drummer to have lasted the distance with John, Paul and George. From 1956-1970, we detail the 18 drummers who played a part in their success, and ultimately why Ringo became the right drummer at the right time. He wasn’t the first drummer asked to replace Pete Best, but he proved to be a wise choice.
But we aren’t just saying it without backing it up with evidence. We have enlisted the help of several drummers who explain what it was that made Ringo such a unique drummer, by analysing his style and his experience of playing skiffle, country, jazz, and to the audiences in summer camps at Butlins. We have had a number of Beatles songs analysed, and show his contribution, what difference he did make to those songs, and the evolution of The Beatles’ sound. He wasn’t just a spare part sat at the back of the band, but integral to their development as a group, who has gone on to be recognised as one of the most influential drummers of all time. Not bad for a boy from the Dingle!
But that, in itself, isn’t enough to warrant a knighthood. What else has he done? His well-known problems with alcohol led him, and his second wife Barbara Bach, to check in to rehab to battle alcoholism. Ringo emerged as a new man, and together with Barbara, the two established the Lotus Foundation:
“The objectives of the Lotus Foundation are to fund, support, participate in and promote charitable projects aimed at advancing social welfare in diverse areas including, but not limited to:
- Substance abuse
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain tumours
- Battered women and their children
- Animals in need”
Over the years, he has raised millions of pounds for his charity through books, performances, and most recently by selling off property and memorabilia he no longer needs/ uses. Through his high-profile status as a former Beatle, and successful solo artist, he has made a difference to countless lives around the world, much of which goes on unnoticed.
You don’t get a knighthood for being a Beatle: you do for making a difference and promoting Peace and Love.
Arise, Sir Fourth Beatle Ringo (and don’t mention “Elizabeth Reigns”!)