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Historically, The Beatles bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have maintained a longstanding friendship and professional partnership. However, one day after the rooftop concert that spelled the end of The Beatles as a live act, McCartney put his true feelings toward Starr down on paper. He penned an emotional nine-word missive sent to the drummer’s home via postcard.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr pose for a photograph at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2015.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr | Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Ringo Starr gave Paul McCartney the security he needed as a musician

Relied on by his bandmates to deliver a steady backbeat, Starr became a central figure to McCartney as a musician. The Beatles bassist said the first time he heard Starr play, he knew they had found the missing piece of The Beatles, including John Lennon and George Harrison.

“The first few minutes that Ringo played, I looked to the left at George and to the right at John. We didn’t say a word, but I remember thinking, ‘s***, this is amazing. I love Led Zeppelin, but you watch them play, and you can see them looking back at John Bonham, like, ‘What the hell are you doing? This is the beat,'” McCartney told Rolling Stone (via The Paul McCartney Project).

He continued, “You could turn your back on Ringo and never have to worry. He both gave you security, and you knew he would nail it.”

An emotional Paul McCartney used 9 words to share his real feelings toward Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr (left) and Paul McCartney of English pop group the Beatles at London Airport (later Heathrow), UK, 2nd September 1965. They are returning from their tour of the US.
Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney | Getty Images/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive

A postcard from McCartney to Starr one day after the Rooftop Concert shows how highly McCartney rated Starr as a drummer. He encompassed years of emotion toward his longtime friend into nine words.

The Paul McCartney Archive shared the note on Twitter. It reads: “You are the greatest drummer in the world. Really.” The postcard was addressed to Ringo, Brookfields, Cuttmill Lane, Elstead, Surrey, and postmarked from McCartney’s residence of St. John’s Wood.

The Beatles rooftop concert was the last time the 4 members played together as a band


Paul McCartney Once Said He Had an ‘Edge’ Over John Lennon ‘Musically’

The Beatles gave their final live performance atop the Apple building on Thursday, January 30, 1969. The concert put a period on the end of their Let It Be film and was the last time the fab four performed together as a band.

Starr said the legendary musical moment could have had a very different twist had the band followed their original plan to play in a different location.

“There was a plan to play live somewhere. We were wondering where we could go. ‘Oh, the Palladium or the Sahara.’ But we would have had to take all the stuff, so we decided, ‘Let’s get up on the roof,’” he said in The Beatles Anthology book, per The Beatles Bible.

“We had Mal and Neil set the equipment up on the roof, and we did those tracks. I remember it was cold and windy and damp, but all the people looking out from the offices were really enjoying it,” Starr recalled.