Ringo Starr Always Liked Yoko Ono Because of Her ‘Crazy Ideas’: ‘She Was Good for John’

Yoko Ono received a famously chilly reception from The Beatles, but Ringo Starr said he always liked his bandmate’s wife. He was the only Beatle who flew to her side after John Lennon’s murder, and Lennon never felt the same anger toward Starr as George Harrison and Paul McCartney. Starr explained that he understood the connection between Lennon and Ono, which made him more receptive to her. He also shared what made him like Ono.

Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono wear black. Starr holds up a peace sign.
Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono | Rick Diamond/WireImage

John Lennon once shared how Ringo Starr reacted to Yoko Ono

Lennon and Ono met at an art gallery in 1966, when he was married to his first wife, Cynthia Lennon. They connected quickly, and Lennon soon split up with Cynthia and married Ono. The couple was famously close — Ono was a near-constant presence at Beatles recording sessions. This frustrated McCartney and Harrison, but Starr never had as much of a problem with her presence.

“Ringo was all right, so was Maureen [Starkey, Starr’s wife], but the other two really gave it to us,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1971.

Ringo Starr shared why he immediately liked Yoko Ono

Unlike McCartney and Harrison, it didn’t take years for Starr to warm to Ono. He said he found it a bit odd that she was always around, but he grew to understand the couple’s connection.

“Well, I understood it,” Starr told Newsday in 1981. “At first it was a bit weird that she was sitting on the amp. The famous quote: ‘She’s sittin’ on the amp in the studio — what’s she doing?’ I spoke to John once, and he said, ‘You go tell your wife at the end of the day what you’ve done in four sentences, but you’ve lived a whole day. This way, we know exactly what the other one is doing.’ That’s how Barbara [Bach, Starr’s second wife] and I now live our lives.”

Not only did Starr understand the connection between the couple, but he said he always liked Ono. 

“I’ve always liked the woman,” he said. “I’ve always felt she was strong. And I always loved her when she used to do her art exhibitions. I liked that craziness about her. She was good for John because she had these crazy ideas, too.”

John Lennon was angry with his other bandmates for their reaction to his wife

Starr’s reception of Ono didn’t upset Lennon, but he was furious at his other two bandmates.

“You can quote Paul, it’s probably in the papers, he said it many times at first he hated Yoko and then he got to like her,” Lennon told Rolling Stone. “But, it’s too late for me. I’m for Yoko. Why should she take that kind of s*** from those people?”

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He also said that he should have punched Harrison for his rudeness. 

“I’ll never forgive them, I don’t care what f***in’ s*** about Hare Krishna and God and Paul with his ‘Well, I’ve changed me mind,’” he said. “I can’t forgive ’em for that, really. Although I can’t help still loving them either.”