Why Ringo Starr Was ‘Weighed Down’ By The Beatles After the Breakup

The Beatles were a major force in popular culture, however, Ringo Starr still felt “weighed down” by the Fab Four many years after their breakup. He revealed why the experience of being a former Beatle could be “heavy.” Here’s a look at what he had to say — and whether being a Beatles weighed him down commercially.

Ringo Starr and a green wall
Ringo Starr | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Did Ringo Starr feel ambivalent about being a member of The Beatles?

In 1992, Ringo gave an interview to Rolling Stone’s David Wild. During the interview, Wild mentioned a song John Lennon wrote for Ringo called “I’m the Greatest.” He cited the song’s line “I was in the greatest show on earth” as an example of Ringo’s “ambivalence” about his time in The Beatles.

“Of course that was John Lennon’s line,” Ringo said. “But sure, there have been times when I felt weighed down by it I’m still weighed down by it I mean, I’m sitting here, and I’m all excited about the new product, and you’re still going to be asking me about those days. Everybody wants to talk about those days, and sometimes it gets heavy for me. Right now that waitress is not looking at me as Richard Starkey. It’s Mr. Starr to her. It’s the Beatle, not even the former Beatle. When I am the oldest man on the planet, and I’m wheeled onto This Is Your Life, it will be as Beatle Ringo Starr. This will never end. But that’s cool, I suppose.”

“I’m the Greatest”

Afterward, Wild said being a Beatle is a life long job, like being a monarch. “Sure,” Ringo said. “Never get this wrong – I’m totally, honestly proud of the music that we made and the friendships. It was the best band that I’ve ever been in.” Elsewhere in the interview, Ringo said The Beatles were the best band of all time, adding that they were incredibly big — albeit not bigger than Jesus. However, he felt another group could someday have the same sort of impact as The Beatles, Elvis Presley, or Frank Sinatra.

How Ringo Starr’s music performed after he left The Beatles

Clearly, there was a downside to The Beatles for Ringo. However, he was still able to launch a successful post-Beatles career. After all, he released 12 singles that reached the Billboard Hot 100. Those singles were “Oh My My,” “Hey Baby,” “Wrack My Brain,” “A Dose of Rock ‘N’ Roll,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” “Beaucoups of Blues,” “Only You,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “It’s All Down To Goodnight Vienna/Oo-Wee,” “No No Song/Snookeroo,” “Photograph,” and “You’re Sixteen.” The latter two songs reached No. 1 on the chart.

“You’re Sixteen”

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In addition, two of his albums, Ringo and Goodnight Vienna, reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200. While Ringo said there was a downside to being a former Beatle, he found plenty of success during his post-Beatles career.