When The Beatles first exploded in popularity they set out on tours around the UK. The Fab Four squeezed into a small car and drove around Blighty to play their music to the growing fanbase that would create Beatlemania. But, considering Ringo Starr was the final member of the band to join the group, he was the last person the rest of the team wanted to sleep with in hotels around the country.
Starr was recruited into The Beatles in August 1962 after they dropped their first drummer from the band, Pete Best. While he gelled with the band musically and personally quickly, he was still an outsider joining the tight-knit threesome of pals John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
As a result, when the band hit the road to play in venues around England, the topic of sleeping arrangements quickly came up.
Starr recently looked back on those early days, saying: “Well, the big relationship of course with our writers John and Paul. Things that went on, when I joined the band, we only ever had two rooms, in hotels, we were all in the same car, we had two rooms. We were always getting to know each other.”
So when the band were forced to split up into pairs, nobody initially volunteered to spend their nights with Starr.
Eventually, Starr found himself a companion in one half of The Beatles’ primary songwriting duo.
He said: “Paul was the only one who’d sleep with me.” Oddly enough, Harrison and Lennon were not too sure about sleeping with Starr because they didn’t know what his sleeping habits were like.
Starr claimed they said: “Oh, we don’t know if he farts or whatever.”
“Anyway,” Starr recalled. “So Paul kept it together.” They became bunkmates while on tour and spent countless nights together when the hotel rooms were divided between the four members.
Starr and McCartney no doubt became extremely close because of these sleeping arrangements, but their strong friendship did not always last.
In 1970 the band were in a spat with McCartney as he wanted to release his debut solo record just weeks before The Beatles’ final record, Let It Be, was due to hit store shelves.
As a result, Starr was asked to go to McCartney’s farm and politely tell him that he needed to move his album’s release date. But when he arrived, the drummer received a brutal welcome.
“I was just fed up with that,” McCartney recalled. “It was the only time I ever told anyone to GET OUT! It was fairly hostile. But things had got like that by this time. It hadn’t actually come to blows, but it was near enough.” He added: “Unfortunately it was Ringo. I mean, he was probably the least to blame of any of them, but he was the fall guy who got sent round to ask me to change the date – and he probably thought: ‘Well, Paul will do it.’ But he met a different character because now I was definitely boycotting Apple.”
Starr later spoke candidly about what happened between the two stars. He said: “I went to see Paul. To my dismay, he went completely out of control. Shouting at me, prodding his fingers towards my face, saying: ‘I’ll finish you now’ and ‘you’ll pay’.”
Starr added: “He told me to put my coat on and get out. I did so.”
After Starr endured a verbal beatdown from McCartney, he returned home and wrote a scathing song about McCartney.
The drummer wrote the track Early 1970, which he released in 1971 as a B-side to his single It Don’t Come Easy.