Ringo Starr was on hand at Boston’s Berklee College of Music on Thursday (June 2nd) to accept an honorary doctorate from the prestigious institution. Marca.com reported the students played a selection of Ringo’s hits during the ceremony, before opening remarks by All Starr Band drummer Gregg Bissonette and Berklee President Erica Muhl.
Ringo spoke about being ill as a child in the hospital, when a drum was brought in for him to play while convalescing. He explained, “I just wanted to be a drummer from that moment on. It was my big dream and it’s still unfolding. I get to play with great guys, like the band here. It’s just a great life I lead.”
Legendary producer Don Was, who first worked with Ringo during the sessions for the former-Beatle‘s 1992 Time Takes Time collection, told us that he always jumps at the chance to play with Ringo: “As a musician, when you finally get to play music with him, it’s one of the most distinctive feels, y’know? His feel is just, it’s such a unique fingerprint of where to lay the beat and where to play it. And, like, in the first few minutes of the first few songs, I thought, ‘Oh man! You couldn’t have had those Beatles records without this guy.’ There’s a musical personality that’s so strong. I think he’s one of the great rock n’ roll drummers of all time.”
Ringo told us that his ultimate goal has always to be a working drummer playing with top musicians: “It’s playing with a band, always has been with me. Playing drums, playing with good players, playing to an audience — it’s still the best. There’s certain nights when, where the band are all together, and the audience are all together, it’s such an uplifting situation. That’s the drug of it all — y’know, it’s like you just sail away. It’s great.”