Ringo Starr Speaks On Peace, Love & Sobriety

By Bryan Le 07/08/19

The former Beatle reflects on seeking peace and love in the world and how sobriety has helped that journey.

Ringo Starr
ID 131289367 © Michael Bush | Dreamstime.com

Musician Ringo Starr, formerly a member of the legendary Beatles, always uses July 7th, his birthday, to share a message of peace and love to the world. In an interview with Parade, Starr revealed that sobriety helped him get to where he is today.

This year, Starr turned 79. He carried out his traditional birthday ritual of asking everyone to say or think the words “peace and love” at noon on July 7th at Capitol Records in Los Angeles, a place where his former band once called home.

Celebrating 30 Years of Sobriety

He’s also celebrating a few other milestones this year. Starr has now played his All Starr Band tours for 30 years now, a musical outing in which he plays alongside other music legends like Santana, Toto, and Men at Work. He’s also celebrating 30 years sober, which is no coincidence.

“There is an absolute connection. [When] I got sober, I had all this time and more energy,” Starr explained in the interview.

He recounted what it was like prior to getting sober.

“I just couldn’t really move without alcohol. And without drugs. I was not a purist in any way! So in the end, I said to Barbara [Bach, his actress wife of 38 years], ‘You’ve got to get us into one of those [rehab] places,’” he remembered. “I didn’t know where they were. But she called some friends of ours in LA who knew, and I went to Arizona, where I found myself with 88 mad people in this place.”

But despite how he may have felt about the company he kept in rehab, he can’t say it didn’t help him.

“Well, it’s working today. That’s all I have. But it makes life so much easier,” Starr said.

He also shared his secret for staying spry and healthy at 79: meditation, a vegetarian diet, and exercise.

“I get up in the morning and I meditate. I go to the gym and I have a trainer, and I work out myself too, when I’m on the road,” he revealed. “I’m a vegetarian. When we’re on tour, to get out of the hotel, I usually go to the local organic shop just to see what they’ve got. But I’m only a vegetarian, not a vegan. I eat goat cheese. A vegan is very hard, and they eat a lot of sugar. I’m careful about sugar.”

A Haze Of Drugs & Alcohol

But things weren’t good for a long time for Starr, who admitted he spent two decades in an alcoholic haze following the breakup of the Beatles.

“Now along the way I got lost in a haze of alcohol and drugs,” he told Rolling Stone in a 2011 interview. “But thank God I’m still here, coming out of it now a day at a rime (sic). And now I’m feeling like those days (the Sixties) again. I loved that movement, and now I sort of feel like I’m back in it.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter