Before adding Ringo Starr as their drummer and making their mark on the music world, the Beatles drew inspiration from American musicians. Artists like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Little Richard influenced the Fab Four and countless English musicians. Eddie Cochran was another influence on the development of English rock stars. Ringo’s first band missed a chance to share the same bill with the legendary rocker, and it might have saved the Beatles as we know them.
Ringo Starr and The Beatles were influenced by 1950s American rock
Before they took over the world, The Beatles were teenagers forming bands and performing in Liverpool. The aspiring songwriters found inspiration listening to American rock ‘n’ roll music.
Buddy Holly was revered almost everywhere. Little Richard and Chuck Berry influenced several notable English bands formed in the 1960s. Ringo once said his favorite song was a little-known Ray Charles track. Paul McCartney said the Isley Brothers changed the Beatles’ lives for the better. John Lennon said that without Elvis there would have been no Fab Four, and The King may have inspired one of the Beatles’ early hits.
Cochran crossed the pond to tour England in 1960. As Ringo once recalled, his first band was supposed to share scores with the “Summertime Blue” and “C’mon Everybody” singer, but they never got that chance.
How Ringo’s first band missed their chance to split a bill with Eddie Cochran
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In due course, Ringo and the Beatles could have asked any artist to share a bill with them and received a resounding yes. But the former Richard Starkey wasn’t as influential when Cochran toured England in 1960.
Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, Ringo’s first band before he momentarily impressed Paul and joined the Beatles, were still thriving. Playing a bill with Eddie Cochran in 1960 was a big deal. But as Ringo Conan O’Brien said (via YouTube), they never had that chance:
“Eddie Cochran came to play [England]. He and Gene Vincent and someone else were on a tour of England and they wanted to play Liverpool. With Rory Storm & the Hurricanes we wanted to be on the same bill as Eddie Cochran. Anyway, god bless his soul, he died before coming to Liverpool. We didn’t think, ‘Oh God.’ We thought, ‘He could have waited until he played Liverpool.’”
Ringo Starr on how his first band missed playing with Eddie Cochran
According to the drummer, Cochran’s early death in a car accident deprived Ringo of his chance to play with the rock ‘n’ roll legend. That may have been a boon for the Beatles and saved the band as we know them.
The Beatles might have looked very different if Ringo had played alongside Cochran
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Cochran’s death might very well have enabled the emergence of the Beatles as we know them (at least in this version of revisionist history).
Rory Storm & the Hurricanes were hardly an anonymous band in Liverpool in 1960. However, if they shared a stage with Cochran, their stock could have skyrocketed. Maybe they’ll start touring outside of Liverpool and headline shows across England based on the notoriety they got from their Cochran concert. Suddenly Ringo is the timekeeper of a group that is rapidly gaining popularity in England.
In this version of the story, Ringo is already part of a successful band and making more money than ever while growing up in working-class Liverpool. If John, Paul and George Harrison had asked him to join the Beatles in 1962, would they have been able to supplement his wages by playing with a suddenly successful Rory Storm? Would he say yes and accept a pay cut? Without Ringo’s impressive drumming skills, would the Beatles have become the band that redefined pop music?
Luckily for music fans, we don’t have to live in that reality. Ringo Starr’s first band missed their chance to play alongside Eddie Cochran in 1960, he joined the Beatles in 1962 and the rest is history.
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https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/ringo-starr-first-band-missed-chance-saved-beatles.html/ Ringo Starr’s first band missed their chance to share a bill with Eddie Cochran, but it might have saved the Beatles