Ringo Starr Has Revealed John Lennon’s ‘Grow Old With Me’ Was Written With Him In Mind

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

As you may already know, Ringo Starr is releasing a new album.

For this new record, titled What’s My Name, he and Paul McCartney have collaborated on a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Grow Old With Me’.

Ringo discovered the song when producer Jack Douglas, introduced him to a demo version from Lennon bootleg The Bermuda Tapes which before recently Starr had been blissfully unaware of.

In a new interview with GQ the former Beatles drummer has now elaborated on why he chose the song.

And for the tearful Beatles fans among you, brace for impact, this one’s about to get a little sentimental.

“I was really emotional when Jack Douglas, the producer who produced John, mentioned it to me,” Ringo confided. “At the beginning of the demo, you can hear John say, ‘Oh, this would be good for Richard Starkey… this would be great for you, Ring!’”

Hearing Lennon, who was shot dead on December 8th, 1980, Starr was touched.

“When I first heard that, I did get a little emotional to hear his voice mentioning my name,” he confessed, “because I’m an emotional guy.”

“Anyway,” Starr continued, “he recorded all the other tracks, but this track he hadn’t recorded. He’d done a demo, that’s all and I had never heard of the song and had no awareness of it at all. But I thought that it was a beautiful song. I decided I was going to do it and thought it was really important.”

(An astute Beatlemaniac might note ‘Grow Old With Me’ was in fact recorded and officially released after being completed under Yoko Ono’s supervision for posthumous Lennon album Milk and Honey in 1984.)

Starr then offered further details of Paul McCartney’s involvement.

“I did the vocals first and then I wanted real friends to come and play with me,” Starr said. “I thought the only guy who could really play bass on this for me was Paul. And Paul happened to be coming into town.”

“He is the most melodic player,” he enthused. “I love playing with him. He played beautiful and then he sang with me, that was nice too. [But] he’s been on five or six on my albums, so it’s not like the only time he’s ever played with me.”

Ringo’s 20th studio album What’s My Name will arrive October 25th.


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