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Ringo Starr Was ‘Disgusted’ to See People Dancing to Rock Music



Ringo Starr has been a professional musician for years and has dedicated his life to creating and consuming rock music. In the early 1960s, when The Beatles rose to fame, they had the opportunity to see and meet many other bands. One night, they attended a concert in Miami for a band Starr loved. He was disgusted by the way other people were enjoying the music, though.

Ringo Starr was not happy to see people dancing to rock music

In 1964, The Beatles went to America. As they traveled around the country, they often crossed paths with the American band The Coasters.

“When we were in New York, The Coasters were on there, and then when we were in Florida, they were there, too,” George Harrison said in The Beatles Anthology. “Everywhere we went, even when we were in California, The Coasters were advertised.”

The Beatles went to see The Coasters in Miami. Starr loved the band, but he, surprisingly, hated to see people dancing to their music. He didn’t think people should be reacting this way to rock music.

“I had another disastrous evening in Miami. We went out to see The Coasters, who were heroes with ‘Yakety Yak,’” he said. “People were dancing to them in the club, and I just couldn’t understand it. These were rock’n’roll gods to me, and people were dancing! I was just so disgusted. But The Coasters were great, and it was a thrill to see American artists. We’d never seen them before like this, in America.”


Ringo Starr said his other bad night in Miami had nothing to do with rock music

Starr said that this was his second disastrous night out in Miami. The first occurred when the band went to see comedian Don Rickles. 

“Probably everyone has heard of Don Rickles now, but we hadn’t in those days, and he was playing in the Deauville Hotel where we stayed,” Starr said. “He was a vicious type of comedian.”

Rickles immediately began making jokes about The Beatles, who were shocked. 

“He asked me, ‘Where are you from?’” Starr said. “I said, ‘Liverpool,’ to silence, and he said, ‘Oh, hear the applause!’”

While the band believed they had solid senses of humor, they did not find Rickles’ jokes amusing.

“We were not amused, as I recall,” Paul McCartney said. “Very cutting. I like him now but at first he was a bit of a shock.”

The Beatles met hundreds of people in their early years of fame

Regardless of how Starr felt about the audience at The Coasters’ show, he was glad to see them perform. The band was happy to meet many people they admired, and were excited that people wanted to meet them.


“We met a few people through Phil Spector. We met The Ronettes, which was very exciting, and various others, such as Jackie De Shannon, a great songwriter, and Diana Ross and the rest of The Supremes,” McCartney said. “They were people we admired and as we went on we met them all — all the people who were coming up as we were coming up. It was a matey sort of thing.”

Source: Cheat Sheet

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