June 10, 2013 at 10:31 AM ET
Ringo Starr is a true rock star, in case anyone doubted it. From the moment you meet him — "yeah man, peace and love, man" — he is rock and roll personified, from the stubble to the walk and the expensive designer clothes that appear as if he just casually threw them on.
And the photos in his new ebook, "Photograph" — many published for the first time — provide a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of his life as a Beatle. Many of them were taken from cars or in hotel rooms, depicting a band on top of the world, looking out at all the craziness.
"We lived from gig to car to hotel room," he says. More than ever when they toured America. "When we got to New York — when we got to America — it was, like, too big, because all the music we loved came from America. It was like a dream come true."
Ringo rolls in for his interview about the book without an entourage, a man of the people who could teach today's pop stars a thing or two. He describes having to push his drum set around the stage when the mechanics failed during a concert in Washington, D.C. "Now they’d have someone to do that for them," he says.
"I may sound like an old fart, but you win a TV show, but you haven’t put in your time," he says of the reality-TV singers who storm the charts these days.
"It was always important, the way I played, to me. I played the song, you know. If you're singing, you don’t need a drum solo. It used to drive me mad when there’d be someone, the singer’d be singing and you’d be singing and oh, there’s a drummer just showing off, really."
Ringo admits he’d love to still be playing with the Beatles. ‘Oh yeah, oh any day. It was the best band.’
At the end of the interview, though pressed for time, the former Beatle still finds time for a picture with the NBC News crew, with all holding up peace signs. Ringo Starr is still holding out that message of peace, despite the way the world has gone since the Beatles first sang "Love is all you need."
"We did what we did," he says. "You’ll never understand how far out it was."
Click here for more information about Ringo Starr's ebook, "Photograph."