Letter from Ringo Starr About Joining the Beatles Up for Auction

Via Christie's:

Ringo Starr (Sir Richard Starkey, b.1940)

Autograph letter signed ('Ringo') to Doreen Walker, 10 Admiral Grove, Liverpool, [31 October 1962]

Three pages, 179 x 136mm. Envelope. Provenance: Bonhams, 25 June 2014 (part).

'I got a phone call asking me would I join the Beatles and I said yes': Ringo Starr on joining the Beatles and the release of their first single, Love Me Do.

... a lot has happened since I last [w]rote to you. I went to Butlins when we came home from France I was there ten weeks when I got a phone call asking me would I join the Beatles and I said yes and I left Rory.

I am doing verry well with the new group we have a record out I hope you have herd it it is on Luxemburg evry night (ALLSO DON'T FORGET TO BUY IT) we done the T.V. show also the 5 oclock show and we are on People and Places again on this Friday.

We are going to Hamburg for two weeks on Wednesday come home for one month and go back for another two weeks ...

Starr goes on to list upcoming tours with Helen Shapero, Eden Kane and Frank Ifield, a performance at the Liverpool Empire with Little Richard, Jet Harris and Kenny Lynch, and a television recording and performance in Doreen's home town of Manchester at the Oasis club, 'If you co[u]ld find it it is by the town squar we cold go for a coffy or somthing when we finish'.

Starr had joined Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in May 1960, initially for their lucrative three-month residency at the Butlins holiday camp at Pwllheli in North Wales. 

His first encounter with the Beatles came in October the same year, when the two groups shared a residency at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg (although the Hurricanes negotiated star billing and better pay). By summer 1962, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were increasingly dissatisfied with the Beatles' original drummer, Pete Best, and on 14 August Lennon persuaded Starr to leave the Hurricanes and replace Best; his first performance as a member of the Beatles was on 18 August. 

The Beatles' first single, Love Me Do was recorded at two sessions, on 4 and 11 September 1962, and released on 5 October, reaching number 17 in the UK charts by the following month. Starr's letter is a reminder of the remarkably eclectic nature of the Beatles' engagements at this period, with their final residencies at the Star-Club in Hamburg on 1-14 November and 18-31 December book-ending television appearances and performances alongside singers ranging from Little Richard to the British-Australian novelty artist Frank Ifield. 

The letter is written from Starr's childhood home at 10 Admiral Grove in Liverpool: his mother, Elsie, worked as a barmaid in the nearby pub, The Empress. Starr's idiosyncratic spelling reflects the disruptions to his schooling caused by repeated childhood illnesses. The recipient, Doreen Walker, reputedly met Starr during one of his Butlins residencies in summer 1961, and five letters from Starr to her are known over the next 18 months.