By Lu Walters  

Mersey Beat: July 18 1963

Lu WaltersI met Ringo during the old Skiffle days. He was appearing at the Mardi Gras with Rory Storm and was dressed in a long black Teddy Boy suit. Later, I joined the group which was then known as the Raving Texans and we played numerous dates around the Liverpool area.

Ringo was not an exceptional drummer at the time, but as the group progressed he improved to such an extent that we realized he would be a very good drummer.

We had some good times when we made our first appearance at Butlin's holiday camp. Ringo was the lazy one of the group. In the mornings he used to sleep late, and if woken would be very bad tempered. The first signs of him waking took the form of one open eye which was staring round the chalet. Then it would be between one hour and 1 1/2 hours before he'd stir properly. Then he wouldn't speak for an hour or so. After that he'd revert to his normal self. He was the life and soul of any party we went to and was well liked because of his sense of humour.

We had quite a laugh watching him take swimming lessons off Ty. At one time he seemed to be doing fine until he realized that he was out of his depth and in the twelve-footer. Then he just yelled and vanished from sight. It ended when three of us dived in and pulled him out - we had a good laugh about it afterwards.

Members of the group often went horse-riding, but Ringo only joined us once. The horse bit him and he ended up walking back to camp.

At that time he started to show some of his exceptional talent on drums and he also started singing. One of the numbers was 'Alley Oop' and the girls started to scream their applause. Ringo was born as a singer!

Following the season at Butlin's, we left for Germany. The audiences there liked him, but they also used to make him angry by asking if he had dyed the streak in his hair. "It's natural!" he used to scream back at them.

Rory Storm, Ringo Starr, Johnny Guitar, Ty Brien and Lu WaltersHis popularity reached its peak when a girl became so excited that she had to be forcibly carried out of the club shrieking "Ringo! Ringo!" at the top of her voice.

We then met Tony Sheridan who joined in sessions with us and he thought very highly of Ringo's ability. Before we left, Tony asked Ringo to join him, and he stayed in Germany for a few months.

On his return he re-joined the Hurricanes and we later returned for another season at Butlin's. Ringo now had a regular vocal spot in the group, and we all worked together as a team.

When Ringo left the group last year to join the Beatles, we felt we had lost a vital part of the group.

Now, Ringo is still one of our closest friends and we are all thrilled at his success, for now he is one of the most famous drummers in the country.

Editor's note: Lu (aka Lou) Walters, real name Walter Eymond, was the bass guitarist/vocalist with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, regarded as one of the top groups in Liverpool before the Beatles and also billed above the Beatles in Hamburg. The Beatles actually backed Lu on the first recording ever made with John, Paul, George and Ringo on the same record, which will be featured in a future article in Mersey Beat. The ty referred to was Ty Brien, guitarist with the Hurricanes, who died in 1967.

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