The school originally announced that the Beatles drummer would receive a doctorate in music at commencement ceremonies in May, but Starr was unable to attend then and instead addressed the graduating class in a recorded statement. In the video, Starr banged around on a kit before sending his customary “peace and love” greeting while congratulating the class of ’22 .”I’m a doctor at last! I never went to college, but I certainly have had a lot of experience making music, so I supposed I earned this in my own way,” he said.
But with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band in town for a show, the school held a special ceremony Thursday to honor his lifelong contributions to the music scene that featured performances of Starr’s hit songs, arranged and performed by Berklee students.
Starr, 81, told the story of how he picked up drumming when he was 13 and very ill and someone brought some percussion instruments to the hospital to keep him busy. He was hooked.
“I just wanted to be a drummer from that moment on,” he said at Thursday’s ceremony. “It was my big dream and it’s still unfolding. I get to play with great guys, like the band here. It’s just a great life I lead.”
Gregg Bissonette, the drummer in the All Starr Band, and Berklee President Erica Muhl provided opening remarks.
Starr recently kicked off his first tour since 2019 with the All Starr Band by announcing an NFT collection comprised of digital artworks accompanied by signed canvas prints created by Starr. The collection, titled “Ringo Starr NFT Collection – The Creative Mind of a Beatle,” is presented by Julien’s Auctions. The auction can be found here, and live bidding will take place on June 13. A portion of the proceeds will be distributed to The Lotus Foundation. The NFT carbon footprint will be offset via the .