Monday, December 12, 2011

Ron Kelly

I found an interview online with a musician named Ron Kelly who worked with Ringo Starr at Tittenhurst Park in the 1970's. The photo are pretty neat and the interview is interesting.

We spent 6 weeks at Tittenhurst Park, which was Ringo’s home in Ascot, Surrey. He had a full 48 track recording studio in the west wing of the house and we lived in the house for the time we were recording. That was just the first of four or five visits for recording and mixing. There was a cook/housekeeper called Rosie who looked after us, cooked for us and just generally catered for our every need. This house had belonged to John Lennon before Ringo bought it from him and was the house featured in the video for ‘Imagine’. The garden was a huge 80 acres and had a lake and a swimming pool as well as its own chapel. There were mini motorbikes for us to ride around the grounds and to generally enjoy ourselves on. At the top of the house was a room which had locks and alarms on it and we were told that it was out of bounds to us by Mike O’Donnel who was the studio manager and a good friend of Ringo’s.

At the end of the 6 weeks of recording we finally persuaded Mike to show us what was in the room. He made us promise that we wouldn’t touch anything in the room and then opened the door. In the room was all the Beatles original gear including John and George’s Rickenbacker guitars, Paul’s Hofner Violin Bass, Ringo’s first Ludwig drum kit with the original sign written front bass drumhead as well as all their Vox amplification and their Shure microphones. There was also a Gibson Les Paul guitar which had been given to Ringo as a present from his very good friend Mark Bolan, just before Mark was tragically killed in a road accident. There were also racks and racks of videos of every TV show and interviews that the Beatles had ever done in their history. In one of the cottages in the grounds of Tittenhurst was the white piano which was featured in the ‘Imagine’ video as well as many items of furniture which had been owned by John when he was in the house.

Whenever Ringo was in London we would meet up with him and a couple of times we went out to restaurants with him and spent the evening in his company which was awesome for me especially as he was my all time hero! I am extremely proud of my association with Ringo both working with him and as a friend. I am very lucky to have had the experience of a lifetime with him.

Recently I have watched the Ringo 2006 band. Wonderful! The whole video is great though and it is funny to see two of my friends on it. Ringo and Rod Argent. When we toured with Argent I spent four weeks on a tour bus with Rod and the rest of the guys from Argent and became firm friends with them all. Great memories!


  1. Amazing story about the Beatles room! I'm a little suspicious though, why would ringo have Pauls Hofner and John/George rickenbackers?

    Amazing blog, Sara. I just discovered it and am going back and reading every single post!


  2. Very good question, Craig. Why would Ringo have his former band-mates instruments? Maybe Ringo had some of those instruments and the writer just assumed they were George, John or Paul's? I don't know.

    So glad you found the blog, Craig. I hope you enjoy the reading. It has been a fun 3 years.

  3. Shhh.... because they were rehearsing for the reunion that never happened! I can say no more!

  4. Lennon left behind many of his possessions when he sold the house to Ringo.

  5. Now we finally know what really happened to Paul's first Hofner bass during the Let It Be filming sessions..

  6. I don't buy it. Saying it doesn't make it so. Yoko has John's Rickenbackers, but Ringo did have one John used briefly and then gave to him. And George's 360-12 Ric is owned by Olivia and Dhani. As for Paul's first Hofner... well let's say I'm *highly* dubious.

    1. I agree -- the story doesn't add up at all. I just present the information that I find.

  7. The studio manager says that the secret room is "out of bounds"...but goes ahead and opens it up to those people anyway? A room that's locked up with alarms to me is one that's meant to stay that way, unless the owner allows it. Ron Kelly aside, the studio manager is completely irresponsible to open it up to some dude who's known Ringo for all of 6 weeks.

    Or maybe Mr Kelly is just full of it.