Ringo Starr: 'Alcohol Helped Me To Cope'....

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr blames his alcoholism on his inability to function sober following the break-up of the legendary band.The 67-year-old drifted into a downward spiral of depression after the Penny Lane hitmakers broke up in 1970 - and turned to alcohol as a way of coping.And Starr, who went on to score a number of hit solo albums after the Beatles disbanded, is convinced he nearly destroyed his career with drink.He says, "I recorded a lot of things drunk - because I was a drunk. I felt I could deal with life more easily with a few drinks. The problem was a few turned into many."Starr eventually entered rehab and slowly recovered but insists staying sober was a major struggle.He adds, "I can remember only the start of having that final drink. I drank cognac then I blacked out. A couple of days later I ended up in rehab."Living sober was difficult. I had to learn to go to a show, never mind be in a show or be in a studio and play. A lot of other parts of life I had to start again."In seperate news the Beatles drummer was disgusted with the band's musical prowess in the mid 1960s - because their screaming fans turned them into "bad musicians".

The Fab Four star is convinced they became victims of their own phenomenal success, as the deafening roar of the crowds during their gigs drowned out the sound of their instruments - so they couldn't hear what they were playing.

He says, "By 1965 we were turning into really bad musicians because we literally couldn't hear ourselves over the screaming from the audience.

"I was going downhill as a musician, and so was everyone else in the band.

Then, we only did 25 minutes on stage. Now thanks to Led Zeppelin and The Who, everybody has to do two hours."

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