Sir Ringo Starr has spoken of his relief after having his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The former Beatle, 80, lives in Los Angeles with his wife – actress and model Barbara Bach – and said he had left the house only eight times in the last year due to the threat of coronavirus.
The beloved star joins fellow musicians including Dolly Parton and The Who’s Roger Daltrey in receiving the jab.
Sir Ringo, who is releasing an EP titled Zoom In recorded at home during lockdown, described the lack of social contact as “far out”.
Speaking about the recording process during an online Q&A, he said: “It unfolded as we went along. I just got in here one day thinking, ‘I am going to make an EP’.
“I called Bruce (Sugar, his producer) to come over and turn on the system – I don’t know how you do that – and I started thinking about people and calling people. And changing my mind, I don’t have to be that guy who is usually at least one of the writers on the track. It just sort of unfolded as we went along.
“We were in no rush. There wasn’t a date where we had to get it finished. We just went along, we played, we went and did other things. Well we didn’t do anything else. I left the house eight times in a year. It’s far out.
“But anyway, it was a great experience and it was in a relaxed way but in a confined space because of the Covid. But now I have had both my shots I can hang out with all you guys on the screen here.”
Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow and Billie Eilish’s brother and co-writer Finneas were among the artists who contributed to the record, either remotely or by visiting Sir Ringo’s home studio while abiding by coronavirus measures.
The veteran rocker also revealed plans for another EP of music, adding: “Don’t tell anyone but I have started EP two.”
Sir Ringo, who is a great-grandfather, said being apart from his family in England had been “really tough”.
“What big plans we had for 2020,” he said.
“I was 80, we were going to have a big celebration, all the kids and the grandkids. Everybody was coming into LA and we were going to have a great time. It didn’t happen.
“This is the longest I haven’t seen the kids or the grandkids. Though my granddaughter sent me a little video today of my great-grandson singing away to my song, because the BBC are playing it, thank you very much. But yeah, it is hard.
“I smile because they only want to go back to school. They are all back in school in England now. I was thinking about myself about school. I never wanted to go to school. I just wanted to boogie on down even then. But they miss their pals. It is understandable.
“And that is where the EP helps. I see pals once in a while. They come over or we are on FaceTime with each other. So it keeps your spirit alive to be able to hang out with other, in my case, musicians and other people.”
Zoom In, which features five songs recorded between April and October 2020, is released on March 19.