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Startling Music is a music publishing company, founded by musician Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

, drummer of The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...


Starr had initially been signed to Northern Songs
Northern Songs
Northern Songs was a company founded in 1963, by music publisher Dick James, Brian Epstein, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to publish songs written by Lennon and McCartney , as well as songs written by George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who were all members of The Beatles...

, the company set up by publisher Dick James
Dick James
Dick James , born Reginald Leon Isaac Vapnick, was a music publisher and the founder of the DJM record label and recording studios, as well as The Beatles' publisher Northern Songs.-Early life:...

 and Beatles manager Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

 on behalf of the band in 1963. As the main songwriting Beatles, John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 and Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 drew a larger share of benefits (and royalties) from their contract, while Starr and George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 were sometimes given second-class treatment, and found their songs and interests under-promoted by the company.

When Northern Songs was turned into a public company, Starr and Harrison were each given part-ownership (their shares together totalling about 1.8% of the venture), on top of the writer's royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 from their published songs. This wasn't incentive enough to re-sign with Northern Songs, though, as Lennon and McCartney (who owned about 15% each) did in 1968, when the band's publishing deal expired. Instead, Harrison started his own publishing company, Harrisongs
Harrisongs Ltd is a music publishing company, founded in 1964 by English musician and songwriter George Harrison, then a member of The Beatles. On September 11th, 1964, Harrison created Mornyork Ltd. By December 7th, 1964, this company had changed names to Harrisongs Ltd...

, and Starr followed suit, establishing Startling Music. Both were thus somewhat insulated when Northern Songs fell victim to a buyout
A buyout, in finance, is an investment transaction by which the ownership equity of a company, or a majority share of the stock of the company is acquired. The acquiror thereby "buys out" control of the target company....

 from ATV
Associated TeleVision
Associated Television, often referred to as ATV, was a British television company, holder of various licences to broadcast on the ITV network from 24 September 1955 until 00:34 on 1 January 1982...

 in 1969. (Ironically, while Lennon and McCartney made the most of the situation by cashing in their shares in the company they no longer controlled, Starr and Harrison retained theirs, and continued to have a minority voice in Northern Songs.)

While Starr wrote the least number of songs of any Beatle (his contribution was more in ideas for lyrics or themes, occasional one-liners, or titles such as "A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night (song)
"A Hard Day's Night" is a song by the English rock band The Beatles. Written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was released on the movie soundtrack of the same name in 1964...

" and "Tomorrow Never Knows
Tomorrow Never Knows
"Tomorrow Never Knows" is the final track of The Beatles' 1966 studio album Revolver but the first to be recorded. Credited as a Lennon–McCartney song, it was written primarily by John Lennon...

"), owning his own publishing gave Starr a sounder business footing, and a larger share of income than he'd had as a "paid writer". Startling Music published "Don't Pass Me By
Don't Pass Me By
"Don't Pass Me By" is a song by The Beatles from the double album The Beatles . Lead vocals were performed by Ringo Starr. It was Starr's first solo composition.-Origin:...

" and "Octopus's Garden
Octopus's Garden
"Octopus's Garden" is a song by The Beatles written by Ringo Starr from their 1969 album Abbey Road....

" and handled royalties for his co-written material with the other Beatles, on their last albums.

After the Beatles ended in 1970, Starr wrote or co-wrote much more of his own material for his solo records (with Vini Poncia
Vini Poncia
Vini Poncia is an American musician, songwriter and record producer.In the 1960s, Poncia formed a songwriting team with Peter Anders. An album of songs co-written by these childhood friends The Anders & Poncia Album, was produced by Richard Perry and released in 1969...

 becoming a longtime collaborator and George Harrison teaming up with Starr on "Photograph
Photograph (Ringo Starr song)
"Photograph" is a song written by Ringo Starr and George Harrison. It was released by Starr as a single on 5 October 1973, reaching number eight in the UK and number one in the U.S. singles charts...

" and other songs) and Startling Music continued to publish Starr's new music. He also bought the publishing rights to the songs he recorded for Beaucoups of Blues
Beaucoups of Blues
Beaucoups of Blues is the second album by former Beatles member Ringo Starr, and also his second full-length release in 1970, coming after his debut Sentimental Journey...

, his second solo album and a venture into the Country and Western genre. With a string of hit singles and several hit albums in the early 1970s, Starr and his company both prospered.