Ringo Starr has defended referencing his late bandmate John Lennon in a new song, insisting it was a “normal” thing to do.

Ringo Starr thinks it would be “weird” if anyone else wrote a song referencing John Lennon.

The former Beatles drummer insists his new track ‘Peace Dream’ – which features the lyrics ‘Can you imagine this coming true/ It’s really up to all of us to do/ Just like John Lennon said/ In Amsterdam from his bed’ – is a fitting tribute to his former bandmate, who was murdered in 1980.

He said: “For me to write that was a normal thing to do. I knew the man. And I really believe that if anyone else had written it, it would’ve been weird.

“I was around when he did all those bed-ins calling for peace. Everybody thinks that the big thing was in Canada, but actually the first one was in Amsterdam.

“I also wrote a song for George Harrison, ‘Never Without You in 2003, so it’s just part of it for me, they’re been my friends for so long.”

Ringo is joined on the track by former Beatles star Paul McCartney and the musician admits he was delighted his former bandmate agreed to be involved.

He added: “Paul came to my house with his bass, which was a good sign. Then I played him ‘Peace Dream’, and he said, ‘Sure, I’ll play on it.’ It had the John Lennon line so it was natural.”