( CM ) - 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."