Three decades after finally getting sober, Ringo Starr revealed how dangerous his addiction to drugs and alcohol had gotten. The former-Beatle, who just celebrated his 79th birthday, spoke candidly to Parade and recalled, "I just couldn’t really move without alcohol. And without drugs. I was not a purist in any way! So in the end, I said to (my wife) Barbara, 'You’ve got to get us into one of those (rehab) places.' I didn’t know where they were. But she called some friends of ours in L.A. who knew, and I went to Arizona, where I found myself with 88 mad people in this place. . . It’s working today. That’s all I have. But it makes life so much easier."

He talked about his clean living ways today, explaining, "I get up in the morning and I meditate. I go to the gym and I have a trainer, and I work out myself too, when I’m on the road. I’m a vegetarian. When we’re on tour, to get out of the hotel, I usually go to the local organic shop just to see what they’ve got. But I’m only a vegetarian, not a vegan. I eat goat cheese. A vegan is very hard, and they eat a lot of sugar. I’m careful about sugar."

Ringo spoke about the upcoming Beatles documentary, directed by Peter Jackson of The Lord Of The Rings fame, which will feature unseen footage shot during January 1969 for the Let It Be movie. The original film has left a bad taste in nearly all the former-Beatles' mouths, and Ringo explained his personal issues with the "Fab Four's" final film: "I was never happy with (Let It Be) because it picked one second of life -- when John (Lennon) and Paul (McCartney) (sic) were in a row -- and the whole documentary was built around that. There was also a lot of joy, a lot of laughter and a lot of interaction. Whatever our attitudes were at the time, we gave our all. And that was beautiful."

Ringo went on to add: We were not falling apart at all until we split. We played together right up until that. I love the 'White Album.' I mean, (Sgt.) Pepper was great, but there was a lot of sitting around. We were, like, studio guys. This time, we were back to being a band. People say, 'What’s your favorite song on there?' I love 'Yer Blues.' We’re in a six-foot room -- amps, drums, vocal mics. No separation. It was like, 'Yeah!'"

Ringo recalled the moment when his life changed in 1988 when after years of drug and alcohol abuse, he finally sought help after hitting rock bottom: "I was very lucky I could afford a really good rehab and I was in there for five weeks. But, y'know, there's lots of 12 step and self-help programs. You just find yourself you get on a roll and you can't stop. Y'know, I didn't plan to be an alcoholic. I didn't plan to be a coke freak. I didn't plan to smoke dope till it came out of my pores. You just find yourself there. You didn't know -- or I didn't know where it, like, crossed over from, like, the fun thing. It wasn't always bad. Y'know, I'd had a few (laughs) really good nights out."

AUDIO: RINGO STARR ON GETTING SOBER