At the age of eight, he became interested in music. At ten, he started teaching himself how to play drums after receiving only one lesson from his famous father, who reportedly did not want him following in his footsteps. Although that Ringo appraises his son's undeniable skills and talents, he said about latters's musical dedication and endeavour that he "always regarded Zak as a lawyer or as a doctor", not a drummer like himself.
Despite Zak's popular father, his middle name isn't "[comma] son of Ringo [comma]" and he actually has a long and varied list of credits to his name. Zak had established himself a sought-after session musician and as gifted and proven drummer, playing drums for artists like Icicle Works, the Waterboys, and the Lightning Seeds. In 1996, Starkey left his band Face, to fulfill his childhood dream of joining The Who. He has received very good notices in this role for being a strong drumming presence but without explicitly imitating Moon.
In addition, he continued to work with other acts, including touring with the Lightning Seeds. In 2000 Starkey then joined Johnny Marr & the Healers, debuting with Boomslang three years later. Also it was learned that the long return of The Who is in stasis since Pete Townshend has to write his autobiography and want to spend more time on the album, because of Zak, who joined the lines of Oasis.
Joining Oasis (2004-)
In 2004, Starkey started working for the famous Britpop band Oasis, filling a void left by longtime drummer Alan White. While Starkey has stated he will not become a permanent member of the band, he was involved in the recording process of the group's upcoming album in Los Angeles during sessions of September-December 2004. According to an article in "WENN", Zak does not want to abandon The Who and Johnny Marr & the Healears and will only sit in on the drums with Oasis when his schedule permits it.
In February 2005 chief songwriter Noel Gallagher said that Zak will perform for Oasis during the upcoming U.S. leg of the tour, promoting the new Oasis' album Don't Believe the Truth. It was also learned that Starkey is signed with Oasis till February 2006.
After that at the eve of the release of the new Oasis album 28 May 2005, Noel Gallagher confirmed for an Oasis fan-site that Starkey had joined the band for good and is the new full-time replacement of Alan "Whitey" White. "We have waited for so long to reveal it, not because we wanted to create a certain mystery, it's because he (Zak) had to resolve his contractual problems with The Who, with which he has played in the last years."