Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Liverpudlian Septugenarian: Happy 70th Birthday Ringo Starr
Rock Turtleneck extends a Happy 70th Birthday to Richard Starkey, aka Ringo Starr. If you're wondering what to get him, all Ringo wants is a little Peace and Love:
Ringo is the first Beatle to hit the big 7-0 (John Lennon wouldn't have made it till October) and it is sobering for many of us who grew up with their music to have one of our heroes in the age group I associate with old-timers like Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra.
Ringo has often been called "the luckiest man in show business" for hooking up with the Beatles just before they broke and for not being a visionary type like the other three. But Ringo is more an embodiment of the saying that "luck is when preparation meets opportunity."
For while he was lucky to be on the Liverpool rock scene when The Beatles decided Pete Best wasn’t cutting it, he was also prepared, a much superior drummer who could really swing. Paul McCartney has said that The Fabs didn’t really gel as a live act until Ringo came on board. Plus he was an agreeable fellow and they all got on with him. When you have two geniuses calling the shots, it’s good to have someone to keep things grounded. And there's no doubt that The Beatles would have been a lot less loveable had Ringo not been on board.
When asked if Ringo was the best drummer in rock & roll, John Lennon tartly replied "He's not even the best drummer in the band." But that was just John's way of being nice. Like no one else, Ringo could work the band and the audience into a frenzy, as this dynamite clip of "Long Tall Sally" demonstrates.
Here's Ringo doing one of his most famous numbers with a little help from mate George Harrison, the usual cast of UK rock royalty, and some Britpop flavours of the month at the Prince's Trust Concert in 1987.
Happy Birthday Ringo. Peace and Love.