Monday, July 7, 2008

How Come We Don't Celebrate the Rolling Stones' Birthdays?

Ringo Starr is 68 today. He celebrated in Chicago in front of the Hard Rock Hotel handing out cupcakes to the three hundred people who showed up. Three hundred.

At noon he raised his hands in the peace sign and shouted, "Peace and love!!"  Not that this was a publicity stunt or anything. Did I mention that Ringo is 68 years old and he's on tour with his band and they need people in the audience?

For his birthday [have I mentioned that he's SIXTY-EIGHT?] I guess he wanted the whole world to stop at noon Chicago time and perform the same arm raising ceremony and speak the same leftover words from the sixties as he did.

Why do I think that this global initiative didn't get much farther than the Hard Rock Hotel lobby? On the news clip you can hear him say, "Is it noon yet?" And a bevy of blond babes behind him shouts, "Yes!"

The event moved me to sit and shake my head.

Of all the Beatles, and fair warning -- I have always preferred the Rolling Stones -- Ringo was the least attractive, intelligent, musical, or talented one of the bunch. Okay he clearly had a sense of humor -- enough to make fun of himself.

George was barely much more talented. His biggest and arguably only post Beatle hit, My Sweet Lord, sounds just like the sixties hit, He's So Fine. He was sued for plagiarism and lost. Litigation on the case took almost twenty years. His entire post Beatle career before he died of brain cancer, was a testimony to the desperation of Beatles fans to keep hope of a reunion, any reunion, alive.

I always had the feeling that the fans continued to follow the individual Beatles no matter what their actual skills, like they were clapping for Tinkerbell. Anything to keep their memories of the band from completely fading away.

John Lennon was just a classic drugged out hippie as far as I am concerned. He and Paul shared copyright credit on most of the tunes, so he was anointed a poet.  McCartney wanted the record set straight later, since he was the one who actually did most of the writing and composing. Paul was clearly the best musican/lyricist of the group. His post Beatle career is the best evidence of that. He also seemed the most normal. If there is such a thing in that world.

So Ringo had a birthday today. In my opinion, it wasn't really a celebration as much as it was an embarrassment.


bosoxblue6993w said...


jevanslink said...

The Stones stuck with the opiates. The Beatles went for the psychedelics.

Mrs. L

mosie1944 said...

I had forgotten that Ringo and I share a birthday.  He's older than I am, though.

ber144 said...

I like the Stones, but they ain't the Beatles.  Of course, if Mick and the boys had come around before the Fab Four the roles would be reversed.  I finished the monster 900 page bio of the Beatles not long ago which was not nice to Ringo at all.  

hewasolddog299 said...

John Lennon was the snarky one and responsible for many of the Beatles' best lyrics. Paul had talent, no question. But, Lennon was truly the soul of the group.

jevanslink said...

His best song, Imagine was written AFTER the Beatles and may have some influences from poems by his wife and an early version of another song.

kesterday was a Beatles tune and McCartney has since said he wrote it without Lennon even though he gave him credit at the time.

Of all the Beatles tunes, I think Yesterday has the best lyrics. And I would be willing to put Paul's lyrics against John's head to head any day. When they were Beatles.

Mrs. L