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.