Ringo Starr at 81: Still sending peace and love to the world
What can you say about Ringo Starr?
It was his birthday this week and his worldwide message remains ‘Peace and love’.
This tradition started in 2008 when he posed with fans handing out cupcakes at Hard Rock Café Chicago.
In the years that followed this event grew to thirty locations across the world ranging from London to Buenos Aires and even Havana in Cuba.
For 2020 this shifted online due to the pandemic and became a charity fund raiser and across several outlets with his guests Paul McCartney Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow and Dave Grohl.
Amazingly the NASA space station 260 miles up joined in with the Peace and Love good wishes.
As you will see in the 2021 message Ringo has hardly changed appearance in 50 years, yet he is 81 now.
He was always the oldest Beatle and now just him and Sir Paul survive.
He has tour dates planned with the latest incarnation of the All Starr Band and when I saw him, in June 2011 at Hydro in Glasgow he played 22 songs and gave all his band to shine individually.
Gary Wright never sounded better with his Dream Weaver, Rick Derringer featured Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo, Richard Page from Mister Mister sang Kyrie, and it was truly electric to see Edgar Winter play Free Ride along with his signature Frankenstein.
As for Ringo that night, he was note perfect on most of his own best-known vocal performances such as Yellow Submarine, Photograph, It Don’t Come Easy, Back Off Boogaloo and of course With A Little Help From My Friends which became understandably a big sing along.
He said from the stage that it was his first time back since 1965 as The Beatles only ever came to Scotland in 1963, ‘64 and ‘65.
By 1966 they stopped touring forever. In Scotland, as The Beatles anyway they only ever played Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Kirkcaldy. After two shows at the old Carlton Cinema in the Gallatown in October 1963 an eyewitness told me that as soon as the last show finished their driver Mal Evans waited with the motor running in St Clair Street.
As arranged John, Paul and George ran from a fire exit and down the lane in Park Road then turned right into the waiting Austin Princess while Ringo, a bit behind the rest came running into the open and turned left only to face the masses of exiting fans including many who had been at the first show.