Ringo turns 78 today and he is still rocking the world tours (Fall 2018 dates here). I saw him again a couple of years back and it was one of the best shows I've ever attended. Great vibes, amazing musicians, fun to sing along, and he was warm and interactive with the audience. He also made the news recently when he was... knighted! Congrats Sir Ringo! Additionally, Ringo's childhood neighborhood in Liverpool, Admiral Grove, is under major renovations right now. I was hoping we might see a new addition to Liverpool's Beatles home tours from the National Trust, but the 70k sale apparently came with restrictions not to turn the property into a museum or tourist attraction. Given how small and narrow that street is, I suppose it makes sense to keep history buffs on the main road for their view. Catch up on Ringo's new projects at his official website here.
When celebrating the artistic and cultural vibe of the 1960s, one cannot overstate the impact of The Beatles. But even with so many anniversary exhibits spotlighting the era, it is rare to see the personal archives of the band members. John Lennon and George Harrison have been honored with displays at the Grammy Museum and I was able to make frequent visits to The John Lennon Museum in Tokyo, which housed most of Lennon's artifacts during the late 90s and early 2000s. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr sold much of his archives in 2015, but he has been producing some beautiful art books of his photos and mementoes with Genesis Publications.
The newest project is called Another Day in the Life. From the press release: "Following the sell-out success of Postcards From The Boys (2003) and Photograph (2013), Genesis is excited to announce Another Day In The Life by Ringo Starr. The third in Ringo's series of books presents a previously unpublished collection of his photographs, introduced and narrated in his own words. Reflecting his love of music, travel and nature, Another Day In The Life shows us the world as seen through Ringo's eyes. From Los Angeles to Tokyo and everywhere in between, many of Ringo's observational images celebrate the quirkiness of life. Other photographs are taken behind the scenes during historic events, such as Ringo's acceptance of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and his return to New York's Plaza Hotel, 50 years after The Beatles first visited the USA."
Curious about Ringo's role in music? This is what the world's greatest drummers all have to say about him:
Before his estate auction, Ringo was on hand to open an exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which I was able to attend. The show included his original Ludwig drum kit from the Ed Sullivan show (a kit that launched a million drummers), and other rare instruments. I was also excited to see iconic items like Starr's "Beatle boots", collarless Cardin suit, and his Sgt. Pepper costume. Interactive displays included a drum kit with a video lesson from Ringo and a sing-a-long area with clips from Yellow Submarine (1968). In a tour of the museum with journalists, Ringo said that he did not actively maintain the collection and that he was thankful to a number of assistants for keeping the artifacts safe in storage. Among the items he was "blown away" to discover was a letter from his pre-Beatles bandmate, Rory Storm, and one of their concert posters from the early 1960s. Big thanks to my pal at Double O Section for taking me to this exhibit! Like many fans, I would love to see all four Beatles represented in a comprehensive museum exhibit someday (V&A, are you listening?). Grammy show video below. By the way, Ringo's 2015 auction fetched 9.2 million, with part of the proceeds going to the Lotus Foundation (you can support the foundation now through Ringo art sales).
I hope you will spend some time with Ringo Starr today on his birthday! Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
Films: A Hard Days Night (1964), Help (1965), The Magic Christian (1969), The Point! (1971), Caveman (1981), Ringo Starr VH1 Storytellers (1998).
Beatles Tracks: I Wanna Be Your Man, Boys, Act Naturally, Tomorrow Never Knows, Rain, With a Little Help From My Friends, Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day in the Life, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road (album).
With Fellow Beatles: Beautiful Night (McCartney/George Martin), All Those Years Ago (Harrison/McCartney), John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (album), Take it Away (McCartney), When We Was Fab (Harrison).
Ringo Solo Tracks: Early 1970, Step Lightly, It Don't Come Easy, Photograph, Goodnight Vienna (reprise), Back Off Boogaloo, Never Without You, King of Broken Hearts, Liverpool 8, Harry's Song, Rory and the Hurricanes, Postcards From Paradise.
Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Dark Shadows Strips, Spy Vibe Radio: Flint, Archie Batman 66, Paul at 76, Beatles Pac-Man, Spy Vibe Radio: Jerry Cotton, The Invaders, 007 Horowitz Book Tour, McGoohan/Prisoner Event at Elstree, The Prisoner Interviews Vol 1, British Underground Press, Interview: Fab4 Mania, Bond Cocktail Book, Bond at Bletchley, Spy Smasher, Spy Vibe Radio: Peter Gunn, Agent Zero M, New Prisoner Comic, Dr. No Villains Edition, Spy Vibe Radio: Danger Diabolik, Dr. No 60th, Oy-Oy-Seven, Spy Vibe Radio (UFO), Cold War Comic Strips, Thunderball Event, Mission to India, Mort Walker Celebration, Peter Wyngarde Celebration, Batman 66 Exhibit, Prisoner Fifty Event, Ian Fleming Publications 2017-2018, Interview: Ed Hulse Pulp, Avengers Audio Drama, Interview: Callan At 50, Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private Eyes, TWA Returns, Spy Vibe Radio 8, Interview: Ryan Heshka, Mid-Century Modern Schulz, Agent Werewolf, Mata Hair Exhibit, Johnny Sokko 50th, Interview: Trina Robbins, Eddie Izzard, The Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50th, Hugh Hefner R.I.P., Jack Good R.I.P., Interview: Shaken Not Stirred, Callan 50th, Spy Vibe Radio 7, The Prisoner 50th Event, Spy-Fi Event, Kaho Aso 007, Two Million, Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Le Carre Events, Billy Bragg Skiffle, Elvis 68, Jack Kirby The Prisoner, Casino Royale Concert, Review: The Prisoner Vol 2, Interview: The Prisoner Essential Guide, Maud Russell Mottisfont, Spy Vibe Radio 4, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Make Love in London, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Propaganda Mabuse, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Gaiman McGinnins Project, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review.