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Old Feb 09, 2010, 08:15 AM   #1
Rocky Raccoon
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Default Ringo Starr Reflects on Beatles’ “Beautiful” Bond at Walk of Fame Star Ceremony

2/9/10, 9:02 am EST

Ringo Starr returned to the iconic Capitol Records Tower and a gathering of several hundred Beatles fans to celebrate the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday night. “I want to thank Capitol Records,” Starr said to cheers, glancing up at the tower. “It’s nice to look at a building that you helped pay for.”

The ceremony began as a column of local high school marching band drummers in red uniforms poured out the tower lobby pounding a festive beat. “OK, drummers!” announced Starr as he stepped to the podium, where the occasion was marked with speeches from Joe Walsh, Ben Harper and Don Was. “It’s also cool to get it at night,” Starr said, dressed in a black suit and shades. “Where I live the stars come out at night.”

The Beatles were awarded a star on the walk in 1998. Starr is the third Beatle to be honored as a solo artist, following stars given posthumously to John Lennon and George Harrison. He pointed at the sidewalk outside Capitol’s Vine Street entrance, where the names of his late bandmates were written. “I love them both, and I want to send peace and love to both of them. And let’s not forget the guy’s who’s in England — Paul.

“They looked out for me and I looked out for them, and we all supported each other,” Starr said of the four Beatles. “It was really beautiful to be part of that. And besides that, we made some great records.”

Monday was also the 50th anniversary of the Walk of Fame, which honors filmmakers, musicians, stage, radio and TV performers. Standing nearby was a gathering of friends that included Eric Idle (Monty Python, the Rutles), filmmaker David Lynch, ELO’s Jeff Lynne, Edgar Winter and actress Barbara Bach, Starr’s wife of 30 years.

The first of Starr’s friends to speak was Walsh, who has worked with him as producer and sideman through the decades and then became his brother-in-law after marrying Bach’s sister, Marjorie, in 2008. Walsh said, “He’s not just the greatest drummer in rock history — from the greatest band in rock history — he’s also the greatest guy I know and the most kind and helpful friend you could ever want.”

The Eagles guitarist then turned the occasion into a roast of his friend, describing Starr in his earliest days as “a little kid with a very big dream and a pretty big nose.” He noted that the two first met in the mid-1970s during all-night jam sessions at the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles. “Neither of us really remember that but friends of mine told me we just had a really great time.”

Walsh produced Starr’s little-heard 1983 album Old Wave, and joked Monday, “That album did really good in Switzerland, and it was also number one in Lithuania.”

Producer Was called Starr “my hero,” and described the former Beatle’s drumming style as subtle and filled with personality. “There’s joy and there is jocularity in his playing that is irresistible,” he said. “They are simply manifestations of his great qualities as a man.”

Ben Harper, who has performed with his Relentless7 as Starr’s backup group in recent weeks during a brief promotional tour, said, “The Walk of Fame is receiving a star by which all other stars are measured.” Both Harper and Walsh appear on Starr’s just-released 15th solo album, Y Not.

Standing next to Starr at the podium, Harper said the very first song he learned to sing as a child was the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” the drummer’s beloved vocal from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. “Working as tirelessly as a 10-year-old could, so that I could learn every vocal inflection that Ringo sang — and I’ve got to admit, I nailed it.”

Starr laughed. “That’s what you think.”
Harper also read quotes he’d gathered from several major percussionists, including the Police’s Stewart Copeland, who said, “Ringo is the leader in the education for all young drummers of style over flash, always playing the right things rather than a lot of things.”

At the end of the ceremony, Starr expressed thanks to friends and dignitaries, repeating his current mantra of “peace and love, peace and love.” Looking back at Harper, Starr said, “He’s a great human being. I like to spend as much time as I can with great human beings, and the three guys who got up tonight are at the top of my list.”


I LOVE Stewart Copeland's quote. Ringo is the master of subtlety. Flashiness does not always define a great drummer.

Last edited by LennonStarrFan : Feb 09, 2010 at 08:33 AM.
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 02:56 PM   #2
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A star for Ringo Starr
By Caitlin O'Connor

Assistant Diversions Editor

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Share this article Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr received the 2,401st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday night — the 50th anniversary of when construction began on the famed sidewalk.

The star was unveiled on Vine Street in front of the Capitol Records building, next to those of his late bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison.

According to a press release, “The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has plans for a year-long series of celebrations that will showcase the history of this cultural landmark as well as continue to raise awareness and funds for the Walk of Fame restoration.”

Although fans began lining up as early as 9 a.m., Starr’s ceremony did not begin until 7 p.m., signifying the first to be held at night. Several hundreds of Beatles fanatics of all demographics braved the brisk winds for a chance to see one of the original Mop Tops in person.

Prior to the start of the event, a reel of Starr’s most popular music videos emerged on the big screen. Top ten hits like “You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine)” and “Back Off Boogaloo” energized the masses into a sing-along frenzy.

The unwavering passion of the most dedicated fans shone through on the faces of many, as well as on custom-designed Beatles merchandise and clothing.

One fan sewed several patches containing The Beatles’ image on to her jacket. “Ringo’s very presence is so consuming and delicious. Being in the same area as him makes me happy,” said Vienna Vasquez, 18, from Ventura, Calif.

Some attendees were looking forward to seeing Starr for the first time while others simply hoped to add the event to their extensive repertoire.

Former journalist and CSULB alumnus, Peter Palmiere of Palos Verdes, Calif., counted seeing Ringo Starr on 88 different occasions. “I have spent every dime of my hard-earned money to see him and it’s worth every penny,” he said.

Having had the opportunity to question the drummer twice before, Palmiere was surprised to hear about Starr’s 2008 announcement in which he bluntly stated that “[no fan mail] will be signed after the 20th of October.”

“He’s entitled to do what he wants, but I personally think it was a public relations nightmare because he came across as a Grinch,” Palmiere said. “Why should he suddenly get upset now? People have been selling celebrities’ autographs for years.”

Palmiere still recalls his confrontations with the drummer as “thrilling experiences.”

In anticipation of seeing Starr again, many other longtime fans could be overheard reminiscing with one another about vivid memories of The Beatles. Particularly, their 1966 performance at Dodger Stadium proved unforgettable for many Los Angeles natives. The younger generation of Beatles fans may have missed that show, but it does not mean that they do not have memories of their own.

“I was raised on The Beatles. All of my childhood memories revolve around them,” said Rachel Syatt of Calabasas, Calif. Despite being 19 years old, Syatt has managed to see both Starr and fellow Beatle Paul McCartney at numerous events within the past eight years. “I had a fever of 105 degrees, with strep throat, before Paul’s concert at Staples Center in 2002, and I still managed to sing along to every song,” she said.

In addition to unconditional fan support at the ceremony, Starr was greeted with guest speakers, including current Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh, producer Don Was and folk musician Ben Harper. However, when Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa approached the podium, a chorus of boos erupted from the audience.

When it was time for Starr to make his acceptance speech, the drummer continuously flashed his usual peace and love hand gestures at the crowd. His lighthearted nature carried the speech, which included an exceptionally fond acknowledgment of his Beatle roots.

“I’m an only child and I joined this band and I had three brothers,” Starr said. “They looked out for me and I looked out for them and we all supported each other. It was really beautiful to be part of that. And besides that, we made some great records.”

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band will depart on a tour across the country this summer in support of his 16th studio album released last month entitled “Y Not.” The stint begins on June 24 in Niagara Falls and ends on Aug. 7 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Old Feb 20, 2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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