Ringo still needs to be in middle of rock scene
June 25, 2005
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter
When the Beatles first "invaded" America 40 years ago, they charmed and disarmed the stuffy press with their sarcastic cockney-tinged one-liners.
Ringo Starr still knocks 'em dead with droll zingers.
"Oh yeah, Paul's coming," the band's ex-drummer deadpanned Friday, perking the ears of reporters gathered at downtown Waukegan's renovated Genesee Theatre.
Starr was at the north suburban theater for a Soundstage concert taping featuring selections from "Choose Love," his latest studio album with the Roundheads. The show is scheduled to air on WTTW-Channel 11 later this summer.
"They put a lot of money in it," Starr said of the revamped vintage movie theater. "It looks great."
At 64 -- the age the Beatles immortalized with the lyrics "Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?" -- Starr is hardly the retired, golf-playing grandpa type.
Starr has kept up with today's signature "rock star" look, sporting three silver hoop earings in his left ear with dark sunglasses, jeans, gray jacket and fuschia shirt.
Seated near his computer-generated artwork, Starr talked about his new CD and plans to develop an animated cartoon series with comic book legend Stan Lee. His Beatles past has given him opportunities most can only dream of, he said.
"If you have the time or you want to get involved, you do it," Starr said. "Lots of things come up. You can't do it all, but some of them take your fancy, and that's an incredible position to be in, where you can actually say, 'Oh, yeah, OK. I'll put my time into that.'"
Starr playfully peeked behind a door, flashing the peace sign before addressing the media. He mostly laughed and made others chuckle with lighthearted answers during the 10-minute news conference.
When asked how Friday's show in the 2,400-seat theater would differ from the mass hysteria-inducing Beatles gigs, he joked, "There'll be a lot more people here."
His thoughts on performing in working-class Waukegan? "No stranger than Liverpool, England."
"I'm not singing 'Yesterday,'" Starr teased, discussing the handful of Beatles songs he planned to sing at the show.
Starr was serious, though, about his reluctance to perform with surviving ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.
"It's never going to happen. We're doing other things. We were in a band, you know. It's not like we don't meet up and say 'hi.' But we're not going to get together," Starr said.
Starr, who loves shopping in Chicago, doesn't follow "American Idol" or listen to too many new bands -- except Coldplay and Oasis, a Beatles-influenced band for which his son Zak Starkey plays drums.
Although he said there will never be another Beatles, Starr believes some other rockers might someday achieve the same international success as the beloved Fab Four.
"There'll be another something else -- that's all. . . .The [Beatles] music carries on. That's the thing you can be proud of, not our haircuts," Starr said.