Wait -- the plot thickens! The guy is apparently a con man!!!
Here are several articles. The first one from the Sun contains some pics, but I can't copy them to post them here:
Ringer Starr on the run
From BRIAN FLYNN
in New York
A RINGO Starr lookalike conning his way across America was on the run last night — after being exposed by The Sun.
The trickster created a new wave of Beatlemania as he checked into hotels in the pop legend’s name — complete with four fake minders.
The man who thinks he is a dead Ringo-er for the pop legend also fooled a major TV station into booking him for a two-hour live special.
He also duped a band into letting him play a Beatles song with them on stage, signed autographs for swooning fans as “Ringo” and stunned guests at a posh hotel with a dodgy rendition of Let It Be.
A local newspaper was so convinced when the fake Beatle hit town it made him front-page news.
But the brazen conman, who mimicked Ringo’s Liverpool accent, was eventually sussed — because he was about five stone overweight.
An executive with the TV station that booked him saw a picture of the impostor and became instantly suspicious.
He sent it to a photographer with The Sun, who confirmed it was NOT the real Ringo.
The quick-thinking TV exec then rang Ringo’s mansion in Surrey — and was stunned when the furious 64-year-old star answered.
America’s Home Shopping Network had planned a special called Celebrate the Sixties with Ringo Starr.
The channel plugged Sunday’s show for a week beforehand. But with just hours to go, it pulled the programme to flog ’60s memorabilia and replaced it with a slot selling pots and pans.
An insider said: “This man was very convincing. So many people have been fooled.” She added: “When we sussed him, we told the guy to pack his bags and get out of town.”
The source said the fake Ringo was booked for the Florida-based station after a call from a man in Las Vegas, who called himself Norman Karp and claimed to be the star’s manager.
A newspaper in St Augustine, Florida, spent three days tracking the lookalike before putting him on the front with the headline Starr Gazing.
Thrilled townsfolk told the paper how they had spotted “Ringo” slinking around the town, enjoying the sights.
Museum gift shop assistant Marge Kirk said: “He had the accent and the beard.”
Fan Jennifer Richardson said: “He took two minutes of his life and made mine.”
The conman played Let It Be at the town’s plush Casa Monica hotel, where he was staying.
But he saved his finest “performance” for the Trade Winds Bar. He jumped on stage to join house band Matanzas and led a rendition of Beatles song Boys.
Fans told how he bragged he was drummer Ringo — and urged them to be generous with the TIPS.
Stunned lead singer Troy Locke yesterday STILL refused to believe he’d been had.
He said: “I was getting ready to go on and one of his entourage came up and said, ‘Would you like to meet Ringo Starr?’ I turned round and there he was.
“He sang Boys and played drums. He said he was in town buying stained glass for his home in California and that they were trying to keep his visit quiet.
“He had the whole entourage, the British accent and the famous earring.
“Who the hell would come in here looking like Ringo Starr, in a purple shirt, and sounding like him?”
Fan Marie Labutti, 31, had her picture taken in the club with the conman — and was gutted last night after the truth was revealed.
The waitress said: “I’m a huge Beatles fan and know what he looks like.
“It was always a dream to meet one of the group. This has been a real blow.”
But not everyone was surprised about the impostor.
Head barman Mike Richardson said: “He played the drums and was really good.
“I guess we should have known then that he was not the real Ringo Starr.”
St. Augustine Record editor Jim Blatzelle admitted yesterday: “We were fooled.
“Many celebrities visit our city so it wasn’t impossible that Ringo Starr was here.
“But we now accept what the police department are saying, that he was an impostor. I’d sure like to track that man down.”
Detective Commander Steve Fricke said: “At the moment we don’t have any victims out of money.
“Instead, there are just people who had their dreams smashed because they thought they had met Ringo Starr.
“We are making inquiries to find if anyone was conned out of money, and if so we will definitely be issuing an arrest warrant.”
He added: “This is not the first time this has happened here. We had someone claiming to be from The Doobie Brothers last year.
“We are normally contacted when someone with a prominent background is in town.
“We were not contacted on this occasion and that was the first indication something was amiss.”
A spokeswoman for Ringo said last night: “He was not in Florida at all. I have no idea who that man was, but he wasn’t Ringo Starr.”
From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
St. Augustine fans learn 'Ringo Starr' was a hoax
World Entertainment News Network
August 11 2004
ST. AUGUSTINE -- A Ringo Starr look-alike who signed autographs and posed with locals turned out to be an imposter, according to reports in the St. Augustine Record.
The fake Starr also conned the Home Shopping Network into booking him for a two-hour special.
A TV executive from the network realized the channel's forthcoming celebrity guest 'Ringo Starr' was not the real thing when his assistant showed him a photo of the copycat and realized he was heavier than the genuine rocker.
The executive phoned Starr's English home number and was shocked when the 64-year-old answered, who was amazed to hear he was apparently in America at the same time.
The channel plugged the program Celebrate The Sixties With Ringo Starr for a week, but after the executive realized they were being conned, it was replaced at the last minute by a '60s memorabilia show.
During his trip to St Augustine, the fake Starr entertained guests at the Casa Monica Hotel with his own rendition of Let It Be.
After joining local band Matanzas at the nearby Tradewinds Bar, "Starr" urged fans to be generous with the tips.
Local detective Steve Fricke says, "At the moment we don't have any victims out of money.
"Instead there are just people who had their dreams smashed because they thought they had met Ringo Starr. We are making inquiries to find if anyone was conned out of money and if so we will definitely be issuing an arrest warrant."
The real Starr's spokeswoman remarks, "He was not in Florida at all. I have no idea who that man was, but he wasn't Ringo Starr."
Two stories with a photograph ran in The St. Augustine Record on Friday and Saturday. Other media also covered the news.
The St. Augustine Record reports that Angie Labutti, a waitress and bartender at Tradewinds, took a picture with Starr and watched him perform the Beatles' song "Boys" Thursday night with the Tradewinds house band.
"I thought he sounded exactly like Ringo Starr," Labutti is quoted as saying. "I was a huge fan of The Beatles in high school. I had their posters, I read their books."
She told the paper she doesn't care if the man she met wasn't Starr.
"I think it's cool I met a guy that looks just like him."