So, this is Ringo weekend.
The 72-year-old former drummer for the Beatles is going to hang at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery tomorrow night and it just seemed like a good idea to catch him this time through. He’s bringing this year’s edition of the All-Starr Band, with fewer “stars” than usual, but it doesn’t matter. This is about seeing Ringo.
The Beatles were THE group when I was growing up. Take what’s going on with Justin Bieber or Beyonce and multiply it by a million. They weren’t just a group, they were an actual phenomenon. Their bowl-shaped haircuts were rebellious at the time. Most of my friends parents, along with mine, called it “noise.” I remember neighbor Kenny Vaughn’s mom liking the Beatles enough to take her kids to see “A Hard Day’s Night” when it came out.
In a time when everything wasn’t on the web 24 hours a day, their appearances on shows like “Ed Sullivan” on Sunday nights were a major event. What songs would they sing? Who would get the most camera time? Would those girls in the audience please quit screaming so I can hear them!!!
Do the math, and the Beatles burst on the scene from the time I was 7 until they broke up when I was 15. Those are formative years. That’s when one’s standards and expectations are set. When small events occur and, for some reason, stick in your mind 40+ years later. I remember my mom buying the Beatles album “Revolver” during her weekly Thursday night grocery trip. She bought it at a store called Foods for $1.99. Cranking up “Revolution” was enough to get a least one reference to their music being “noise.”
I recall a comedian talking about the guy who walked into a barber and saying, “Make me look like Ringo Starr”. So the barber took a brush and broke the guy’s nose. I didn’t say it was a good joke.
I’ve seen McCartney. Never got around to Harrison or Lennon, but wish I had. So, with Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey poking that nose of his up in our corner of the U.S., I felt I needed to go see him perform. He was Billy Shears on the Sergeant Pepper’s album. He got a few token songs along the way, like “Octopus Garden.” He went the way of a solo career like the others, giving us such hits as “The No No song”, “Photograph” and “You’re sixteen” (I think I still have two of those 45’s) and I’m expecting a couple of those will surface while we sit on the lawn and drink some very nice wine.
I’m not expecting a Magical Mystery Tour. These days, the mysteries in my life are much smaller, like “Why did I walk into this room again?” I don’t like to live in the past, but I’m willing to take a nice stroll down memory lane this weekend and I can hardly wait. I’ve thought about standing up and correcting his English if he sings “It don’t come easy”, but I think I’ll let it go.
Welcome to Seattle, Ringo.