Category Archives: Ringo Starr

Beatles cover music QUESTION

In my tradition of playing the music that I own, I have divvied up my Beatles music thusly:
In October, in honor of John’s birthday, I play the canon. In this case, the British CDs (including Magical Mystery Tour, which became adopted as such), plus the two Past Masters CDs of singles, B-sides, EPs cuts and oddities.
In February, in honor of George’s birthday, I play the American albums. George, visiting his sister Louise, was the first of the Beatles to visit the U.S.
In June, in honor of Paul’s birthday, I play the more recent items: Live at the BBC, the Anthology series, and Love, e.g.
In July, in honor of Ringo’s birthday I play Beatles covers. After all, Ringo’s All-Starr bands are known to cover the hits of the contributing musicians.

And I have LOTS of whole albums dedicated to Beatles covers. Some are of whole albums: Big Daddy doing Sgt. Pepper, a MOJO collection replicating Revolver, George Benson taking on Abbey Road. There are whole soundtracks: All This and World War II, I Am Sam, Across the Universe.

So what are your favorite Beatles covers? I am fond of these:

Come Together by Tina Turner; Aerosmith’s take is fine, but too close to the original
Eleanor Rigby by Aretha Franklin (she puts it in the first person); though the pure excess of both the Vanilla Fudge and Rare Earth versions always made me chuckle.
Got To Get You Into My Life by Earth, Wind and Fire; one of the only good things to come out of the Sgt. Pepper’s movie debacle.
In My Life by Judy Collins; though there are other fine versions, notably Johnny Cash’s.
We Can Work It Out by Stevie Wonder; I once bought an LP just for that song.
You Can’t Do that by Harry Nillson, which segues in other Beatle tunes in a most delightful way.

Special kudos to Joe Cocker, who made several Beatles’ tunes his own. but the one I’m currently most fond of is You’ve got to Hide your Love Away

And there undoubtedly others. The readers of Rolling Stone magazine pick their favorites.

What’s your least favorite Beatles covers?

There’s a whole slew of older artists of the Beatles era trying too hard to be hip and relevant but feeling like the lounge singer Bill Murray used to play on Saturday Night Live (or a slightly more current reference, the Sweeney Sisters).

Still my thumbs are down to two pop music legends of the 1960s. The Supremes doing A Hard Day’s Night, originally on an album I owned called A Bit of Liverpool. “It’s ben a hard (hard) day’s (day’s) night.” Disliked it on first hearing. the other is Elvis Presley doing an off-key and listless version of Hey Jude; just unpleasant to listen to. (Though not eligible for consideration, Mitch Miller’s version of Give Peace A Chance is a HOOT.)



On Sunday, July 5, I realized that I hadn’t seen a movie since late April, So I looked at the listings for the Spectrum, my favorite theater and discovered that Up, the new Pixar flick, was in its final week. Reluctantly, the wife and I agreed to the split movie date, which involves one of us going, then later that day or soon thereafter, the other one attending. The first cannot reveal anything other than a generic thumbs up or thumbs down. The flaw with this, besides the inability to share the moments in real time, is that on at least three different occasion, the first person went, but then the second couldn’t for some reason; I know I got sick once and never saw a film Carol saw and liked.

Anyway, I opted for the noon showing of the movie, in 2-D. First up, the previews. I really would like to see the new Hayao Miyazaki film, Ponyo; great voice lineup in the English translation, including Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, and Betty White. And surprisingly, I think I’d like to see the new Harry Potter film; I suppose, having seen only the first one, I should catch the subsequent ones beforehand.

The short is Partly Cloud. It was pretty much a one-joke bit, with lots of old Warner Brothers cartoon violence. I enjoyed it less than some of their previous efforts, though at least I learned about procreation.

Then the main event. I must say that I got caught up (i.e., became a little verklempt) in the whole backstory of Carl and Ellie; as others have noted, she looks quite a bit like Elastigirl from The Incredibles. Indeed, there was also a documentary style that also borrowed from that earlier Pixar film.

Carl (voiced by Ed Asner) finds a reason and the means to uproot himself, and his home along with it. But he is not alone. Will Carl get to South America, as he promised Ellie they would?

The rest I don’t know how to describe without spoiling it except there is a character who looks a lot like Kirk Douglas but is voiced by Christopher Plummer who has a major role. Also dogs; lots and lots of canines, not all of the friendly kind.

I previewed this in part to see if this would be the first movie Lydia, the five-year-old daughter, will see in the movies; it will not. If we see it on video later, the pause and fast-forward buttons will be used at least a couple times. Now other kids may react differently, but I know my child.

This was a good Pixar film. It had more depth in the characters than I would have imagined. And the house is definitely one of the characters. Yet part of the problem, I realized, had to do with little things – continuity problems regarding some important plot details – that distracted me. But it was most definitely worth seeing, and I’d give it an A- or B+.

Did I mention that I was the ONLY person in the theater? One might think I would have appreciated the private screening, but I like to hear where others laugh and gasp and cry; but for the size of the screen, I might as well have been home.
Little girl’s last wish: to see ‘Up’. Tip o’ hat to Jaquandor.
I check Rotten Tomatoes now and then, because I love seeing, for instance. The Hangover (78%) rate better than the more prestigious Public Enemies (65%). Up, BTW, got a 97%
Today, Ringo Starr turns 69. Please don’t send him anything to sign; he’s too busy.


P is for Photography

And now for something completely indulgent. Hey, it’s a blog; by definition it’s indulgent.

One of my sister sent my five -year-old daughter two one-use cameras, and I had no idea what she was photographing. The only instruction I gave her was to use the flash when she was inside. This is what she came up with, and I didn’t alter them in any way:

These first three items I believe are gifts she received for her birthday.

The ballerina costume – on the floor?

Most of her plushes have very unimaginative names. This is Unoicorn; I blame the TV shows Little Bear and Franklin, where most of the characters have likewise boring nomenclatures.

No Imelda Marcos here.

Not only did she take the picture, she laid out the blanket and arranged the subjects.

Difficult to tell here, but the piece on the right is a piece of her artwork; the item on the left is 1000 years of British monarchies.

Do all only children refer to their stuffed creatures as their sisters?


I’m assuming this is the ABC-TV program Dancing with the Stars. I don’t watch it; the child watches it with the wife.

Deerie. (Not to be confused with the late Blossom Dearie.)

There are a whole bunch of self-portraits. Lot of them are just strange mixes of colors. She also took some headless photos of her mother, and one of my back.

I took this one: the photographer.
Ringo Starr – Photograph, written by George Harrison and Ringo Starr.


Beatles' TV Alert

On A&E, Sunday, February 3, 2008

7 a.m. BIOGRAPHY: The Beatles’ women
A look at the women–some celebrated, some forgotten–who influenced the lives of the Fab Four and were often the muses behind some of the Beatles’ greatest songs. Includes portraits of Yoko Ono, Linda Eastman, Pattie Boyd, Barbara Bach and Heather Mills. Plus, we look back at May Pang, John Lennon’s lost weekend companion; Cynthia Lennon, his first wife; Jane Asher, Paul McCartney’s posh girlfriend during the band’s heyday; Maureen Cox, Ringo’s first wife; and Olivia Trinidad Arias, who married George in 1978. TVPG | cc
8 a.m. Paul McCartney: Live at the Olympia
They are known among fans as the “secret concerts.” In 2007, Sir Paul McCartney took his band to a few small select venues around the world to play the most intimate, raw, and stripped down shows of his storied career. The shows have already become legendary. The most spectacular of all the performances was in Paris at the Olympia Theater in October. 43 years earlier the Beatles had played a series of concerts at the venue and for the 2007 show McCartney revisited the Beatles songbook, as well as playing solo hits and some tracks from his Grammy-nominated album “Memory Almost Full.” TVPG | cc
9 a.m. Private Sessions: Ringo Starr “Ringo shares a private look into his career.”
This morning, in an in-depth exclusive interview, former Beatle Ringo Starr chats with host Lynn Hoffman about his incredible career. His music, as a solo artist and as a Beatle, is permeated with his personality, his warmth and humor and his exceptional musicianship, which have given us songs we all know and love. Starr reflects about what it was like being part of the world’s most adored and famous group; his solo career; and his touring the globe with his All Starr Bands. TVPG | cc

9 A.M. for the premiere of the Ringo piece?? If you miss it, the Ringo piece will be repeated at 4 a.m. on Sunday, February 10.


The Great 28

Twenty-eight years ago today, Lynn Moss made an honest man out of Fred Hembeck, a story he’s written about here (June 23), here (June 23), here, and ESPECIALLY here. Kudos to you both. Go to Fred’s MySpace blog and send them your best wishes.
And speaking of Mr. Hembeck, he e-mailed to remind me that Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia are set to appear on Larry King’s CNN show June 26 (9 pm Eastern, 8pm Central) to discuss the first anniversary of Cirque de Soleil’s Fab-inspired “Love” show. Incidentally, my wife went to the Cirque de Soleil show “Delirium” this week in Albany with a friend of hers, while I stayed home with Lydia. She said it was very good, but that she needed to watch some more MTV or something, because of all the frenetic movement.
The other music-related thing I’ll be taping this week is “Paul Simon: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song”. On my local PBS station, it airs Wednesday at 9 pm, and features a bunch of folks singing the songs of Simon. It was taped last month.
I’ve never golfed in my life, yet I was intrigued by last weekend’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, The Problem With ‘Par’; If players at this weekend’s U.S. Open can’t hit the target score, who can? by John Paul Newport (June 16, 2007). Specifically, this paragraph:
“The notion of par has always been somewhat mushy, and is further confused by the word’s other English-language usages. In most PGA Tour events, for instance, subpar scores are par for the course. Unless, of course, a pro is feeling physically subpar, in which case he might shoot above par. On the other hand, only amateurs with decidedly above-par skills can ever hope to post subpar scores.”
If I lived in the Los Angeles area, I think I would apply for this job out of sheer curiosity:

The following position is available at E! Networks:
Job Title: Researcher
Organization: Research
City: Los Angeles
State: CA
Full-time position with benefits providing research, public records and ready reference.

Description: Provide entertainment research in support of all Comcast Entertainment Group units (E!, Style, G4, E! Online, International) including the following:
* Supply in-depth story and background research to assist writers and production staff.
* Locate court documents for legal backup.
* Access public records to locate individuals and track assets.
* Review copyright and trademark records to establish ownership and locate rights holders.
* Answer “ready reference” questions.
* Vet scripts for accuracy and perform fact checking.
* Help maintain both conventional and digital archives and databases.
Skills: College degree required; experience working in a library, archive or research setting; excellent organizational skills; extensive understanding of online databases, particularly Lexis/Nexis; excellent writing, spelling and grammatical skills; ability to work well under pressure; interest or experience working in the entertainment field a plus.
E! Networks is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

Contact Gina Handsberry at E! Entertainment. Please direct all inquiries to her at She writes, on a listserv I access:
“This is not a media research position (i.e., we do not analyze Nielsen data). Rather, it is a show research position (we provide content research for the programs on the network) and would be well suited for a librarian, information professional, or anyone who has experience doing research for journalistic endeavors. It’s not an easy position to fill, so I thought a post here couldn’t hurt!”

He's the greatest

I was watching the Father’s Day episode of CBS Sunday Morning the following Saturday morning. That’s not an unusual situation for me, time shifting TV programs.

This particular show had a segment about Ringo Starr and the postcards he kept that had been sent to him by the other Beatles. I had seen the segment before but decided to watch it again, and I’m glad I did. For one thing, the producers added material to the piece including an art retrospective of Ringo’s artwork that premiered the day before the show aired. It also highlighted Ringo’s new album, Choose Love, with guest singer Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, as well as the previous album, Ringorama. So, an old piece, spruced up with new material, was actually more enjoyable to watch than the original segment.

The part about the postcards highlighted these cards:

“You’re the greatest drummer in the world. Really.” – from Paul at a point in early 1969 when Ringo briefly quit the Beatles. Ringo thought the other three were tight and that he was the odd man out, but he went to John and he told Ringo that he thought that HE (John) was the odd man out. Similarly, Paul told Ringo that HE (Paul) was the outsider.

“Hello, Toots.” – Ringo has no idea.

“I never thought it would come to this.”- John (& Yoko) after the break up.

George and wife Olivia also sent a card from Hawaii.

The volume contains about 100 postcards and the drummer’s commentary. The proceeds from the Postcards from the Boys book are going to charity.

Richard Starkey, the oldest Beatle, turns 65 today. Barbara Bach STILL needs him, Barbara Bach STILL feeds him. Though it didn’t always come easily, he’s still the greatest. While he can tire of taking a sentimental journey (and has to wrack his brain for those lost pieces of history), it seems that the tango all night bad boy of the 1980s has drifted away; he gave it all up. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.