By Sheryl Aronson
On July 7th, Ringo Starr celebrated his 76th birthday at Capitol Records with an all-star line-up of celebrities such as Benmont Tench, Dave Stewart, David Lynch, Ed Begley, Jr., Edgar Winter, Eric Burdon, Glen Ballard, Joe Walsh, Joe Mantegna, Howie Mandel and many more. Hundreds of fans lined up in front of the building awaiting the festivities to begin.
The entire affair was billed as an “All-Star Rock Spectacular Worldwide Celebration of Peace and Love.” This was the third year Ringo Starr held the event in Los Angeles…the first celebration in Chicago July 7th, 2008 then he took it around to New York City, Hamburg, and Nashville. The Hollywood360 covered the red carpet, which took place behind Capitol Records, and the concert/countdown to world-wide peace which was streamed live via Ringo’s Facebook page.
At 11:30, Ringo Starr appeared stage left, looking sprite and hip wearing a red, white and blue striped peace tee-shirt under a black chic jacket, black jeans and black and white laced up sneakers. Hard to believe this icon rock star was turning 76, because he bounced around on stage with a boyish charm.
Holding both hands out with the peace sign, he welcomed all of us. He motioned for the infamous David Lynch to join him onstage and the two held court for a few minutes. Cameras snapped wildly. Afterwards, all his guests were invited to come onstage so more photographs could be taken by the press.
The PR person announced to all of us that Ringo would answer one question as he walked down the media line. I was second in line and had quickly decided not to ask about music. When he approached I held my phone up and asked, “What was the most important life lesson you have learned in your 70 years or so of living?” Without hesitating, Ringo answered,
“I’ve learned you get up in the morning and try to have the best day you can have, and be in the best spirit you can be in.”
He was true to form today. He posed again and again with friends and family saying, “Peace and love,” as he made the peace sign with his fingers. He quickly led his celebrity guests to the front of the building for a short tribute concert.
This year included musical tribute performances of Ringo Starr original songs. Vandaveer played “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Photograph,” Alberta Cross played “It Don’t Come Easy and “You Can’t Stop Lightening” and Dave Stewart and Jon Stevens played “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “No No Song”. When his buddy, Dave Stewart, formerly of the Eurythmics, broke into his second song, Ringo spontaneously leapt onstage and grabbed the mic to sing with Stewart and vocalist Jon Stevens from Australia.
Ringo greeted the crowd with his hands held up in peace signs and said,
“This is about my favorite thing to do on my birthday! To get up in the morning and come say ‘Hi’ to you guys, it‘s really good!”
At exactly 12pm, Ringo and Joe Walsh led the audience in a collective shout of “Peace and Love,” with the hopes that the world could hear, spreading the message to every human being. Ringo and a very cute little girl threw white plastic wristbands out to the crowd that had PEACE AND LOVE and white stars printed on them to remember the event. Television and film actor Joe Mantegna summed up how we all felt when I asked him to comment on Ringo Starr. “How do you comment on a person who has been an icon to you for your entire life? I feel very blessed to be here.”
Ringo Starr also revealed a new set of tour dates with the current and longest running All Starrs (Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren, Richard Page, Warren Hamm and Gregg Bissonnette) that takes them to Japan, Korea bookended by dates up and down the West Coast. Here are some, with more to be announced soon.
Oct 15-Snoqualmie Casino, Sonqualmie, WA
Oct 16 Spokane Arena Star Theatre, Spokane, WA
Oct 18 Keller Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
Oct 19 Grand Sierra Casino Theater, Reno, Nevada
Oct 20 Segerstrom Center For The Arts, Costa Mesa, Ca
Oct 24 Orix Gekijo, Osaka
Oct 25 Aichi-Ken Geijutsu Gekijo, Nagoya
Oct 27 Sun Palace Hall, Fukuoka
Oct 28 Bunkagakuen HBG Hall, Hiroshima
Oct 31–Nov 1-2 Orchard Hall, Tokyo
Nov 5 Olympic Gymnasium, Seoul, South Korea
Photo Credit: Svetlana Krapivina, Linita Masters, Sheryl Aronson