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Friday, July 16, 2010

Have a great weekend

Comments (10)

When I landed the Portland Tribune columnist gig, Goal #1 was to serve the readers. However tied with Goal #1 was Goal #1-A: To have as many cool experiences as possible.
That is how I found myself in the promoter's office before one of the "Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band" concerts.
I explained how it would help the promoter's enterprise locally if I was given a backstage pass and wrote a column about the concert. He went for it, so there I was in the Schnitz just offstage around 10 feet from Ringo as he gave me that "What the heck are you doing here?" once-over look.
3 observations:
Ringo - despite getting criticized back in the day for the simplicity of his drumming - is actually an amazing drummer. He really grooved out with Sheila E. on "Glamorous Life" for example, and I was mildly surprised. I thought I knew, but I didn't know. He's - in his own way - a drumming monster with a host of signature fills.
The key is he's always responding to what's going on. He is playing - rather than just keeping the beat, but he is also super-steady on the beat. You have to listen to the sessions to get how competent he really is, or a track like "Day in the Life."

The second observation was how much fun it is to be Ringo. I glanced out at the crowd and all I could see were thousands of individual glowing smiles from beaming joyous people. The love was pouring in from the crowd. It was ridiculous.

3. Ringo took off before the others because - all these years later - there are still a different set of security concerns for him than most rock stars. He's a Beatle.

I saw this developing so I left the stage too and there I was in a hallway with Ringo Starr.
He was moving pretty fast and without thinking I yelled out, "Ringo!"
Beatlemania lives.

I'm glad to share this because the Tribune turned down the column. Apparently, it wasn't "man in the street" enough for them. Personally, I thought having a backstage view of a Beatle in Portland warranted a few words but maybe that's just me.
I also pictured the promoter sitting there looking at the paper and thinking, "I knew that guy was full of it."

cool Bill!
I am SO old that I saw the Beatles in concert at Memorial Coliseum. My mom did not approve, but I went anyway.
The grounding for 2 weeks was well worth it! I think I was 14...ah thanks for the memories Jack.

Ringo rocks. He was a first call "A list" player in the early 60's Liverpool scene for a reason, and that, along with his quirky personality, is why he replaced Pete Best. Bill's right - he's probably got as many signature licks as any rock drummer ever, and he's got some really cool grooves that hold the more complex Beatles tunes together. Tommorrow Never Knows comes to mind, but there are many, many more. Plus, he keeps putting together all star(r) bands with killer players - Todd Rundgren, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Joe Wlsh, Dr. John, Jack Bruce, Rod Argent, Sheil E., and on and on. Rave on older dude . . .

I fully remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Fisheye black and white tends to burn into the memory. Last Wednesday, I attended a delightful outdoor acoustic concert with Collin Hay of Men At Work. He told several stories about touring with Ringo and attending his 70th birthday party that were very sweet - "OMG that's "Ringo" and he was with "The Beatles."

One huge element was the humor - until the Beatles came along I don't think the world had heard that particular British accent and delivery. Years later I heard a politician from Liverpool talking and my first thought was, "Wow, he sounds like the Beatles."
Later still, I was in the audience for the version of Ringo's band that included Peter Frampton. This woman approached the guitarist with a bouquet of flowers and Peter sort of knelt forward, and took them, but then began chatting with her.
Ringo looked over and said, "Just take the flowers. You don't have to marry the girl." It was the exact same accent and delivery made famous in "A Hard Day's Night."
After all the years of seeing that movie, it was stunning to hear the humor in real time. That's one other thing about the Beatles that I really loved: They were funny.

I've always loved that song. Never seen that version.

Here is Buck Owens doing his original version.

Check out the harmony vocals.

Belated HB Ringo!

Summer of 1964, Atlantic City Convention Hall...."The Beatles" Ticket Price $5.50 for the cheap seats and $12.50 for the kids that had rich parents.
Ahhhhh Those were the days.
Now today in Atlantic City, large tacky casinos and two of them today without air conditioning!
Drinks cost $15.00 for sex on the beach, and $7.00 for a bottle of Miller Lite!
As for the music sometimes you get to see Jerry Blavet aka The Geater with the heater for free at those same tacky casinos.

I saw Ringo play at Edgefield a couple years ago. Really fun show. Everyone loves Ringo.

I should give a shout-out to legendary Tribune reporter Don Hamilton who's now working for Kate Brown.
He showed me a picture from when he saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium. Try topping that!

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