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.
I’ve seen Ringo every time he has toured with his All Star band. Several years ago he was at Marymoor Park and ticket sales were slow. My friend was at a local Starbucks when someone came in and started giving out free tickets to the show. Ringo was very funny the night of that concert. He is always entertaining and it’s unbelievable to me that he just turned 72. I’m so glad his concerts are well attended now. Last night’s show was full of so many great songs, not only from Ringo and that band he used to play with, but Santana, Toto, Mister Mister and the incredible Todd Rundgren. It was one of the best set lists I’ve heard at one of Ringo’s concerts, especially “Love is the Answer” and “Them Changes.” And how about surprise guest and Seattle resident Michael Shrieve (Santana) turning up to play the drums. Nearly 43 years ago, he was onstage at Woodstock!! Last night’s concert at the winery was a magical evening for this old DJ.