Ringo has had a rough go of things as of late. He had made offending remarks regarding the town of his birth a few months ago on national television. The city was in a furvor. Public reaction has been pointed at the ex-Beatle. Beatles’ themed topiary has been vandalized, and there has been a public outcry for the apology from the once beloved Ringo.
It seems that he has become a little angry and jaded in his old age. Ringo was always so happy-go-lucky in his youth. I wonder what changed so much. Was it the act of putting on a happy face that has soured his demeanor? We may never know, but it’s kind of sad to see. It must be hard to be in the public eye all of your life, and not succumb to the pressures. The article below presents a really bad picture of good old Ringo, and is quite harsh, but maybe it’s just that bad. You decide.
Peace and love to you Ringo, we hope things mellow out for you a bit.
Here’s what we’ve read.
After his recent exertions on his UK publicity junket, Ringo Starr has been allowing himself the luxury of extended sessions of transcendental meditation to the relaxing strains of his favourite wind chimes at his bougainvillaea-covered Beverly Hills hacienda.
Following a leisurely morning of contemplation, he will submit himself to the rigours of a stroll in his lemon grove before firing up his barbecue to cook a virtuous lunch of seared broccoli, carrots and beetroot (like his fellow surviving Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo is a long-time proponent of vegetarianism).
His friends, mainly a rag-tag collection of ageing hippies and fading rock stars, are permitted an audience only by prior appointment and he ventures out rarely for occasional dinners at his favourite Hollywood restaurant, Mr Chow, with his wife, Barbara Bach, and close friend, Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh.
Perhaps as a legacy of his impoverished childhood in Liverpool, Ringo will not tolerate waste. Consequently, the multi-millionaire insists the leftovers from his table at the trendy Chinese eaterie are bagged up for him to reheat the next day.
Everyone who crosses his path – even complete strangers in the street – are habitually treated to his trademark two-fingered salute and his “Peace and Love” catchphrase.
In fact, his obsessive Peace sign flashing has increasingly become the source of much bemusement, not to mention ridicule, in Tinseltown.
One executive of Starr’s American record label Capitol/EMI told me last week that at a meeting in LA to discuss his latest album, one of those present tried to keep score of the number of times Ringo proclaimed his ‘Peace and Love’ mantra – he lost count after 20.
But despite this almost Tourette style compulsion to fulfil his mission of harmony and goodwill, those in Ringo’s circle have noticed that the man once famed as the most happy-go-lucky of the Fab Four has recently undergone something of a personality change.
Witness his hissy-fit when producers of the top-rating U.S. daytime chat show Live With Regis And Kelly asked him to cut his performance of his new single, Liverpool 8, from its near five minutes to closer to twoanda-half.
Ringo walked out, refusing to do the show, although it should be pointed out that one can have sympathy with both sides of the argument.
For his part, because the song is an autobiographical account of his life from his job in the merchant navy, to working at Butlin’s then finding global stardom, Ringo would barely have got as far as The Beatles’ early days in the clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg before the plug was pulled.
But from the point of view of the television station, who could blame them for wanting Ringo to curtail his live rendition? After all, the new song – which includes the line: “Liverpool I left you, but I never let you down” – is unutterably bad, with Starr tunelessly warbling in the style of a hastily ad-libbed nursery rhyme.
At the same time he got into trouble after he was filmed snarling at autograph hunters who were furious with him for snubbing them outside his New York hotel last month.
Little surprise, then, that the single and the album of the same name barely made the Top 100 on either side of the Atlantic before sinking without trace.
None of which has gone down at all well with the 67-year-old drummer who had been confidently predicting the record, named after the postal district in which he was brought up, would signal a somewhat unlikely comeback.
Particularly as he was banking on a huge publicity boost from his appearance in January as the star guest for the launch of Liverpool’s year as the European Capital of Culture – which happily just happened to coincide with the album’s release.
However, this, too, has turned out to be a monumental PR disaster. So much so that after he made unflattering remarks about his home town while appearing on the sofa of BBC chat show host Jonathan Ross six weeks ago, Ringo has almost overnight become persona non grata with many of his fellow Scousers.
Such is the level of antipathy that a three weeks ago a topiary statue, which was created at a Liverpool railway station in honour of The Beatles, was desecrated.
But while John, Paul and George were untouched, the figure of Ringo, seated at his drums, was decapitated by a secateurs-wielding ex-fan with a grudge.
At the same time a vandal sprayed the word “traitor” over a sign that commemorates Starr’s attendance at his one-time secondary school in the Dingle area of Liverpool.
Meanwhile, the airwaves of local radio and the letters pages of the city’s newspapers have hosted angry denunciations of their former hero. One fans’ website is even calling for Ringo to be removed from all Beatles memorabilia.
Oh dear! And all because he pulled a comedy face and replied: ‘No’ when Ross asked him if he missed Merseyside.
It also emerged later that when a local reporter asked him what was the best piece of advice he had been given by a fellow Liverpudlian, Ringo replied: “Run!”
But then as Ringo should know, his fellow Liverpudlians are not best known for their thick skin. Nor should anyone be in the least bit surprised by his admission.
Indeed, before his arrival to kick off the Capital of Culture celebrations, Ringo had not set foot in the city since the funeral of his stepfather Harry Graves 14 years ago.
And he has hardly been glowing in his praise of his homeland either in recent times. Some months ago he declared his hatred of England, telling an American interviewer: “It’s damp and it’s cold and it’s dark. I love the sun and warmth and that’s how I choose to spend my life.”
Friends say he is also irked by what he perceives as the lack of affection with which he is held in Britain. Three years ago he raised eyebrows here when he said: “You know I have this thing about England, they don’t really love me enough. That’s just how I feel.”
To add insult to injury, his famously large nose has been most distinctly put out of joint by his home city choosing to rename its airport after John Lennon while Ringo’s first home at 9 Madryn Street – where he was born plain Richard Starkey – was described by heritage officials as being of ‘neutral’ value and earmarked for demolition.
Ringo has also rubbished new plans to have the house taken apart brick-by-brick and rebuilt elsewhere.
And despite an online petition to have him made Sir Ringo, he has been consistently overlooked for a knighthood (which might have something to do with his criticisms of the Royal Family, whom he pronounced should personally pay for a hospital in honour of the Queen Mother).
He is said to visit his 17th-century, 200-acre estate near Cranleigh, Surrey, only once a year for a family Christmas with his three grown-up children – sons Zak and Jason and daughter Lee – from his first marriage to Maureen Cox. He is very rarely seen at his flat in Chelsea.
Instead he spends the year shuttling between his sprawling LA home, a palatial apartment in the tax-haven of Monte Carlo and his ski lodge in Colorado.
He shares the terracotta-walled compound in Beverly Hills with his 60-year-old wife Miss Bach, a former Bond-girl whom Starr met on the set of his much-derided 1980 movie Caveman. They married a year later.
He admits to feeling “more American than most Americans” and has cultivated a resolutely mid-Atlantic accent, characterised by his rather grating habit of pronouncing “and” as “ernd”.
Although he is fast approaching his 68th birthday, the eldest of The Beatles remains driven to recreate the limited success he had as a solo artist in the years after the break-up of The Beatles.
He continues to tour regularly in the U.S. and will go on the road again in June with his group, Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band.
He is said by friends to feel snubbed that he has not as yet been invited by McCartney to appear onstage with him when Sir Paul marks Liverpool’s ongoing City of Culture celebrations by appearing at Anfield stadium in June.
Indeed, between the two, the once- strong quality of Mersey mateship is somewhat strained. He is said still to bear a grudge over McCartney’s cold-shouldering him when Paul appeared without him at the Live 8 concert in London three years ago.
At the time a very put-out Ringo said: “It’s too late now. It’s very disappointing.”
And Starr further incurred the wrath of his ex- cohort when he described McCartney’s attempts to change the group’s famous song-writing credits from “Lennon and McCartney” to “McCartney and Lennon” as “underhanded”.
Meanwhile Ringo is attempting – with precious little success it has to be said – to find backing for his plans to turn himself into a cartoon superhero with the help of Superman creator Stan Lee.
And associates say he is halfway through writing a musical about his life, called The Hole In The Fence, with the help of former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart.
Ringo’s relationship with eldest son Zak, 42, who went off the rails as a teenager and started drinking at 14, is said to be close. Zak has followed him into drumming and plays with the Who and Oasis.
Jason, 40, is a photographer and 37-year- old Lee, who lives in London, is a make-up artist and would-be fashion designer.
But his relationship with his stepdaughter Francesca, a wannabe singer from Miss Bach’s first marriage, has regularly been stormy.
He is said to have barred the lesbian Francesca, who once dated Hollywood actress Portia de Rossi, from appearing with him on tour after he discovered she was having an affair with a 16-year-old girl.
But his marriage to the beautiful Barbara is said to be as close as ever, which begs the question: Why given his pampered lifestyle, his lavish homes and all those millions is Ringo just so bad-tempered all of a sudden?
Source: Daily Mail