It is nice to hear that Yoko’s phone call and singing Happy Birthday to Ringo on his 68th birthday on the Larry King Live show was a surprise to Ringo Starr. I like what he said about the “tension” between the remaining Beatles and wives (“it depends on the day”). But here Ringo is still at it with his All-Starr Band tour, and here for a California newspaper, he gives a question and answer type interview that is fun to read.
Here’s what we’ve read:
Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band at Fantasy Springs tonight
Former Beatle Ringo Starr celebrated his 68th birthday this summer, but he looks and sounds the same as he did a decade ago.
The drummer-singer says he sees no end in sight for his music career, as fans of all ages continue to flock to his biannual outings with the ever-evolving All-Starr Band, performing tonight at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
Friends giving Starr a little help on his current tour include fellow classic rockers Billy Squier, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Colin Hay of Men At Work and Hamish Stuart of the Average White Band.
Each All-Starr plays a personal hit or two and backs Starr on such classics as “Yellow Submarine,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Act Naturally” and “Photograph.”
Question: You had a birthday on July 7. Does 68 feel any different than 48 or 58?
Answer: I’ll never get older. … Mentally, I’m 24. I keep myself fit and I think that helps. I have a clean diet, no sugar and stuff like that. I feel really good, and you’d better get your energy up when you’re touring.
You asked people to say or think “Peace and love” on your birthday. Will the world someday be at peace?
I’m optimistic (peace) will be worldwide one day. Peace and love is the only way.
Have you considered a more formal role working for peace, perhaps through a United Nations program?
That’s a good idea. I haven’t gotten into that. I just feel that you can do what you do. I’m up there (onstage), I’m peace-and-loving and I’m getting a peace-and-love reaction. So it is trickling down.
You’ve avoided involvement with politics, and the Beatles were never kind to politicians in their lyrics.
I don’t get involved with politicians. In England, all the musicians go to the new prime minister’s home for a big party and then they’re all a bit embarrassed five years later when he’s totally messed up. (Laughs) Politicians … change, and they change their mind.
You’re a key figure in managing the Beatles’ legacy. Are you satisfied with how Apple Corps Ltd. has handled things?
Yes, because nothing really goes down unless we know about it. Paul (McCartney) and I listened to every take of the remix of the “Love” show (staged by Cirque de Soleil). It’s not like we give carte blanche to anyone.
You’ve said your iPod has Beatles songs on it. Has that type of technology helped to pass the band’s music on to younger listeners?
That’s what happens. There are a lot of new bands out there (in which) the kids have listened to lots of stuff. I think the Beatles have lasted because every new band has listened to what we did. … Kids don’t know us from the mop-top days, they only know us from the sound.
You and your wife (actress Barbara Bach) founded the Lotus Foundation, which helps several charities. Has that work become more important as you’ve grown older?
I don’t think they started because we got older. We’ve always done our best to help out many situations, and then we decided to form the Lotus Foundation. We’ve helped (groups) from WaterAid to some local charity starting up and paying the phone bill.
Yoko Ono called when you appeared on “Larry King Live” and sang “Happy Birthday.” Are the days of tension among you, Yoko and Paul gone?
Like life, it depends on the day. There’s no tension now. She surprised me. Paul gave me a call. We still hang out together when we hang out. But as any family, some days you hang out better than others.
Do you plan to perform for many more years?
I’ve got a profession and a career that can go on as long as I can go on.