Ringo stars in 08 role for Culture People's Opening event
Jan 11 2008
by Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpoo ... -20338872/
Ringo arrives in Liverpool ahead of the Capital of Culture opening.
RINGO Starr arrived in Liverpool today, his first public visit to the city in almost two decades.
The former Beatle will headline the free Capital of Culture People’s Opening outside St George’s Hall tonight.
Tomorrow, he will perform in the spectacular Liverpool The Musical: The Greatest Story Ever Told at the ECHO Arena, alongside Dave Stewart, Echo And The Bunnymen, Pete Wylie, the RLPO and 400 singers.
The last time the 67-year-old drummer performed in Liverpool was at the Empire Theatre in 1992.
Speaking exclusively to the ECHO last month, he said he was looking forward to returning to headline the 2008 opening events.
He said: “The good thing about it is, because the city’s Capital of Culture, they will get into lots of other situations to present Liverpool in an incredible light.”
The drummer’s involvement led to American TV network giant CBS broadcasting its two-hour breakfast show from Liverpool today to viewers across the USA.
The 40-minute People’s Opening will take place at St George’s Plateau, starting at 8.08pm (20:08) and will include Liverpool band The Wombats, aerial performers, hundreds of schoolchildren, air cannons, fireworks and guitarists.
Ringo will perform his new single Liverpool 8, and today we print the song’s lyrics so readers attending the event can sing along.
It chronicles Ringo’s early working life, from his teenage years as a sailor and factory hand, to his time in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, the red lights of Hamburg, and becoming a Beatle.
It mentions the Shea Stadium concert in New York in 1966 and features the lyrics: “When I look back, it was cool for those four boys from Liverpool.”
Ringo Starr: Liverpool is in my soul – part of me
Jan 12 2008
by Peter Grant, Liverpool Echohttp://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpoo ... -20342052/
Ringo at the Capital of Culture opening.
Former Eurythmic Dave Stewart and Ringo Starr at the Capital of Culture opening.
Fireworks at the Capital of Culture opening at St.George's Hall in Liverpool City Centre.
“I REALLY am sentimental . . .” Ringo Starr tells me as he shakes my hand.
And the 67-year-old Beatles legend laughs when I say “Welcome back, la” in my best Scouse.
“La – yeah, how are yer, Liverpool ECHO?”
Ringo has lost none of his lad-next-door charm.
And despite an accent tinged with a US drawl there is every now and then in his phraseology a bit of Thomas the Tank Engine.
“It’s true – I am sentimental and I am still on the journey.”
He was referring to the first solo album he made called Sentimental Journey.
In honour of the Dingle he featured his local pub The Empress, located near his childhood homes in nearby Madryn Street and Admiral Grove on the cover.
To this day the pub – in Liverpool 8 – is a bit of a Starr shrine
Sporting a leather jacket, lilac scarf and some sparkling earrings teetotaller Ringo is the picture of health.
Gone are the rings that turned plain Richard Starkey into Ringo Starr. He gave up bling two years ago.
But he was clearly delighted to be back home.
“I was going to stay in the Hard Days Night Hotel – but it isn’t finished,” he said.
Ringo was still buzzing from a nostalgic trip around his old school.
“ I enjoyed it. Just me – taken around by the headmaster.
“When I first went there it was called Dingle Secondary Modern. Now it’s Shorefields High School.
“When I first went there – there were about five kids.
“Now everything’s changed and it made me realise just how much the city, too, has altered since I Iived here in the 50s and 60s.
“I remember the city was damp and I got TB and I spent some time in Heswall.
“My message to Liverpool is support Capital of Culture – get out there and give it all you’ve got.”
Ringo said he did feel nostalgic when people talked to him about places he played with and without The Beatles.
“Someone mentioned Litherland Town Hall and those memories came back.”
And he said he loved sending a link to New York from St George’s Hall.
“When I was younger they wouldn’t have let me in here,” he added. He said he was focused on the two important launches which have brought him back to Liverpool – the St George’s plateau Capital of Culture launch.
And tonight’s show Liverpool – The Musical at the ECHO Arena.
Ringo was patience personified signing drum skins and Capital of Culture guide books with the simple words WOW – Ringo XX.
He said the seed of his song Liverpool 8 was born four years ago.
But his collaboration with former Eurythmic Dave Stewart took the concept further.
“It is autobiographical. I was thinking about the jobs I’d had such as working for British Rail for six weeks.
“ I started thinking about Butlins and Hamburg and America.
“Meeting Paul and George and John and, of course, Shea stadium. “I am still connected to Liverpool. It’s in my soul.”
Ringo, often cited as being The Beatles most natural actor, said he enjoyed making the Liverpool 8 video but won’t be going back in front of the camera again for a feature film.
“I was going to keep it a secret but Dave has already mentioned our musical so it’s out in the open a joint musical concept.
“It’s an idea we had called Hole In the Fence about symbolically climbing out – from my Liverpool upbringing and Dave’s musical roots in Sunderland.”
Ringo said he was particularly delighted about the last Beatle album called simply Love.
It is the soundtrack for the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.
The songs were re-mastered by Beatle producer George Martin and his producer son Giles.
“They did a wonderful job on that. I really mean that. I went to the show in Las Vegas – it was fabulous. You should go.
“Well when I heard my own drumming again all I can say, man, is WOW.
Ringo said he means every word of his lyrics especially: “Liverpool – I never let you down.
“But you know that was Dave’s line. He said to me ‘Ringo, you never did let Liverpool down’ and he was right. I didn’t and I don’t.
Ringo said he still sees Paul from time to time.
“Yeah, we hang out. I am a player and he’s a player. He has his tours and I have mine.
“But it’s cool to meet up and hang out when we can.”
And the one thing he misses about his hometown no matter where he is in the world – at his Monte Carlo home or on tour – is summed up in one word – humour.
But I ask Sentimental Mr Starr one last question
Is Liverpool the fifth Beatle, like, la?
“Oh . . . look there was George Martin, Brian Epstein – God bless him – and people like Neil Aspinall.
“If you carried on like that there would be hundreds of ‘fifth Beatles’.
“There is no fifth Beatle.
“Just put it this way, there were four of us – four Beatles and we were all from Liverpool.”