By Bill Dudley

Hard to believe it’s been almost 50 years since The Beatles first hit America on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in February of 1964. On Tuesday, the ageless Ringo Starr appeared in person to kick off the ‘Peace And Love’ exhibit documenting his long and colorful career  at The Grammy Museum.

Looking very spry for his age, and still full of zany humor as he walked on stage while pretending to be talking on his cell phone, Ringo is definitely still Ringo.  His 50 year career is well documented for you to see at ‘The Grammy Museum’ during the coming months. How did he locate all of these timeless artifacts for the exhibit? Ringo said, “It was in several places on the planet, and somehow we pulled it all together.”

When you first hit the lobby you’ll see Ringo’s Ludwig drum set circa 1965. Upstairs you’ll find rare photos of Ringo that he recently discovered after opening boxes his mother left him way back in 1986.

Fellow Beatle George Harrison once said “playing without Ringo is like driving a car with 3 wheels.” There were flashier drummers in the 1960’s like Keith Moon of The Who, but none were as steady with the backbeat as Ringo. John Lennon loved him, and said Ringo’s talent was “underrated.”

Ringo joined The Beatles in 1962 at the personal request of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, when their (then) new producer George Martin thought original drummer Pete Best “wasn’t up to it.” Ringo had previously played for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, another  popular Liverpool band that didn’t quite make it to the big time.

You’ll see the clothes The Beatles wore in the early days, including the 1964 Nehru Jackets,  the 1967 Sgt Pepper’s uniform,the red suit from The Beatles farewell “rooftop concert,” plus many items from Ringo’s long solo career. Check out the 19 minute film shown in ‘The Clive Davis Theater” covering Ringo’s early days with The Beatles, his interesting movie roles in “The Magic Christian,” “Caveman,” “Sextette,” and “Alice In Wonderland.”

This all too short documentary wraps up featuring a rocking rendition of Ringo playing drums on “Birthday” filmed at a relatively unknown concert appearance with Paul McCartney in 2010 at Madison Square Garden. The event coincided with Ringo’s 70th birthday. Another highlight is Ringo performing “Never Without You,” his tribute song for fellow Beatle, and lifelong friend George Harrison. The Grammy Museum has also done tributes to George and John Lennon. I’m thinking Paul McCartney will be next. Curiously, Paul was also the last Beatle to get a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Many of the rare photos you will see are also featured in Ringo’s new e-book “Photograph,” named after his 1973 #1 hit song of the same name. Ringo has won 7 Grammys, and (since 1989) still tours every year with his eclectic and ever-changing All Starr Band.

Ringo’s most famous Beatle songs “Yellow Submarine,” “Act Naturally” and “With A Little Help From My Friends” will all come alive again for you at this show. I became so nostalgic after seeing ‘Ringo: Love & Peace’, that when I arrived home I felt compelled to watch the excellent 2011 Martin Scorsese documentary,”Living In The Material World,” covering the life of George Harrison.

Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I’m still hoping that Paul and Ringo will re-unite for an entire concert together someday, with their  own musical families, and the descendants of John Lennon and George Harrison. Beatle fans everywhere would love it!

Check out the photo gallery of Ringo’s Peace & Love exhibit a the Grammy Museum here!


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