Archive for Ringo Starr

Video Du Jour: The Beatles

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by 30daysout

The Beatles, atop Apple Studios in 1969. Those were the days.

On this day in January, 44 years ago, The Beatles climbed to the rooftop of Apple Studios in London to give what would be their last public live performance.

The unannounced live show was a bit of a stunt, and an improvised ending to the documentary movie they were filming at the time, Let It Be. The movie was to be a fly-on-the-wall look at the Fabs working in the studio, cranking out songs for the planned Get Back album. What it turned out to be was a look at the world’s most famous rock band deteriorating in front of our eyes.

The rooftop show was a temporarily happy ending – the short set included “Get Back,” with Billy Preston on keyboards, “Don’t Let Me Down,” letitbee“I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” a snippet of “Danny Boy,” “Dig A Pony,” then finally another run-through of “Get Back.”

We all know what happened: the cops came up and shut ’em down for making too much noise in the middle of a busy work day. And John Lennon’s signoff  “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition” neatly capped the era for the Beatles.

That quote appeared at the end of the Let It Be album from 1970, released after the group had already broken up. But in reality, the 1969 rooftop concert wasn’t the Beatles’ last work. They eventually got together in the spring and summer of that year to record what would become Abbey Road, arguably their best album.

YouTube: The 1969 rooftop concert (Part 1)

YouTube: The 1969 rooftop concert (Part 2)

Concert for Bangladesh is now digital

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by 30daysout

George Harrison at the Concert for Bangladesh, 1971.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Concert for Bangladesh, George Harrison’s Grammy-winning album is now available at the iTunes Store, 40 years after the historic concert event on August 1, 1971. The concert featured Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Bob Dylan and others to benefit the country, hit by a typhoon and ravaged by war.

In the altruistic spirit which gave birth to The Concert for Bangladesh, each download will benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF — helping to provide immediate emergency relief for children in famine and drought-stricken regions in the Horn of Africa.

Visit to find out about The Concert and the George Harrison Fund For UNICEF.

The Concert for Bangladesh feature film will stream in its entirety in a 72-hour online event. The free video stream will be available worldwide from Saturday, July 30 through Monday, August 1 on iTunes as well as and

A 5-minute video trailer for the album and a 49-minute radio program about The Concert for Bangladesh are also now available for free streaming on

MP3: “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr

YouTube: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash/Youngblood” by Leon Russell (dig that outfit!)

YouTube: “Here Comes The Sun” by George Harrison w/Pete Ham of Badfinger

Happy Birthday, Ringo!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on July 8, 2011 by 30daysout

Ringo Starr celebrated his 71st birthday on Thursday, and a former bandmate paid tribute to him. Ha, this is just great.

Everybody’s Talkin’ About Harry Nilsson

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on September 19, 2010 by 30daysout

(Editor’s Note:  Our L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller covered a screening of the new documentary about Harry Nilsson – here is his report.)

John Scheinfeld’s documentary, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?), is currently getting a week’s screening in Los Angeles (through 9/23), with Portland (9/24 – 9/30) and San Francisco (10/1 – 10/7) to follow.   It’s a gentle and powerful film examining the life of the singer/songwriter through his music and the words of the people who were close to him. Those whose comments tell the story of Harry Nilsson include Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Jimmy Webb, Mickey Dolenz, Robin Williams, Eric Idle, Al Kooper, Randy Newman and a host of others.

Director Scheinfeld said after the film, in an in-person Q&A at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater, that his biggest disappointment about the film is that he could not persuade Ringo Starr to sit for an interview.   Scheinfeld said “There are three people Ringo finds it very difficult to speak about: John Lennon, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson.”

The movie has just been released after a period of at least four years of being tinkered with. The final cut comes in just under two hours long, down from a previous version that clocked in at three hours.  Scheinfeld mentioned that all that lost footage didn’t stay on the cutting room floor.  “A DVD should be out by Christmas,” he said, “and there will be about another 90 minutes of footage – almost another whole movie – as part of the package.”

In the film, Parks and Dolenz have quite a few stories to tell about Nilsson’s legendary spiral into alcoholism and, ultimately, self destruction.  One of Nilsson’s cousins who was close to him also gets a lot of face time and adds a more personal touch to the account.

Comments from Nilsson’s friends about how they never knew how many days they’d be gone when they agreed to get together with him made the crowd laugh, while accounts of ruined relationships with two of his producers – Rick Jarrard and Richard Perry – were sadly touching.

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Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 7 – Beatles solo on Apple Records

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by 30daysout

As part of our Labor Day singles sock hop, let’s drop by 3 Savile Row in central London’s shopping district to grab a handful of singles from the record company housed there – Apple Records.

Apple Corps Ltd. was of course the Beatles’ own multimedia company and its most profitable venture remains the record label.  After the breakup of the Beatles in 1970 the individual members issued their own solo records on Apple until 1975 when the Beatles were officially dissolved.  Apple remains a live entity today, mainly as an imprint on reissued Beatles recordings.

The first Beatle to issue a solo single on the Apple label was John Lennon – his “Give Peace A Chance,” credited to the Plastic Ono Band, came out in 1969.  But that’s so well known – let’s jump ahead to the second Plastic Ono Band single, “Cold Turkey,” also from 1969.  Lennon wrote the song about kicking heroin (he was briefly an addict) and presented it to the other Beatles but they didn’t like it.  So Lennon released it under his own name, claiming sole writing credit on a song for the first time.

MP3: “Cold Turkey” by John Lennon

We’ve already spun a Paul McCartney single, the controversial “Give Ireland Back To The Irish.” Well, after that single was effectively banned throughout the United Kingdom, McCartney felt he needed something completely innocuous as a follow-up, to at least get him back into radio’s good graces.  So he adapted the nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and issued that as the second Wings single, in 1972.  It was a moderate hit, but nothing really special.

MP3: “Mary Had A Little Lamb” by Wings

Also in 1972, Ringo Starr had a pretty nice solo career going thanks to the hit single “It Don’t Come Easy” which came out the previous year.  He followed it up with another single: like “It Don’t Come Easy,” the song “Back Off Boogaloo” didn’t appear on an album at the time.  Starr wrote “Boogaloo” all by himself, but asked George Harrison to produce it.  This rockin’ tune was Starr’s biggest U.K. hit and reached the Top 10 stateside.

MP3: “Back Off Boogaloo” by Ringo Starr

And finally, lonesome George Harrison wrote a sequel to his Beatles classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in 1975.  Harrison issued “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying)” as a single to promote his then-current album Extra Texture, but the song failed to register on any singles chart.  Not only was this the final Apple single by any of the ex-Beatles, it was the final Apple Records release until the label was revived in the mid-1990s as an imprint for Beatles reissues.

MP3: “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying”) by George Harrison

After the jump, an apple crate full of bonus tracks!

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Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Peter Frampton

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by 30daysout

We have uncovered an album by a guy who was in a lot of big sisters’ bedrooms during the 1970s – Peter Frampton.  But our album today is Wind of Change from 1972, the first solo album by the British rocker after he left the group Humble Pie.

Humble Pie was, of course, the English band formed by Frampton and blues-rock belter Steve Marriott (previously from the Small Faces).  By 1971 Frampton was ready for a split, despite the successes that year of the Humble Pie studio set Rock On and the live Rockin’ The Fillmore.  At that point Humble Pie was being torn apart by the different directions its two main players seemed be taking: Marriott obviously preferred bloozy-boogie tunes, contrasting sharply with Frampton’s more melodic sensibilities.

So Frampton went to work on Winds of Change, encasing his songs in lush, mostly acoustic settings.  The title song is a good signpost: it starts with an chiming acoustic figure that sounds a bit like the gentle underpinnings of Led Zeppelin III (“Tangerine”).  “All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)” is a pop/rock ballad that recalls a bit of Steve Winwood’s Traffic, and “The Lodger” puts it all on the table with the lyrics “I’ll play the songs I should be singin’.”

But Frampton also liked to rock out: “It’s A Plain Shame” has an electric guitar edge and the album closer “Alright” showcases Frampton’s always-great guitar playing.  (Guest stars Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and Billy Preston play on “Alright”).  Even the cover of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” manages to catch fire, despite the goofy horn section which drags the song down a bit.  But here you have a British guitar slinger, a pretty decent singer and songwriter, who seems to know where he’s going despite leaving a commercially successful band.

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Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Badfinger

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by 30daysout

Still riffling through those records I got from my sister’s cool boyfriend, who works at an FM rock radio station.  Today we have something of interest to Beatles fans … by a group that managed to get three of the Fab Four involved with them over different points in their existence.

That’s Badfinger of course, and today’s record is Magic Christian Music, released on the Beatles’ Apple Records imprint in 1970.  Badfinger performed some of the songs in a movie, The Magic Christian, but the album isn’t an official soundtrack because the song “Something In The Air” by Thunderclap Newman that appears in the movie isn’t on the Apple label.  The real soundtrack appeared on another label, but mainly in England – so Apple put out today’s record to at least get Badfinger exposed to American audiences.

Badfinger is, of course, the British group led by singers Pete Ham and Tom Evans, who were also the group’s main songwriters.  They were called the Iveys when they were “discovered” by Mal Evans, the Beatles’ roadie and the dude who did a lot of the heavy lifting for Apple Records.  Evans signed the Iveys to a recording contract in 1968 and released a few singles to lukewarm success.  Paul McCartney was asked to write a song for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian movie, and when he did he asked the Iveys to record it.  While they were recording McCartney’s song “Come and Get It” (the session was also produced by McCartney), the group changed its name to Badfinger.

The Magic Christian was a satirical movie written by Terry Southern, also known for penning the script for Easy Rider.  It was first a novel, then the screenplay was adapted by Southern along with the film’s star Peter Sellers and two young British comedians, Graham Chapman and John Cleese (later to become famous as part of Monty Python’s Flying Circus).  Sellers played Guy Grand, an eccentric billionaire who adopts a homeless man (Ringo Starr) and together they begin playing nasty practical jokes on people.  The movie’s satiric message is that people would do just about anything for money, and each prank progressively gets wilder than the one preceding it.

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Ringo will turn 70 onstage

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by 30daysout

Ringo Starr will be the first ex-Beatle to turn 70 years old, and it will happen this summer.  Are you feeling old?  Not Ringo, apparently – on the night of his birthday, he’ll be onstage in New York City.

Celebrating his 70th birthday on July 7, Starr will perform that night at Radio City Music Hall with the latest edition of his All-Starr Band, featuring Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Rick Derringer, Richard Page of Mr. Mister and Wally Palmer of the Romantics.  Ticket information isn’t available yet;  visit or Ringo’s website for updates.

Starr’s latest album, Y Not— featuring a duet with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, 67, was released on Jan. 12.

Ringo Starr official website

Review: “Y Not,” Ringo Starr

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by 30daysout

As he approaches his 70th birthday this summer, Ringo Starr emerges with a new album, his 15th studio set since the breakup of the Beatles.  More than Paul McCartney – and much like John Lennon and George Harrison, when they were alive – Ringo has embodied the heart of the Beatles’ mystique and 1960s message of peace and love.  Y Not, the new album, steps up with that charming message and shares Ringo’s ideas on how to hold on to those attributes in a world that seems to have long forgotten them.

“Peace Dream” is Ringo’s version of “Imagine,” and he even name-drops his old bandmate John as he dreams of a world that’s “a better place for you and me.”  “Who’s Your Daddy” is a laconic rocker powered by a sultry guest vocal from Joss Stone, while “Fill In The Blanks” allows Ringo to rock out with the song’s co-writer and his brother-in-law Joe Walsh.  And Paul McCartney sings backup on the affecting “Walk With You,” co-written by Ringo and Van Dyke Parks.

Of course Ringo would get a little help from his friends – but the A-list guest stars actually enhance the offhand charm that is Ringo’s trademark.  With its shrug of a title, Y Not is a warm invitation to open your heart to a simpler era, when Beatles walked the earth and all you needed was love.

MP3: “Who’s Your Daddy” by Ringo Starr (with Joss Stone)

Ringo Starr official website

Forward Into The Past: The Beatles Remastered

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on September 10, 2009 by 30daysout


Sometimes it seems like they never left: the world momentarily stands still every time the Beatles release a new album.  Did you notice that the lads have been in the media lately? You can thank “The Beatles: Rock Band” for that, as well as the release today of meticulously remastered stereo and monophonic versions of the Beatles’ albums.  The group’s 12 original studio albums – plus a few newly created collections of singles – were issued on CD in 1987, but this new package has a sonic heft that benefits from two decades of technological improvements.

You can buy ’em as a pricey box set ($260 for the stereo, $298 for the mono) or you can purchase the individual CDs (stereo only) but unless you’ve never owned a Beatles album before, it may not be worth your money.  You don’t need a sophisticated stereo system to hear the difference – Paul McCartney’s bass rumbles, Ringo Starr’s drums take on a new sophistication, George Harrison’s guitar work stings and rings, and John Lennon is revealed to be one of the finest singers in rock and roll.  These boys were pretty good.  But you already knew that – so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to hear that all again.

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