Ringo Starr Celebrates 78th Birthday With Friends, All-Starr Band In France
Sir Ringo Starr and wife, Lady Barbara Starkey, celebrated the Beatles drummer's 78th birthday July 7 in Nice, France, where he and his All-Starr Band were currently on tour, by joining with fans to say “Peace & Love” at noon all around the world, his representative told Billboard. Also on hand were his brother-in-law Joe Walsh and his wife Marjorie, who is Barbara's sister, plus All-Starr Band members Graham Gouldman, Colin Hay, Steve Lukather, Gregg Bissonette and Warren Ham, plus Matt Sorum, added to the group for the day.
Walsh, Sorum and the All-Starrs performed two of Ringo's songs in tribute to him, and Walsh played a bit of his old band the James Gang's "Funk #49" leading up to the noon countdown.
Rudy Salles, deputy mayor of the City of Nice, gave a welcoming speech talking about the importance of “Peace and Love” day. The band then performed “Act Naturally” and “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Ringo then gave a short speech thanking the Hard Rock Cafe and co-sponsors the David Lynch Foundation and Modern Drummer, and fans for joining in the annual event. At noon, he led a “Peace & Love” cheer, and handed out specially themed wristbands and cookies to the crowd.
The annual Peace & Love celebrations began in Chicago 10 years ago and have since included events in New York, Hamburg, Germany, Nashville and Los Angeles. Ringo and His All-Starr Band have two more remaining European dates both in Italy (July 9 and 11), but will be back on the road in the U.S. starting Sept. 1 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tulsa, Oklahoma and continuing through the rest of the month.
Meanwhile, Paul McCartney recently confirmed in an interview that The Beatles will be doing some celebrating of their own this year with a deluxe re-release of The Beatles (The White Album) for the album's 50th anniversary. There's been no official announcement yet of when it will be released or what it will contain. A comprehensive re-release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band last year for its 50th year included unreleased outtakes and a new remix of the album by Giles Martin, son of the Beatles' longtime producer Sir George Martin, and Sam Okell.