All Photos by Paul Zollo/American Songwriter
Today, for the first time in history, a Beatle has turned 81.
That Beatle is Ringo Starr. Happy 81st Birthday to the greatest drummer ever in rock & roll, and one of the world’s most joyful and beloved people.
Who knew 81 could ever look so good? The answer? Be in the world’s greatest band ever. Exude pure rock & roll joy and passion, and never stop. (It worked).
Since 2008 Ringo has invited everyone everywhere to think, say or post #peaceandlove at noon their local time on Ringo Day – July 7th – to fulfill his birthday wish of a wave of Peace and Love encircling the planet.
Usually Ringo meets with fans in whatever city he is in, a tradition that began July 7, 2008 when he convened with fans and friends on the streets in front of the Hard Rock Café in Chicago, passing out cupcakes and joining the crowd for “Peace and Love” exactly at noon.
In the ensuing years it has grown enormously and in 2019 there were over 30 Peace & Love events in countries all around the world including Argentina – Buenos Aires; Chascomus, Armenia – Yerevan Australia -Sydney, Bolivia – La Paz, Brazil – Sao Paulo, Columbia -Bogota, Costa Rica – San Jose, Cuba – Habana, Czech Republic – Prague, El Salvador – San Salvador, Estonia – Tallin, Finland – Helsinki, Germany – Hamburg and Halle, Italy – Venice, Japan – Osaka; Tokyo, Panama – Panama City, Paraguay -Asunción, Peru – Lima, Russia – Moscow, Spain – Barcelona; Madrid, United Kingdom – London; Liverpool, United States – Chicago; Minneapolis, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York City.
2020’s pandemic prevented an in-person event, and Ringo instead moved the celebration to be virtual, hosting “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show,” which featured unseen concert and unique performances by Starr, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper and Dave Grohl, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr and Sheila E. The show was broadcast globally via AXS, YouTube and Ceek and it benefitted Black Lives Matter Global Network, The David Lynch Foundation, Musicares and WaterAid.
Meanwhile the #peaceandlove posts came from near and far, with the Mars Rover and The International Space Station being the first to wish Ringo a Happy Birthday “From 260 miles above our home planet, NASA Astronauts wish Ringo Starr a happy 80th birthday! Since our orbiting laboratory operates in Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, it’s officially July 7 – a perfect date to send #PeaceAndLove to everyone across the universe!
Details about 2021 Peace and Love regional gatherings – both in person and zoom – can be found on Ringo’s Facebook page, and fans have already confirmed events in Argentina, Costa Rica, Columbia, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA.
Thanks to Elizabeth Freund/Beautiful Day Media & Management and Ringo for inviting us to this party of parties.